Psychotherapy is a way of gaining understanding and mindfulness of ourselves. People become aware of the patterns in their relationships and in the choices they make. Often these aspects have developed 'out of awareness' and the relationship with the therapist assists with processing and understanding longer term issues and facets of the self.
The New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists (NZAP) states that :
"Psychotherapy is about the changes and constancies of human relationships. These relationships can be with oneself, with others, and with the world.
Psychotherapy is a treatment and healing approach for psychological disturbance and dysfunction within an individual and within systems of human relating. Therapy may involve the individual and/or parts of the social network to which they belong, since public and private relationships can range from a state of mild but persistent difficulty to one representative of major dysfunctional disorder. The concern of treatment is therapy of the psyche - which can be understood as the interrelated physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of being human. The foundations of psychotherapy are associated with basic human impulses concerned with existence, meaning and self-realisation.
Psychotherapy also recognises the social and cultural contexts of human experience. It encompasses past, present and future, and acknowledges various forms of consciousness.
Psychotherapy is concerned with a set of disciplines and attitudes of inquiry that are aimed at helping clients face into the deep experience of their lives. In so doing, they examine and change established patterns of living, and begin to express their potential patterns of being."
I am a Full Member of NZAP and hold their Advanced Clinical Practice qualification. You can search for Psychotherapists on the NZAP Register.