People enter into psychotherapy for as many reasons as there are people. In general,
though, they hope to reduce their pain or suffering, improve their relationships with their
friends, family, and coworkers, or learn more about themselves and who they are.
Decades of research supports the effectiveness of psychotherapy in reducing feelings of
depression and anxiety, in helping people get along better with their loved ones, and
helping people like themselves more. The scientific community generally does not
question the effectiveness of psychotherapy. Instead, current research is focusing on ways
to make it increasingly tailored to treat specific difficulties or populations. Competent
psychotherapy has a well thought-out plan and achievable goals and is much more than
being asked "feelings" questions about uncomfortable topics.
Emotional suffering and strained relationships often occur due to a combination of
distorted or harmful patterns of thinking about the world, thinking about oneself, and from
long-standing ways of interacting with others. Psychotherapy can address these problems
from multiple angles and helps people understand, overcome, and change these patterns
with the aim of feeling better and changing in positive ways.