The objective of psychotherapy or “therapy” is the resolution of psychological conflicts that produce psychiatric symptoms that often result in a diagnosis as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5-TR).

These symptoms are created by emotional resentments that begin in childhood and become the core of your unconscious psychological defenses. While such defenses have an original protective purpose, if you continue to use them as an adult, you will find that these resentments will lead to feelings of victimization, hate, and self-sabotage that not only affect your mental health, but also your physical, social, and spiritual health. [1]

a woman on her laptop showing relief during a Psychotherapy session

Psychotherapy Techniques

for Treatment of Psychological Disorders

All of the psychotherapy techniques that I use are evidence-based, but the evidence does not just come from scientific experimentation; much evidence comes from ages of experience and wisdom.

Many various psychotherapy theories and techniques have been developed since the early 1900s when Sigmund Freud formulated the concept of psychoanalysis. [2] These techniques have one basic objective: to help us do the things we would like to do, but, by ourselves, cannot manage to do.

Some of these techniques are based in conscious, rational thought processes.


Cognitive-Behavioral [3]

techniques, for example, focus specifically on changing faulty or unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. Vocal, silent, and even written techniques may be utilized.

Teaching and Reasoning

are also forms of psychological healing, which has been a preferred method for many people who seek to understand ‘why’ they should change or how change can help them. Short stories, also known as storytelling, which illustrates a specific lesson, are one example. Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of communication.

Still, some psychotherapy techniques are necessary to get past resistance to change and we must reach deep into the unconscious part of the mind, well past a person’s conscious thought.

Guided Imagery

helps you visualize things that could or might occur so that you can achieve them or avoid them in the future.


can be interpreted to help you understand emotional elements of your life that you have not yet recognized consciously. [4]

Forgiveness Therapy [5]

can help you free yourself from the illusion of anger, which has controlled you, by growing in the desire and moral virtue of love.

  • I’ve read self-help books. How is psychotherapy different?
  • How long should I expect to be in psychotherapy?
  • What about privacy?
  • Do you use any other methods?
  • Are there any methods that you don’t use?
  • What about medication?

Psychotherapy can help you develop emotional awareness, which is a psychological tool. Psychotherapy is hard work. But, if you do it, you can learn to respond to any situation with emotional awareness and emotional honesty. Emotional awareness gives you the ability to respond honestly and appropriately to every moment of the present, so that you can recognize the difference between what you can change versus what you cannot change and choose an appropriate non-defensive, mature, and psychologically healthy response to your current feelings. Self-help books can be written by anyone, with or without any education or experience, and the author only writes in general terms. Psychotherapy is a process and the psychotherapist is supposed to act as an instructor, to teach you what you didn’t learn as a child, about your emotions so that you may understand yourself and others better, and develop healthy relationships.

I offer short-term and longer-term psychotherapy methods based on your goals and history, so that you may receive a personalized approach. Research indicates that client motivation and aptitude are the most important factors when determining success in psychotherapy. Therefore, I am unable to give you a general timeline until we have a chance to talk, and I fully understand your needs and level of commitment to the process.

It is normal to feel concerned about privacy and even receiving a diagnosis, as these can affect your ability to trust and your civil rights. This is why it is important that you seek help from a professional who understands these risks and will do whatever is within his or her limits to educate and protect you. I encourage you to read my Office Policies prior to contacting me for services, as it addresses some of these concerns in detail. If you still have questions or concerns, it’s good to talk about these in the first consultation and ongoing.

Yes. I use a number of different methods that I have found to be effective in providing psychotherapy and counseling, which I teach to clients in session so that they can use these techniques during session and in their daily lives. Trauma-informed techniques to help clients learn how to respond to ‘danger’ signals from the brain are very important. The integration of spirituality is also often important for many clients, which I may offer guidance if it’s an area that I have knowledge or experience.

Yes. There are some methods that I do not use because my experience with these methods has demonstrated one or two things. The first reason why I may not use a method is because I’ve already tried it and I’ve learned that it doesn’t work, even when I tried it many times with different clients. The second reason why I may not use a method is because of the potential risks involved, in my view, are too great of a risk to clients and I’m not willing to put my clients at risk with that kind of knowledge. I also do not believe in “fatalism”, in the sense that a person is stuck with their condition for the rest of their life no matter what they do such as personality disorders, nor do I believe that medication is the only answer for some disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar. So, I have invested a lot of time and my own money trying to find out what works and what doesn’t in order to help you and others heal. I continue to learn new ways to help my clients heal.

While I am not qualified to prescribe medication, it is part of my training. Sometimes people do use medications when they are experience psychiatric symptoms, but medications don’t really do anything except “suppress” the symptoms. If you choose to use medications, these should really only be used in combination with psychotherapy so that you can tolerate the difficult emotions that come up as you do the hard work that is necessary to heal. While many people who experience schizophrenia and bipolar or mania typically do need medication, I have learned a lot about these disorders and I have had several clients experience benefits from psychotherapy that could not be achieved with medication alone.


[1] Richmond, R. (1997-2023). About Psychotherapy and Psychological and Spiritual Healing. Catholic Psychology in association with A Guide to Psychology and its Practice. Retrieved January 14, 2023, from https://chastitysf.com/terms.htm#PSY. Copyright © 1997-2023 by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. Reproduced and adapted with permission by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. The material is copyrighted and may not be reproduced by any means.

[2] Jacques Lacan was a brilliant French psychoanalyst who understood the unconscious better than anyone to date. He masterfully refined many of Freud’s concepts and also developed many of his own. Yet, he is not as well-known as Carl Jung. Many psychoanalysts know who Jacques Lacan is and some are even familiar with his writings. Yet, many do not understand his work because his writings are complex and so they will often make the excuse that his writings are in “French” and have not been translated. This is untrue.

[3] Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy or Cognitive Therapy was originally developed by Aaron Beck, M.D. in the 1960s after he became absorbed in psychoanalysis and treating depression. He is regarded as “the Father of Cognitive Therapy” and “the Father of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy”. CBT and cognitive therapy have been researched in treating a wide variety of disorders including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, drug abuse, personality disorders, schizophrenia, many medical conditions with psychological components, and for clients who have had recurrent suicide attempts.

[4] Richmond, R. (1997-2023). Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Techniques. Catholic Psychology in association with A Guide to Psychology and its Practice. Retrieved January 14, 2023, from https://chastitysf.com/terms.htm#EBPT. Copyright © 1997-2023 by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. Reproduced and adapted with permission by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. The material is copyrighted and may not be reproduced by any means.

[5] Forgiveness Therapy as some people understand it, was originally developed by Robert D. Enright, Ph.D. in the early 1980s based on what is known as the “Enright Forgiveness Process Model”. My work started around that same time, yet my professional work with Forgiveness Therapy resulted in what is now known as 4Giveness+. The American Psychological Foundation specifically noted in 2022 that forgiveness is central to healing trauma.


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