Who are they and what do they do? The psychotherapist is a psychologist who understands the mental processes which affect cognitive ability and emotional and interrelational behaviour, and is able to intervene in such processes, by means of suitable therapies.
What are the activities of the job? The job of the psychotherapist is to study human behaviour, facilitate the correct development of the personality and intervene in cases where psychophysical imbalances are caused. The work of the psychotherapist, depending on the circumstances, is directed towards individuals, groups, or communities. As well as providing "psychological support" his/her work will be devoted to research, experimentation and the development of more advanced treatments, in collaboration with other professionals who work in various fields.
Where is it done and under what conditions? The psychotherapist may work in both public and private institutions. As a freelance professional he/she may provide consultations for both individuals and for various institutions (nursing homes, retirement homes, schools and training centres, sports associations, and specialist health clubs which provide an holistic approach to physical and mental wellbeing). The working environment itself should be problem-free.
What tools/equipment do they use? Research evidence and research literature in the therapeutic field. Records of clients and of interactions with clients.
What do you need to succeed? A university degree or equivalent level of education is required. The psychotherapist's range of knowledge is wide and at the same time specialised. The professional preparation common to all psychotherapists is based on various principles concerning psychology, but the knowledge possessed by different psychotherapists varies according to the specialisation or particular school of therapy followed. A lot of importance is also placed on a knowledge of counselling and questioning techniques. Also essential is both a general and detailed knowledge of medicine and neurology. Above all the psychotherapist must possess the ability to relate to others professionally and he/she must be able to use different approaches (tests, questionnaires, interviews and other diagnostic and therapeutic exercises).