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Supportive Therapy Explained

Posted on: November 11th, 2021 by Our Team

What is supportive therapy?

Supportive psychotherapy is treatment designed to help patients better deal with their emotional problems such as by reducing levels of anxiety and depression to improve their quality of life. It aims to improve symptoms and maintain, restore or improve self-esteem and skills, promote healthy defense mechanisms and enhance adaptive coping skills to stabilize the patient. Its goals are determined by each patient’s needs.

The strategies vary from client to client and are geared to meet each client where they are coming from. It is rendered in conversational style including comforting, praising, advising, encouraging, reassuring, and mostly listening attentively and sympathetically.

Supportive psychotherapy can improve, reinforce or sustain a person’s physical and mental well-being including self-esteem and self-reliance. Generally, the goal is to support the patient using various therapeutic techniques.

How does supportive therapy work?

Supportive therapy integrates various therapies including psychotherapy, psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavior therapy and other psychotherapies that rely on the therapeutic alliance to improve symptoms and help the client experience life more effectively. It’s only focus is on conflicts and problems of which the patient is aware. It does not address unconscious conflicts; it focuses on the present and is not analytic.

In supportive therapy you will be encouraged to express your feelings and the therapist will help you understand what you are experiencing. You will learn improved coping skills which will improve self-esteem, resilience and hope.

What is the therapeutic alliance?

The therapeutic alliance is the cooperative working relationship between the patient and the therapist based on the connection the patient feels with the psychologist. It means the patient feels they are accepted, the therapist is aligned with their goals and is interested in the patient, shows respect for them and holds them in positive regard.  Supportive therapy exists solely to meet the needs of each patient.

Who may benefit from supportive psychotherapy?

It is beneficial for someone experiencing a stressful situation that heightens tension and distress where a little extra support is helpful. It is particularly helpful when the client is not looking to change behavior or address a problem, but rather they are looking for a safe place to share frustrations and vent while feeling supported.

Your consultation

Before beginning treatment one of our clinical psychologists will conduct a complimentary initial consultation with you. The goal of the initial consultation is to get a better understanding of you, your history, what brings you to therapy, and what your needs are in therapy. We feel the fit between client and psychologist is extremely important, and the consultation is a great start for you to get a feel for Healthy Mynds and if we are a fit for your needs. Our goal is to work with you in a safe and supportive environment where you can explore your thoughts and feelings and work toward flourishing.

When you are having a hard time and can’t turn to family or friends it can be particularly difficult to recover from emotional turmoil. Supportive therapy can help you navigate the challenges you face more effectively. Contact Healthy Mynds in Redondo Beach to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn more about our staff and if we are a fit for you.


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