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Also called talk therapy, psychotherapy refers to therapy implemented by psychology professionals to treat mental health conditions and improve relationships. Sessions rely on tools such as emotion identification, coping skills exploration and cognitive restructuring, to treat mental health concerns. It may be paired with prescription medications or utilized on its own to help individuals manage symptoms and find solutions.


Mental health services may be used to address mental health disorders (what we once called mental illness), or simply to learn skills to better navigate life stress. Some mental disorders that may be treated by a licensed mental health professional include: eating disorders, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, personality disorders (such as borderline personality disorder), and other mental health conditions.


There are many types of therapy practiced by psychologists, family therapists, social workers, and other mental health professionals. Some of the most common are forms of behavioral therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy. A treatment plan for some disorders may include collaboration between health professionals such as medical doctors, mental health professionals like psychiatric nurses, and family members. 


Some health insurance companies will cover mental health care like psychotherapy, while others do not. Some providers will offer sliding scale payment plans or reduced-priced community clinics to offer support to those who have difficulty affording care. The mental health services administration website can offer resources. Online therapy can also be an affordable option for many. 

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The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
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