The terms psychological treatments and psychotherapy (sometimes shortened to therapy) cover a wide range of talking treatments.

Who benefits from psychological treatment?

Anybody can benefit from psychological work. Social class, age, gender, education level or ethnic grouping should not affect the outcome of psychological treatment.

However, people's cultural experiences will affect their expectations and attitudes to psychological treatment and the role of a therapist.

People who are more severely ill may require medication before they can be helped by psychological treatments. Other people may prefer to take medication rather than engage in a psychological approach.

How do I know that therapy is right for me?

There's no guarantee that you will benefit from a particular therapy.

Before opting for psychological treatment, there are some considerations you need to be aware of:

  • therapy is not usually rapid in its effects, and you need to know that it will be challenging
  • you need to have a strong desire to find out more about yourself and to see the therapy through
  • sometimes you will need to face difficult aspects of yourself, which may include hostile feelings about your therapist
  • therapy can result in changes in the nature of your relationships with other people.

Beyond these, the nature of each psychological treatment may appeal to or suit one individual more than another. In addition, some kinds of problems may be better treated by one form of therapy than another.

What are the aims of psychological treatment?


Like any treatment, the hope is to reduce symptoms, improve wellbeing and restore or improve functioning.

Among those who have had psychiatric illnesses, there is also the hope that the risk of recurrence of illness will be reduced.

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