What is Psychotherapy? Psychologists offer the expertise, guidance and support of a professional who has been extensively trained to treat emotional and psychological issues. Psychotherapy is the process used to work with clients to identify and clarify issues and diagnoses and to treat problems. By setting short-term and long-term goals, implementing techniques to reach those goals and reviewing progress, a good therapeutic relationship is one in which a forward moving process occurs. Our clinicians are well trained in Cognitive-Behavior Therapy and Interpersonal Approaches.
*We believe that therapy is an active team approach between the psychologist and the client and involves much more than just listening.*
What happens in therapy? Effective therapy calls for an active effort on the part of the therapist and the client who work as a team to address the client's particular needs. The process varies depending on the personalities of the psychologist and client, and the particular problems clients bring forward. There are different methods and techniques that may be used to deal with the problems that clients hope to address; for example, cognitive restructuring of thoughts, reality checking, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or passive muscle relaxation, active listening and support. In order for the therapy to be most successful, the client works on what is discussed between sessions.
What is the duration of therapy? Therapy may be short-term or long-term in nature, depending on the presenting problem. For example, some clients enter therapy for crisis intervention while other clients enter therapy with a specific goal in mind, which is met relatively quickly. Clients with more challenging issues may need therapy of a longer duration. A good number of individuals remain in therapy as long as they are seeing ongoing progress as measured by feeling better, achieving goals and resolving issues.
What else should I know? Since therapy often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of one’s life, clients may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. On the other hand, psychotherapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress. Sessions are confidential with the one exception being if the client poses an imminent life-threatening risk to themselves or somebody else, at which time the therapist is obligated to intervene. Consultations may occur with other significant individuals, such as a primary care physician, only with the client's permission.
Psychologists and Their Services* What is a psychologist? A psychologist is a health care professional who diagnoses and treats mental, nervous, emotional, and behavioral disorders and ailments. Psychologists’ practices also include industrial/organizational psychology, research, and teaching. In providing services to individuals, organizations, and the public, psychologists apply principles, methods or procedures of understanding, predicting or influencing behavior.
Who may use the terms "psychologist," "psychological," or "psychology" alone or in combination with other words and phrases? Only a licensed psychologist or a person working in an "exempt setting" may use these titles and terms. Exempt settings include chartered schools, settings operated by the government, and most colleges and universities. Students who are working in settings as part of their authorized doctoral program may have titles such as "psychologist-in-training" or "psychology intern." "Assistant psychologists," who have a doctoral degree and are completing a two-year period of experience supervised by a qualified psychologist, may also use these terms.Psychotherapists are not necessarily licensed as psychologists in New York.
What credentials do New York psychologists have? New York psychologists have earned a doctoral degree in psychology from a program registered or accepted as equivalent by the New York State Education Department. Psychologists with doctoral degrees with the letters Ph.D., Psy.D. and Ed.D. all have met the same educational requirements. In addition, New York psychologists have completed two years of supervised experience, including one year after the doctoral degree. They have also passed a national licensing exam.
* Office of the Professions, NYS Education Department