Psychotherapy is a psychological intervention that people may seek to help them overcome mental health disorders, cope with stress, relate to others in a more effective manner, and achieve well-being and growth. Psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, social workers, and counselors are among the professionals who are trained to offer psychotherapeutic intervention to those who seek it. Psychotherapy has three components: (1) the client, (2) the therapist, and (3) the exchange between the therapist and the client. This entry examines these components, discusses several therapeutic modalities, and examines ethical issues related to psychotherapy.


The client is a person, couple, or family who may be struggling with maladaptive or disruptive behavioral, thought, emotional, or relational patterns. Clients are people who are at a time in their lives in which ...

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