[ sahy-koh-ther-uh-pee ]

noun,plural psy·cho·ther·a·pies.
  1. the treatment of psychological disorders or maladjustments by a professional technique, as psychoanalysis, group therapy, or behavioral therapy.

Origin of psychotherapy

First recorded in 1890–95; psycho- + therapy

Other words from psychotherapy

  • psy·cho·ther·a·pist, noun

Words that may be confused with psychotherapy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for psychotherapy


less commonly psychotherapeutics (ˌsaɪkəʊˌθɛrəˈpjuːtɪks)

/ (ˌsaɪkəʊˈθɛrəpɪ) /

  1. the treatment of nervous disorders by psychological methods

Derived forms of psychotherapy

  • psychotherapeutic, adjective
  • psychotherapeutically, adverb
  • psychotherapist, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for psychotherapy


The use of the techniques of psychology or psychiatry or both to treat mental and emotional disorders. The term includes psychoanalysis, as well as other forms of psychological therapy.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.