People have been dealing with emotional issues for ages, with the ancient Greeks being the first ones to speak about mental illnesses as a medical disorder. Their understandings were limited, though, and it took a few centuries before people understood how important, encouraging and consoling therapy was for the human mind.
The Middle Ages saw an even weaker awareness regarding how the mind worked, as torture was a popular cure for “demon possession.” Much later, the term “psycho-therapeia” was first used in 1853 by English psychiatrist Walter Cooper Dendy, and only towards the end of the 19th century, Sigmund Freud started to develop psychoanalysis, making important contributions to the field.
Over the next fifty years, doctors began using Freud’s methods of psychoanalysis in clinical practice. During the sessions, the therapist offered interpretations and tried to access thoughts or memories buried deep in the patient’s unconscious to help them move past them.
In the 1940s, Carl Rogers developed interpersonal therapy, a concept that focused on the relationship between the therapist and the patient, in which the former sends feelings of acceptance and warmth to the latter.
Around the 1950s and 1960s, many other types of psychotherapies emerged, such as psychodrama or guided imagery therapy.