[ sahy-koh-ther-uh-pee ]
/ ˌsaɪ koʊˈθɛr ə pi /

noun, plural psy·cho·ther·a·pies.

the treatment of psychological disorders or maladjustments by a professional technique, as psychoanalysis, group therapy, or behavioral therapy.

Nearby words

  1. psychosynthesis,
  2. psychotechnics,
  3. psychotechnology,
  4. psychotherapeutics,
  5. psychotherapist,
  6. psychotic,
  7. psychotogen,
  8. psychotogenic,
  9. psychotomimetic,
  10. psychotoxic

Origin of psychotherapy

First recorded in 1890–95; psycho- + therapy

Related formspsy·cho·ther·a·pist, noun

Can be confusedpsychiatrist psychologist psychoanalyst psychotherapistpsychiatry psychology psychoanalysis psychotherapy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for psychotherapy

British Dictionary definitions for psychotherapy


less commonly psychotherapeutics (ˌsaɪkəʊˌθɛrəˈpjuːtɪks)

/ (ˌsaɪkəʊˈθɛrəpɪ) /


the treatment of nervous disorders by psychological methods
Derived Formspsychotherapeutic, adjectivepsychotherapeutically, adverbpsychotherapist, 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

Word Origin and History for psychotherapy



1892 in modern sense, from psycho- + therapy, in model of French psychothérapie (1889). In early use also of hypnotism. Related: Psychotherapeutic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for psychotherapy


[ sī′kō-thĕrə-pē ]


The treatment of mental and emotional disorders through the use of psychological techniques designed to encourage communication of conflicts and insight into problems, with the goal being personality growth and behavior modification.psychotherapeutics
Related formspsy′cho•ther′a•peutic (-pyōōtĭk) adj.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Culture 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.