Psychotherapy is a treatment that uses verbal exchange, and sometimes behavioral interventions, within a professional relationship, with the primary goal of fostering the growth and development of healthier and more satisfying patterns of response to stressors so that an individual can lead a self-directed life.

Psychotherapy by psychiatrists takes place in a variety of settings, including, but not limited to, the traditional weekly individual, family, or group sessions of a set duration.

Psychotherapeutic principles, understanding, and techniques can be applied broadly in medical as well as psychiatric settings to enhance doctor patient communication, promote an effective treatment alliance, and resolve impasses in treatment.

Psychotherapy is a "big tent" that refers to a diverse range of techniques and theoretical orientations. There is a solid and growing evidence base supporting short- and long-term psychotherapies. Psychotherapy and psychopharmacology are powerful and synergistic tools that psychiatrists can employ, tailoring the relative amount of each to the needs of the specific patient.

Resources, Journals & Articles

Holding Insurers Accountable for Parity in Coverage of Mental Health Treatment

Read More

Improving Access to Psychotherapy: Implications of Wit Versus United Behavioral Health

Read More

Moving Forward While Standing Still: A Case of Mental Health Advocacy Evolving in the Time of COVID-19

Read More

APA Resource Document (2014): Psychotherapy as an Essential Skill of Psychiatrists

Download Document

Clinical Necessity Guidelines for Psychotherapy, Insurance Medical Necessity and Utilization Review Protocols, and Mental Health Parity

From the Journal of Psychiatric Practice, these guidelines support access to psychotherapy as prescribed by the clinician without arbitrary limitations on duration or frequency.

Read More

Psychiatric News Psychotherapy Column

A bi-monthly column from the American Psychiatric Associations publication Psychiatric News, discussing topics related to psychotherapy and practice.

Learn More

American Journal of Psychotherapy

A monthly journal by the American Psychiatric Association, The American Journal of Psychotherapy provides a forum for advancing the theory, science, and clinical practice of psychotherapy.

Learn More

Learning Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Debrin P. Goubert, M.D., Niklas Törneke, M.D., Robert Purssey, M.D., FRANZCP, Josephine Loftus, M.D., MRCPsych, Laura Weiss Roberts, M.D., M.A., and Kirk D. Strosahl, Ph.D.

View More

Learning Supportive Psychotherapy, Second Edition

Arnold Winston, M.D., Richard N. Rosenthal, M.D., and Laura Weiss Roberts, M.D., M.A.

View More

Clinical Manual of Supportive Psychotherapy, Second Edition

Peter N. Novalis, M.D., Ph.D., Virginia Singer, D.N.P., and Roger Peele, M.D.

View More


Join the APA Psychotherapy Caucus

APA Member caucuses, including the Psychotherapy Caucus, promote communication and networking among member psychiatrists who share a special interest so that they may bring attention to important or emerging issues to APA, patient care and the practice of psychiatry within that special interest area.

Join a Caucus