Psychotherapy is the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction, to help a person change and overcome problems in desired ways.  Psychotherapy aims to increase each individual’s well-being and mental health, to resolve or mitigate troublesome behaviors, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions, and to improve relationships and social functioning.  Certain psychotherapies are considered evidence-based for treating some diagnosed mental disorders.

There are over a thousand different named psychotherapies, some being minor variations while others are based on very different conceptions of psychology, ethics (how to live) or techniques.  Most involve one-to-one sessions between client and therapist but some are conducted with groups, including families.  Therapists may be mental health professionals or come from a variety of other backgrounds.

Psychotherapy is about the changes and constancies of human relationships.  These relationships can be with oneself, with others, and with the world.

Psychotherapy is a treatment and healing approach for psychological disturbance and dysfunction within an individual and within systems of human relating.  Therapy may involve the individual and/or parts of the social network to which they belong, since public and private relationships can range from a state of mild but persistent difficulty to one representative of major dysfunctional disorder.  The concern of treatment is therapy of the psyche – which can be understood as the interrelated physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of being human.  The foundations of psychotherapy are associated with basic human impulses concerned with existence, meaning and self-realisation.

Psychotherapy also recognises the social and cultural contexts of human experience.  It encompasses past, present and future, and acknowledges various forms of consciousness.
Psychotherapy is concerned with a set of disciplines and attitudes of inquiry that are aimed at helping clients face into the deep experience of their lives.  In so doing, they examine and change established patterns of living, and begin to express their potential patterns of being. (NZAP)