Psychotherapy is a type of personal counseling with a licensed and specially trained therapist. It is similar to other kinds of "therapy" that focus on improving certain aspects of human functioning. The ultimate goal is a better quality of life.

In physical therapy, for example, people engage in very specific exercises that improve physical health and function. Psychotherapy is similar in that the therapist and the client work together to attain identified goals through specific techniques. Typically psychotherapy focuses on improving mental and emotional health, and personal growth. What is unique to psychotherapy is that its effectiveness is based, in part on the development of a therapeutic relationship between the client and therapist.

Psychotherapy might include talking about certain life problems or experiences from the past, learning new thinking strategies to better cope with stress, or engaging in specific behaviors suggested by the therapist to alleviate fears, change bad habits, and improve confidence.

Specific types of psychotherapy include: