Dr. Holly H. Shah

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PSYCHOTHERAPY
What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is an interpersonal process designed to bring about changes in the feelings, thoughts, attitudes and behaviors of persons experiencing emotional and psychological problems. The person seeking help, and the psychotherapist enter into a special personal-professional relationship. This usually takes the form of an interactive conversation which takes place regularly at a pre-agreed time and place. The patient and therapist work as a team in helping the patient understand and express their life issues, deal with their problems and cope with (sometimes even resolve) but often simply adapt to problems of living.

Psychotherapy is not a substitute for friendship and rarely brings about immediate changes. Psychotherapy is hard work. In fact, oftentimes, a patient may begin to feel slightly worse in the beginning of the process as they begin to open up old wounds once ignored. Be assured, however, that the process will then evolve into a healing of these wounds and permanent relief of symptoms if dealt with thoroughly.

The therapy sessions are usually once or twice a week for 50 minutes each session. Typically, the duration of therapy depends on the severity of symptoms and their impact on a person’s life. In general, therapy can produce results in as little as a few months. Additionally, if a patient is interested in deeper psychotherapeutic work, the duration is typically longer (about a year or so) and can involve addressing long term or traumatic issues.

How can therapy help me?

Most people experience emotional problems at some point in their lives. These problems may cause symptoms ranging from uncomfortable feelings such as sadness, emptiness, or excessive worry. One may notice trouble in relationships, problems at work, physical symptoms, or difficulty concentrating. Some experience difficulties with coming to terms with a loss such as loss of a job, divorce, or bereavement, or being stuck in patterns that we cannot break out of. These problems are often resolved without outside help. However, sometimes the problems do not go away. Psychotherapy is a way to address these problems.