Psychotherapy is named psychotherapy because it deals with the psyche, therapy of the psyche, the conscious and unconscious mind, beginning with Aristotle, a Greek philosopher and expanded with Carl Jung, a more modern psychotherapist.
Normally professional psychotherapists have a master’s degree specializing in aspects of psychotherapy like I do in: counseling, gestalt therapy, hakomi, psychosynthesis, transpersonal psychotherapy, mental health, art therapy, dance therapy, play therapy, music therapy, psychodrama, drama therapy, breath therapy, behavior therapy, marriage and family therapy, plus other nonofficial therapy methods.
Other Psychotherapy Specialties are:
- psychiatric nursing
- occupational therapy
- rehabilitation therapy
- clinical or psychiatric social work
- mental health counseling
to name a few of them.
Each state in the United States has a licensing board to regulate these professions. Psychotherapists and psychologists take lengthy tests and have to pass to get a license, then pay yearly to be monitored by the state.
I have my license as a professional counselor even though I have background and am certified in all the various specialties. As a part of the testing, psychotherapists are required to know all of the state laws and practices assuring their clients safe conditions within the practice. Each client is given a consent form to sign informing them of their choice to do therapy with the psychotherapist and told that they will not be sexually harassed by the psychotherapist. The consent form has the Grievance Board’s phone number and address to report the psychotherapist if the client feels that they have been violated.
All of these forms of psychotherapy are based on helping clients become more aware of the mind, which deals with thoughts that are hidden and called unconscious or subconscious and thoughts that we are aware of using, called conscious.
It is the hidden, unconscious thoughts that often run our lives as three year olds feeling very fearful and helpless. These are the thoughts that sabotage our dreams of success. In psychotherapy, the psychotherapist helps the client discover the unconscious thinking patterns, the hidden attitudes that prevent the client from having the life that they wish to have. When these unconscious thoughts become conscious, the psychotherapist assists the client to release their fear, sadness and anger associated with the old attitudes.
Then the client is supported to find and use their will power to choose new choices, new attitudes, and create a new life style to live these new attitudes. Perhaps a client has twenty or fifty years of living the old attitudes, it takes practice, awareness and will power to choose the new attitudes. The psychotherapist supports the client to practice living their new set of attitudes and finding a new way of living.