Abnormal Psychology: Mental Health and Mental Illness


What is psychotherapy?

Fundamentally, psychotherapy involves talking. Patients bring their psychological difficulties into treatment. Therapists aim to reduce a patient’s suffering via verbal discussion. Granted, psychotherapy involves far more than just conversation, but it is distinguished from other kinds of therapies—such as physical, speech, occupational, or medical therapy—by its emphasis on talking. In fact, Anna O., one of the world’s first psychotherapy patients, described it as the “talking cure.” Anna O. (a.k.a. Bertha Papenheimer) was one of Sigmund Freud’s case histories, written up in his 1895 Studies on Hysteria.


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