Difference between short term and long term psychotherapy?
Manualized treatments are usually considered short-term, as they may consist of a specified number of therapy sessions. These treatments generally focus on one or two problem areas and not global personality functioning. Both short-term and long-term psychotherapies focus on the reduction of emotional (e.g., stress) and social distress (e.g., isolation) and psychiatric symptoms (e.g., depression). In addition to symptom reduction and fostering more adaptive health beliefs about pain and coping strategies, longer-term therapies may be more intensively focused on past developmental traumas and disruptions. A patient with a history of trauma will usually require a longer-term treatment model. For these patients, it is not only symptoms of distress but also patterns of behavior and adjustment that are the focus. In addition, conscious and unconscious conflicts that may underlie patient motivation, levels of medical engagement, psychiatric and personality structures that influence the trajectory of the pain condition, and meaning of suffering are areas of focus for longer therapies. There is some evidence that suggests short-term treatments are more effective in improving work ability in a shorter time span relative to longer-term therapies, but lacking the long-term effectiveness of long-term therapies.