Psychotherapy is the process of making changes to the brain through the use of talking in a therapy setting by a trained professional. This is a very effective therapy that, in some cases, shows results that are similar or better than treating with medication as shown by PET scans, Functional MRIs, and SPECT scans. Psychotherapies such as Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy are a few of the therapies that have been proven to be as effective as medication.
Psychotherapy may be used to treat depression, personality disorders, anxiety, worry and stress disorders, OCD, phobias, PTSD, and family problems. Psychotherapy may also be used in partnership with medications for the most effective treatment. This will be determined by the physician based on the individual needs of each patient. Length of treatment time will vary depending on the needs of the patient, but can range from a few weeks to a year or more. The National Institutes of Mental Health has a web page with more detailed information.