oc psychotherapist with girl patient on couch talking

Orange County Psychotherapist

Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, is a term used in the mental health field for various kinds of approaches designed to identify and address a person’s distressing feelings, thoughts, and conduct. 

At Orange County, licensed and skilled psychologists carry out psychotherapy sessions via one-on-one consultation with an individual patient or with multiple patients in a group setting. We use it alone or in combination with medications (prescribed by psychiatrists) to achieve maximal results. 

How Does Psychotherapy Work?

The two-way communication between the therapist and the client or patient enables both the parties to: 

Common goals of psychotherapy are to equip you with the skills required for managing your symptoms, inspire change, and improve your quality of life, allowing you to function better. 

What are the Stages of Psychotherapy?

Each psychotherapy session proceeds through four stages, which are further divided into sub-stages:
A. Commitment 

Commitment is the earliest stage in which the therapist and patient choose to dedicate their time, energy, and ability to form a good relationship that will draw them close to the therapeutic goals. 

The earliest stages of therapy require both the client and the therapist to invest themselves and actively participate for the betterment of the client’s well-being. The initial interaction of the patient with the therapist is most critical. It is seen that patients are more likely to quit therapy after the first session if they aren't satisfied. 

While you may not be entirely comfortable at this stage, our experts at Orange County, CA, try their best to make you feel comfortable by leveling the playing field. We first figure out your expectations with the therapy and debunk misinformation, if any, associated with the process. 

The Orange County psychotherapists believe in building a safer and more empathetic environment. This allows our clients to feel relaxed and openly share their feelings and thoughts without holding anything back.

Moreover, we know that various elements can impact the decision-making ability of patients during the stage of commitment. Our skilled psychologists take those elements into account to serve you better. These elements include: 

  1. What is your impression about your therapist
  2. Your motivation level
  3. Technical suitability

1) Impression about the therapist. Whether or not the patient considers a therapist as being adept, empathetic, and kind, has a powerful impact on the success of psychotherapy. Study comparisons between successful and unsuccessful psychotherapies show that patients who find their therapists as warmer, more amiable, and actively involved have greater chances of commitment and sticking with the treatment.

2) Motivation. If the patient isn’t motivated and doesn’t understand the importance of change, he or she may not stay committed to the therapy. The Newport Beach, Orange County, CA therapists take charge of talking patients into staying motivated by identifying ways needed to move towards change and the best course of action to execute that change. 

3) Technical suitability. Our trained professionals understand that the patient’s education, personality, and past experiences influence the proposed therapeutic approach. 

Patients may be hesitant to set goals and refuse certain techniques while more readily consent to others. Moreover, some patients may be reluctant to pour their heart out to a stranger (albeit a professional). As experts, we take heed of all these technical challenges (your personality and past experiences) to tailor therapy to your needs. 

B. Process

The process is the most complex stage and lies at the heart of psychotherapy. It involves looking for abnormal patterns, gathering as much information as possible, and consolidating that information. 

C. Change 

The stage of change follows the phase of the process. During this stage, therapists ensure that despite the excuses for staying sick, the client prefers a new healthy state of living. This stage of change often means embracing mental hygiene habits and applying those techniques as modes of prevention. Adhering to the treatment and working with the therapist to change habits, boosts the patient’s confidence and the odds of success of psychotherapy.

D. Termination

Termination is the end of psychotherapy and a mutual decision of both the parties (therapist and the patient). 

After analyzing that it’s a good time to end therapy, the therapist is usually the one to end the treatment with the client’s consent. However, clients also have a leeway to end it, especially if they feel like they’re no longer getting any benefit from therapy (though after discussing with the therapist). 

During this phase, our qualified professionals at Costa Mesa enable patients to gain insight into their strength and make sure that their clients understand that they alone will be working ahead for their well-being.

What are the Different Formats of Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy exists in several formats based on the approach of the therapist and the patient’s problems. Some common formats used by the Orange County California therapists include:

What are the Various Types of Psychotherapy?

Diverse types of psychological therapies are available, and some types may work better than others when dealing with different issues. 

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a short-term psychotherapy that is arguably the gold standard of the psychotherapy niche. It is the most common and well-studied form of psychotherapy to date. 

CBT is a mix of two therapeutic approaches, namely cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. 

The word “Cognitive” has its origins in Latin, “cognoscere,” which means “to recognize.” It helps to identify maladaptive mechanisms and then find ways to solve them. 

The term ‘Behavioral’ therapy stems from the American word, “behaviorism.” According to this approach, all human behavior is learned and hence can be untaught or learned from scratch. Behavioral therapy emphasizes on figuring out your behaviors that are not so healthy or could be making your life difficult or worsening your problems. In the next step, this therapy focuses on amending those behavioral patterns for good.

CBT is a goal-directed therapy that aims to unfold and modify false and distressing beliefs and thoughts, thereby retraining your behavior and feelings. Our trained Costa Mesa behavioral therapists use CBT to solve your core problems and tweak negative thought patterns, enabling you to respond to stressful situations in a calmer way.

2. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT is an all-embracing, evidence-based form of CBT, originally designed for borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, it is now used to treat a wide range of mental health problems. 

DBT is grounded in a philosophical process called dialectics, which represents an interplay between two contradictory perspectives. It is based on the theory that your mind can recognize and learn to substitute destructive behavior with more constructive patterns.

3. Psychodynamic (Psychoanalytic) Psychotherapy 

Psychodynamic therapy is a short-term therapy that centers on revealing unconscious conflicts and desires. Its benefits are rooted in the notion that unresolved, unconscious conflicts of the past manifest as disruptive behavior patterns in the present. The goal of psychodynamic therapy is to help the client gain insight into the past and how the past has been influencing the present behavior. 

Psychodynamic therapy has its origins in the psychoanalytic theory, which in turn, is supported by the Freudian theory. The Freudian theory underscores the release of repressed emotions to transform negative unconscious thoughts or feelings into more desirable forms of the conscious mind. 

4. Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)

IPT is a time-limited, focused, validated approach to address mood disorders like depression and anxiety. It helps cope with challenging life transitions like divorce, retirement, death of a loved one, or becoming physically sick. This form of psychotherapy centers on reinforcing healthy interpersonal relationships and social functioning. In IPT, the client must act early within a limited timeframe. 

How Do I Know if I Need Psychotherapy?

According to the American Psychological Association, you may consider therapy when the problem causes significant distress and interferes with your daily life, especially to the point that: