Psychotherapy is treatment of psychic problems through talking to a psychotherapist, a person who has special education for giving help in this way.
The patient learns to think effectively e.g. in the case of eating disorders "I am normal and
it is the photographer's models who are abnormally slim" instead
of: "the photographer's models are perfect and I want to look like them. I must reduce my weight".
The patient gets help from somebody, or from a computer, in order to
understand and learn how to eat normally. The patient also gets tips about
other things which can be done instead of eating.
This therapeutic method does not put the symptoms in focus. Instead, the inner world of emotional conflicts and deeply imprinted memories of relations are assumed to be causes of the symptoms, and this may not be consciously understood by the patient. The therapist also focuses on what happens in the relation therapist-patient, and helps to understand what happens as a basis of this inner world. More.
For some kinds of problems, such as eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and phobias, there is little support for the efficiency of psychodynamic therapy. There is also experience that psychodynamic therapy, by leaving the concrete aspects of the problems, can in some cases cause problems for the patient to relate the explanatory models in therapy with their own reality.
The main point of this method is for patients to learn to
identify their real needs and feelings. More.
The whole family of a person with mental disorders often needs
help in learning how to manage the problem.
Patients discuss their problems in a group and the realization
that others have similar needs may make it easier to understand
their own problems. Members of the group help each other.