What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy from Soup to Nuts

What is psychotherapy? Washington, DC, (Chevy Chase, MD), psychologist, psychoanalyst, Dr. Lynn Friedman explores the province of psychotherapy.

What is psychotherapy? What happens in psychotherapy? How does it work? For whom is it helpful? And, what sorts of difficulties or challenges does it help people overcome? How might one benefit from psychotherapy? And, what sorts of steps might one take to have a helpful, positive experience in psychotherapy?

What is a psychotherapist? How does one sort through the array of psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, counselors, social workers, pastoral counselors, psychiatric nurses and others who offer this sort of help?

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy entails a relationship between a trained psychotherapist and a person who is interested in deepening their understanding of themselves, with the goal of resolving conflicts, overcoming obstacles or addressing unhappiness in their lives.  There are many kinds of psychotherapy and each approach conceptualizes or views the individual in different ways.

However, most methods share in common the idea that:

People come to psychotherapy because they are sad, worried or troubled about something in themselves and/or in their lives.

Many difficulties can be understood, resolved through talking with a trained, outsider and gaining perspective.

To be effective, psychotherapy must take place in a safe, respectful & confidential setting.

Beyond this, there are many kinds of psychotherapy (and, counseling), each with their own specialized approach. The most common include: psychoanalytic psychotherapy (or psychodynamic psychotherapy), psychoanalysis, cognitive behavioral therapy (aka CBT) and humanistic psychotherapy. Also, psychotherapists work with people, individually, in marriage counseling, in couples counseling and/or in group psychotherapy.

Major Assumptions of Psychoanalytic (psychodynamic) psychotherapy

If you found this article to be of interest, you may enjoy these:



Seeking a consultation with Washington DC psychologist Dr. Friedman? Feel free to give her a call at: 301.656.9650

5480 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD, 20815
(1/2 block from the redline, Friendship Heights Metro)


View Larger Map