What psychotherapy can be used for?

More than half of all Americans seek psychotherapy at some point in their lives. More people initiate therapy because of a relationship problem than any other issue. This can come in many forms, such as difficulty finding a satisfying relationship, difficulty maintaining relationships, sadness or depression following a break-up, commitment anxiety, marital conflict resolution, marital dissatisfaction, surviving a divorce, co-parenting issues, having an affair or discovering that your partner is having an affair. Individual psychotherapy or couples counseling can help resolve these issues.

More and more people see psychotherapy as something one does for-well person care rather than to treat a disorder. Therapy can help clarify many stumbling blocks and improve personal relationships and professional success even if you have only mild psychological symptoms or just feel stressed.

Depression and anxiety are the most common issues for which people seek therapy. People also seek therapy for eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, over-eating, binge eating), substance abuse, addictions, sexual difficulties, phobias and post-traumatic stress. Therapy is useful if you are struggling with a mid-life crisis, professional success, a career change, personal growth, self-esteem, stress management, perfectionism, codependency issues, difficulty identifying or expressing your feelings and needs, parental expectations and demands, assertiveness, breaking habits you don't like, low energy, social isolation, intimacy concerns, weight management, impulse control, post-partum or new baby blues, parenting issues, spiritual concerns, physical illness, or the death or illness of a family member. If in the past you have had difficult relationships with parents, siblings or romantic partners, psychotherapy is probably for you. This is especially true if you or someone in your family is a survivor of physical abuse, sexual abuse, incest, rape (including date rape), or domestic violence, or if you are the adult child of an alcoholic, a drug addict or a mentally ill parent.