Every year, about one in every three Americans will suffer from some form of mental illness. There are many different treatment options for people who have mental illnesses. The most commonly used treatment option by far is psychotherapy. Over 75% of patients with a severe mental illness receive psychotherapy alone or with medications to treat their conditions. Psychotherapy is generally divided into two primary categories: psychodynamic therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Psychodynamic therapy focuses on resolving unconscious conflicts that may be behind the symptoms of mental illness, while CBT focuses on helping patients deal more directly with the symptoms. This article looks at some of the most common problems that may respond to psychotherapy in Irvine.


Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in Irvine. It affects people from all walks of life and has been estimated to affect about 22.2 million Americans, or about 9.5% of the population every year. While there are many different forms of depression, major depressive disorder (MDD) is among the most common and generally requires treatment with psychotherapy. The most common form of therapy used to treat depression is CBT, and studies have shown it to be practical about 80-90% of the time. Some therapists will combine CBT with other forms of therapy, such as psychodynamic or interpersonal therapy.

Anxiety Disorders

Another prevalent type of mental illness that you may treat with psychotherapy is an anxiety disorder. These are much more common than you might think, affecting about 40 million American adults or about 18% of the population in Irvine. The most common anxiety disorders are specific phobias, social phobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). All three of these can be treated with CBT, either alone or with other therapies. The best results for this type of therapy are generally obtained when therapists combine CBT with exposure therapy.

Behavioral Disorders

While CBT is the most common form of psychotherapy used to treat Anxiety Disorders and Depression, you may also use several other forms. With psychotherapy, you can successfully treat behavioral disorders such as addiction, sexual disorders, and eating disorders. Many therapists will use a combination of therapies for these types of mental illnesses because they often have overlapping causes and effects. For example, you may combine behavioral treatments such as CBT with psychodynamic therapy to help patients deal more directly with the root causes of their behaviors.

Low Self-Esteem

Finally, many people with behavioral disorders or mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse suffer from low self-esteem. Particularly in Irvine, California, this is often the result of chronic stress, difficulty forming healthy relationships, and general dissatisfaction with one’s life. Psychotherapy can be highly effective for these conditions because it helps patients gain a better perspective of themselves and their problems. Psychologists use both CBT and psychodynamic therapy for this type of problem. In addition, family therapy involving the patient’s parents or significant others can also be helpful.

In summary, psychotherapy is an increasingly popular treatment option in Irvine because it works for many different types of mental illnesses. Some of the most common problems treated through psychotherapy include low self-esteem, depression, behavioral disorders, and anxiety disorders.