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Psychological treatments 

Psychological treatments
Psychological treatments

Michael Sharpe

, and Simon Wessely

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date: 27 February 2021

Psychological treatments, sometimes called psychotherapies or talking treatments, refer to the use of psychological, as opposed to pharmacological or surgical methods, to treat an illness or improve a person’s well-being. They may be regarded as general or specific in type. General psychological treatments, such as listening to the patient and providing reassurance, are a core aspect of general medical practice as all medical interactions will have a psychological impact on the patient, whether for good or ill. Specific psychological therapies, which are usually given by trained therapists, are important treatments for psychiatric illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Consequently, it is important that physicians both know how to make their consultations generally psychotherapeutic and about specific psychological treatments, so that they can refer patients appropriately for these.

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