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Life can go up and down, sometimes you feel better and sometimes you feel worse, but if you feel bad for a long time, it can be good to seek help. Here we explain what psychotherapy is and how it works.

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a psychological treatment that aims to help individuals understand themselves and manage their emotions, thoughts and behaviors better in order to improve their mental health. There are different approaches to psychotherapy, based on different theories, using different tools and techniques to meet the client’s needs and goals.

Psychological treatment is based on psychology as a science and there is treatment for many different diagnoses and conditions. It could be depression, anxiety, stress, sleep problems, trauma, eating disorders, addiction or any other condition such as relationship problems.

It is common to receive psychotherapy in combination with medication, physical activity or other habitual changes.

What set our therapist apart was her genuine empathy and personal insight. Not only did she possess a deep understanding of neurodiversity, but she also shared personal experiences that resonated with us, creating an instant connection and fostering a sense of trust!

Benedetta Osarenk


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When might you need to seek psychotherapy?

If you have been feeling bad for a long time or have noticed that you have a pattern that is difficult to break, it may be useful to seek psychotherapy. It can be anything from having a tough childhood to having sleep problems. Many people who seek psychotherapy do so because they find it difficult to talk to their loved ones about it, or they may not have enough support in their lives. Seeking psychological treatment is now common and nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes you may need a little more help.


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Are there different ways of working with psychotherapy?

The most common form of treatment in healthcare is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It is also the method most often recommended by the National Board of Health and Welfare, and there is a lot of research showing that it gives good results for many different conditions.

Within CBT, there are new treatments, known as third-wave CBT, including Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) and Compassion-focused therapy (CFT). There are also other treatment methods such as Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). For more complex problems, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) or Schema Therapy can be helpful.

There are also methods such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) which can be helpful for trauma. You can also have psychodynamic therapy, existential therapy or couples therapy, depending on what you need.

How does psychotherapy work?

In simple terms, psychotherapy consists of two parts: the relationship between the psychologist and the client, and the method used by the psychologist.

The relationship is also called alliance and it is how the treatment is, whether there is empathy and understanding, so that you feel seen and heard as a client. The treatment itself can be structured based on a certain approach that has been found to work, but it can also be adapted to the individual’s needs.

If you are in group treatment, the therapy is often manual-based. You can attend psychotherapy where you meet in person, but it is also possible to meet via video. There is also a lot of research on internet-mediated CBT (IMCT) that has produced good results. Here are some basic aspects of psychotherapy:

  1. Conversation and relationship: The conversation between client and therapist is central to psychotherapy. Here you can explore what you need help with.
  2. Goal setting: At the beginning of therapy, short- and long-term goals for the therapy are often formulated.
  3. Therapeutic methods: There are various therapeutic methods used in psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, humanistic therapy, existential therapy, gestalt therapy, and many others. Each method has its own principles and techniques.
  4. Self-awareness and change: Psychotherapy aims to help the client increase self-awareness, understand deeper patterns and causes of problems, and develop skills and strategies for change and better management of life’s challenges.
  5. Duration and frequency: The number of sessions and duration of therapy varies depending on the severity of the problem. Some therapies may be short and focused, while others may be more long-term and exploratory.
  6. Individual and group treatment: Psychotherapy can be conducted individually or in groups, depending on the client’s preferences and needs.
  7. Evidence-based practice: There is a lot of research on psychotherapy and evidence-based means that there have been scientific studies showing their effectiveness for different psychological problems. The effectiveness for different conditions can vary between different methods, with some methods getting better results than others.

If you work with psychotherapy and have a health care license, you have a duty of confidentiality. The professional must not reveal information about you to anyone else. In group therapy, all group participants must agree on confidentiality.

Who is involved in psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy can be provided by different professionals. Licensed psychologists usually work in psychotherapy, but there are also opportunities for other professionals such as doctors, social workers and nurses to train as psychotherapists.

There are also other people who are interested in learning about treatment and who then attend what is called Step 1 in, for example, CBT. Then you can provide CBT at a more basic level. Then there are many alternative treatment methods and forms, they can also be helpful but there is not always much research done on them.

If you are in treatment with a licensed therapist, you also have certain rights if you are not satisfied. As a licensed person, you can be examined by the Inspectorate for Health and Care (IVO), which you cannot do if you are a coach or have another non-licensed professional title.

Online psychotherapy

It is possible to work with psychotherapy online via video and most of our psychologists and therapists at Lavendla receive digitally. You are welcome to book an appointment if you are in need of treatment. We make the difficult easier.


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12 common questions and answers about psychotherapy

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is treatment that aims to help individuals understand themselves and manage their emotions, thoughts and behaviors better to improve mental health.

How much does psychotherapy cost?

At Lavendla, the psychologists and therapists set the price. An individual therapy session with Lavendla’s therapists usually lasts 45 minutes and costs between 800-1300 SEK.

What can you get help with in psychotherapy?

Psychological treatment is based on psychology as a science and there is treatment for many different diagnoses and conditions. It could be depression, anxiety, stress, sleep problems, trauma, eating disorders, addiction or any other condition such as relationship problems.

How long does psychotherapy take?

The timeframe for a couple’s therapy process varies depending on the severity of the problem. A shorter period of therapy may be sufficient for some, while others need longer treatment. It can be anything from one session to two years.

What methods and techniques are used in psychotherapy?

Therapists use different methods and techniques to process thoughts, feelings and meet the client’s needs in different ways. The therapist may also give homework between sessions.

Can I take medication while undergoing psychotherapy?

It is common to receive psychotherapy in combination with medication, such as anti-depressants or sleeping pills. If you want to stop your medication, you can talk to your doctor.

How does treatment work?

The treatment itself can be structured according to a specific approach that has been shown to work, but it can also be adapted to the needs of the individual. If you are in group treatment, the therapy is often manual-based.

What does confidentiality mean?

If you work with psychotherapy and have a health care license, you have a duty of confidentiality. The professional may not disclose information about you to anyone else.

What is a licensed profession?

A licensed profession means that you have completed a training and practice period under supervision where you are quality assured by the National Board of Health and Welfare.

Can I do psychotherapy online?

It is possible to work with psychotherapy online via video and most of our psychologists and therapists at Lavendla accept digital sessions.

If I have not been treated well, where can I turn?

As a licensed practitioner, you can be investigated by the Swedish Health and Social Care Inspectorate (IVO), which you can also turn to as a patient.

Where can I turn if I need help?

At Lavendla, we have experienced psychologists and therapists who work with psychotherapy and can help you feel better. If you have thoughts of self-harm or suicide, contact your nearest emergency department.



Written by Ellen Lindgren

Licensed psychologist

Ellen is a licensed psychologist and has experience mainly in clinical psychology where she has worked with various conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, crises and trauma in primary care and psychiatry. She has also worked with research while studying in the US and with affective disorders and insomnia at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.