Psychotherapy is a therapeutic intervention based on verbal communication between the therapist (usually a psychiatrist or psychologist) and the patient and which aims to address the problems, relieve the unpleasant psychological symptoms and improve social functioning and adaptation of the patient, thus helping them move towards personal development.
Psychotherapy can be applied with or without concomitant administration of medication.
There are many different types of psychotherapy, such as Cognitive- Behavioural, Psychoanalytic, Systemic-Family therapy, Interpersonal, Supportive and Group therapy. Segregation in the different schools of psychotherapy is based on the techniques used and the psychological theories underlying.
For a mental health professional to be considered a psychotherapist, they must be trained beyond the basic training in one of the psychotherapy training programs provided by various Scientific Psychotherapy Companies.
The Psychiatrist Constantinos Zambas has been trained and certified as Cognitive-Behavioural and Group Psychotherapist.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – CBT
Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy is a form of psychotherapy which results from the coupling of two theoretical directions, the cognitive model which was founded by Aaron T. Beck and the classical behaviourism theory. Today, it is one of the most widespread and frequently applied forms of psychotherapy. Numerous scientific studies have proven the effectiveness of this therapy on a large number of mental disorders, including: depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, sexual disorders, abuse – dependence on substances and eating disorders. The contribution of CBT is also considered valuable to the treatment of psychotic disorders and bipolar disorder in combination with the administration of medication. Research findings also show that the effectiveness of CBT on many disorders is similar to drug therapy.
CBT is a short, structured, collaborative treatment focusing on the present. It pays particular attention to the way we think and the effects this has both on our feelings and our behaviour. As characteristically mentioned in the Enchiridion, or Manual, of the philosopher Epictetus, it is not the things-situations that upset people, but the judgment, in other words, the way they think about them. “Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things”. Through the process of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, we learn to think in a more realistic – functional way, reconstructing our dysfunctional thoughts.
The duration of each session of Cognitive Behavioural therapy is 45-50 minutes. The sessions are structured and, at the beginning of the meeting, agenda is drawn up for the issues that will be discussed. Also, homework is assigned where the patient applies the techniques they learn through therapy and tries to achieve the various objectives agreed with the therapist.
The goal of the treatment is the patient to finally become their own healer, facing the difficulties they are going to encounter in their life after the end of the treatment and preventing a potential relapse of the symptoms.
Group psychotherapy is a form of psychotherapy that is used worldwide for more than a century. Many scientific studies have proven it to be equally or more effective than individual psychotherapy in many different situations and mental disorders.
Group Therapy, similar with individual therapy, seeks to help the patient to cope with the difficulties of their life and address the psychological symptoms they present.
Unlike individual psychotherapy where the meetings take place between two persons, the patient and the therapist, in group psychotherapy, the treatment sessions involve an entire group of patients with one or two therapists as coordinators.
This interaction between individuals participating in the meetings has a particularly significant therapeutic value. Within the team, members discover that others face similar problems, feelings, and experiences with them. They also acknowledge any difficulties in communication and social interaction with others and treat them in the safe context of the therapy. Herein lies precisely the healing power of the group, in one sharing their problems and feelings with others, recognizing their condition and evolving along with others in the group.
There are many different groups depending on the purpose for which they are established and on the individuals they are consisting of. So, for example, there are groups for depression, anxiety, personal growth and self-awareness, psychotic or bipolar patients, groups for carers of people with disabilities or chronic diseases and groups to improve self-esteem.