Medical Definition of Psychotherapy

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Psychotherapy: The treatment of a behavior disorders, mental illness, or any other condition by psychological means. Psychotherapy may utilize insight, persuasion, suggestion, reassurance, and instruction so that patients may see themselves and their problems more realistically and have the desire to cope effectively with them.

There are many possible definitions of psychotherapy, just as there are many different types of psychotherapy, including -- just to mention a few -- cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, interpersonal therapy, and psychodynamic therapy.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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