Therapy, Psychotherapy, or personal counseling with a psychotherapist, is an intentional interpersonal relationship used by trained psychotherapists to aid a client or patient in problems of living.
The purpose of therapy is to increase the individual’s sense of their own well-being. Psychotherapists employ a range of techniques based on experiential relationship building, dialogue, communication and behavior change that are designed to improve the mental health of a client or patient, or to improve group relationships (such as in a family).
Psychotherapy may also be performed by practitioners with a number of different qualifications, including psychiatry, clinical psychology, clinical social work, counseling psychology, mental health counseling, clinical or psychiatric social work, marriage and family therapy, rehabilitation counseling, music therapy, art therapy, drama therapy, dance/movement therapy, occupational therapy, psychiatric nursing, psychoanalysis and those from other psychotherapies.
It may be legally regulated, voluntarily regulated or unregulated, depending on the jurisdiction. Requirements of these professions vary, but often require graduate school and supervised clinical experience. Psychotherapy in Europe is increasingly being seen as an independent profession, rather than being restricted to being practiced only by psychologists and psychiatrists as is stipulated in some countries.