What are the goals of psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy, at its core, means the treatment of mental disorders by psychological means rather than medical means. However, the process is about so much more than just treatment.
The goals of the field of psychotherapy include strengthening the mind, enlarging the capacity of the conscious mind, enabling a person to use their full mental potential, bringing contentment and inner happiness to each individual, bringing concentration and an increased willpower to each individual, and developing self-confidence, tolerance, and clear thinking. In some goals of psychotherapy, psychologists believe that the work of the field is to bring unity and harmony to an individual, and to allow them to open doors that have likely been closed for a long time.
The doors that are intended to be opened by the process of psychotherapy include:
- Insight, where a therapist works with the patient to construct a narrative that makes sense of the patient’s background and predicament to help with understanding, and lend perspective to the individual.
- Dependency, and the process of advancing to a mature adult level of dependency, which respects that there is a balance of dependence that is require – we all need other people, but a level of independence should also be present.
- Control, of which many people who come for psychotherapy feel they need to regain within their life.
- Identity – psychotherapy progress involves ongoing efforts at identifying feelings, attitudes, and motivations.
- Self-esteem, which can be fragile even in the most confident of people. Psychotherapy progress is about helping people develop a realistic and accepting attitude towards themselves.
- Recognizing and handling feelings – in psychotherapy, the goal with this is to help people to develop ways of using emotional energy to problem solve.
- Ego strength, or one’s capacity to cope with life’s difficulties in a realistic manor. Psychotherapy teaches the ability to increase the ability to tolerate temporary states of destabilization.
In order for psychotherapy progress to happen, a therapist follows these goals and ideals to help a patient through their mental disorder by using these psychological means rather than medicine.