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Diagnose Symptoms and Indications for Psychotherapy

Abstract: What are the diseases for which a psychological treatment (i.e. psychotherapy) is indicated?

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Diagnose Symptoms and Indications for Psychotherapy

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Written by: Fabio Piccini, doctor and Jungian psychotherapist, in charge of the "Centre for Eating Disorders Therapy" at "Malatesta Novello" nursing home in Cesena. Works privately in Rimini and Chiavari. E-mail:

First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 22 Jul 2008.

What are the diseases for which a psychological treatment (i.e. psychotherapy) is indicated? Can psychoterapy help with stress management? How can I diagnose symptoms and indications for psychotherapy?


The indications for psychological treatments are usually classified according to the diagnosis of the problem or by the actual presenting complaint.

For example, psychological treatments are indicated primarily for neuroses (acute and chronic), personality disorders, sexual problems, reactions to stress and life crisis.

Psychological treatments may also be useful in the treatment of psychosomatic disorders, psychological reactions to physical illnesses, habit disorders (such as substance or alcohol abuse, eating disorders, gambling, etc.) and in the emotional and conduct disorders of children.

Psychological treatments may also contribute to the general management of people who are mentally handicapped and to the management (during remission) of non-organic mental psychosis.

Factors for good outcome of any psychological treatments need to be known before engaging in such a therapy.

Such factors are: motivation, ability to verbalize one's feelings, capacity to tolerate frustration, willingness to examine one's experience in psychological terms, and finally, the wish to change.

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