Psychotherapy is a treatment employed to help individuals, families, and groups to cope with and reduce or eliminate psychiatric and behavioral problems. It can be also understood as systematic emotional relearning.
- The central healing process of psychotherapy is the experience of attunement. This experience allows the client to link the emotional and cognitive aspects of his inner life. 
Psychotherapy is most often performed by psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, or mental health nurses. Psychotherapists assist clients in gaining insight into the causes of their difficulties and in resolving them. Depending on the issues the client is seeking help with, psychotherapy may be augmented by psychotropic medications, such as antidepressants.
Many different schools of psychotherapy exist, including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, psychoanalysis, behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy, family therapy, and group therapy. In general, the different approaches to therapy have been found to be equally effective. However, for certain problems (e.g., depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder), cognitive or dialectical behavioral techniques have been shown to be superior.
Psychotherapy research shows that the most important factor in determining client improvement is the relationship between the client and the therapist. A therapist who is able to establish a trusting relationship with the client provides the client with a model for healthier relationships outside of therapy and fosters a relationship of effective feedback.
Most of what said during therapy is kept confidential by the therapist. While the therapist may discuss cases with colleagues when seeking consultation, or in teaching students, they may not include any information that would allow the client to be identified by those he is speaking with. There are a few exceptions to this rule. While the specific laws vary across U.S. states, in general a psychotherapist is required by law to break confidentiality if the client poses a clear threat to himself or to another named person, if there is abuse of a child, or if the client records are ordered by a court.
Ineffectiveness of psychotherapy
See also: Ineffectivness of counseling psychology
The Apostle Paul wrote:
|“||Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." - I Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV)||”|
|“||Another factor from my experience as a close observer of the “ex-gay” phenomenon is that many former homosexuals do not linger in “reparative therapy” programs, or participate in them at all. They attribute their dramatic and (relatively) rapid transformation to the power of God, and likely would not show up in a study of this kind. In fact, these “unstudied” overcomers would appear to be the most successful ex-homosexuals because they’ve moved on with their lives — as “reborn” Christians move on after overcoming any besetting sin.||”|
In 1980 a study was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and eleven men participated in this study. The aforementioned study in the American Journal of Psychiatry stated that eleven homosexual men became heterosexuals "without explicit treatment and/or long-term psychotherapy" through their participation in a Pentecostal church.
The website The Berean Call has a number of articles on various false claims and unbiblical notions that many practitioners counseling psychology promote.
Effectiveness of laymen vs. trained psychologists
Christian author Todd A. Sinelli wrote in an article entitled To Whom Shall We Go?:
|“|| Psychology is ineffective, impotent, and embarrassingly deceptive. The great humbug is that “the psychological industry has successfully concealed its ineffectiveness from the general public. Pastors, churches, and the laity have been brainwashed into believing that only psychologically trained professional counselors are competent to deal with serious problems.”
Empirical research indicates the exact opposite. In a study done by J.A. Durlack entitled Comparitive Effectiveness of Paraprofessional and Professional Helpers he writes, “The research reviewed forty-two studies that compared professional counselors with untrained helpers. The findings were ‘consistent and provocative.’ Paraprofessionals achieve clinical outcomes equal to or significantly better than those obtained by professionals . . . The study, on the whole, lent no support to the major hypothesis that . . . the technical skills of professional psychotherapists produce measurably better therapeutic change.”
At the conclusion of this study, psychologist Gary Collins reluctantly admits, “Clearly there is evidence that for most people, laypeople can counsel as well as or better than professionals.” Again, the bottom line is that Christians are not to turn to psychologist for guidance. Primarily because the Word of God instructs us not to and God has given us the ability to counsel one another through His Word.
A 1985 paper entitled Does professional training make a therapist more effective? which was published by the University of Texas reported there was no substantial difference in between the results that laymen and trained psychologists are able to achieve.
Psychiatric quackery revealed by race often unnecessarily causing misdiagnosis
In 2005, The Washington Post reported:
|“|| John Zeber recently examined one of the nation's largest databases of psychiatric cases to evaluate how doctors diagnose schizophrenia, a disorder that often portends years of powerful brain-altering drugs, social ostracism and forced hospitalizations.
Although schizophrenia has been shown to affect all ethnic groups at the same rate, the scientist found that blacks in the United States were more than four times as likely to be diagnosed with the disorder as whites. Hispanics were more than three times as likely to be diagnosed as whites.
Faith in God and negative emotions
Australian online opinion writer and lecturer in ethics and philosophy at several Melbourne theological colleges, Bill Muehlenberg, in his essay The Unbearable Heaviness of Being (In a World Without God) writes:
|“||Announcing, and believing, that God is dead has consequences. And it is we who suffer the most for it. We cannot bear the whole universe on our shoulders. We were not meant to. We must let God be God. Only then can men be men. Only then can we find the way forward to be possible, and the burdens not insurmountable.||”|
- Daniel Goleman (1996). Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ. Bantam Books, 257. ISBN 978-05538-40070. “Note:URL is for later edition”
- Luborsky L, Rosenthal R, Diguer L, Andrusyna TP, Berman JS, Levitt JT, Seligman DA, & Krause ED (2002). The dodo bird verdict is alive and well - mostly. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 9, 2-12.
- Foa EB, Dancu CV, Hembree EA, Jaycox LH, Meadows EA, & Street GP (1999). A comparison of exposure therapy, stress inoculation training, and their combination for reducing post-traumatic stress disorder in female assault victims. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 67, 194-200.
- Salkovskis PM (1999). Understanding and treating obsessive-compulsive disorder. Behavior Research & Therapy, 37 Suppl 1, S29-S52.
- Hubble MA, Duncan BL, & Miller SD (1999). The Heart and Soul of Change: What Works in Therapy. American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
- http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/confidentiality.aspx American Psychological Association, Protecting Your Privacy: Understanding Confidentiality
- E.M. Pattison and M.L. Pattison, "'Ex-Gays': Religiously Mediated Change in Homosexuals," American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 137, pp. 1553-1562, 1980