Psychology is the study of human behaviour, thoughts, emotions and interpersonal relationships. Among other things, its practice consists in identifying psychological disorders, and recommending and making interventions in order to maintain or restore the health of individuals, couples and families. The practice of this profession is made up of several aspects, including the prevention of social issues such as suicide.

Consulting with a psychologist can be very useful when a person is going through difficult times and their morale is impacted. In order to better respond to each person’s needs, five approaches can be used:

  • Psychodynamic-analytical: the emphasis is on the exploration of unresolved internal conflicts related to the past. The goal is to bring this past into the consciousness to help the individual break free of its influence (psychoanalysis, hypnosis, etc.).
  • Cognitive-behavioural: problems are considered to be a result of learnings and conditioning caused by the individual’s personal and social life. This approach focuses on uncovering thoughts and convictions that keep them into place and also to introduce new behaviours.
  • Existential-humanist: the focus is on the here and now and on personal responsibility. This approach aims at making individuals able to live with respect to their needs, hopes and values.
  • Systemic-interactional: the focus is on the context in which the problem presented itself. The solutions are designed to modify conditions that maintain dysfunctional behaviours and to develop new ways to interact (couple’s therapy or family therapy).
  • Social-community: this approach addresses socioeconomic, political and cultural factors related to the problem, and relies on collaboration with the community to intervene.

The main indications for psychology are:

  • Addiction (alcoholism, drugs, gambling, etc.)
  • Anxiety (panic disorder, phobia, obsession-compulsion, related to a situation or a state of health)
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Personality disorder
  • Eating disorder (bulimia and anorexia)
  • ADHD (attention deficit disorder, with or without hyperactivity)
  • Chronic illnesses (irritable bowel, arthritis, etc.) and pain management
  • Seniors with cognitive and behavioural disorders
  • Palliative care
  • Bereavement
  • Important reflection about the meaning of life
  • Couples conflict
  • Affective disorder in children (attachment)
  • Development of new lifestyles (eating, physical activity, sleep, etc.)


- Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult anxiety disorders: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials1, 2008. This study strongly supports the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy as an intervention for adults with anxiety in acute phase.

- The article La science penche pour la psychothérapie (Science leans towards psychotherapy)2, published in 2014 in the Web newspaper, mentions that psychotherapy is more efficacious than antidepressants in the treatment of depression.

Martin Moisan, M.D.
Kanesatake Health Center
12, Joseph Swan
Kanesatake (Québec)

1. Hofmann, Stefan G., Ph.D., Smits, Jasper A. J., Ph.D., Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult anxiety disorders: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. J Clin Psychiatry, avril 2008.

2. Dalpé, Yves. La science penche pour la psychothérapie, journal Web, 12 janvier 2014.

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