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, and depending on the jurisdiction may be legally regulated, voluntarily regulated or unregulated.