Psychotherapy is a set of techniques that can be used to address a variety of behavioral, emotional, or mental health issues. Techniques may include talking and reflective listening, cognitive reframing, counseling parents and caregivers, recommendations for behavior change, and for children, play therapy.   Psychotherapy may be practiced with individuals, families, groups, or couples. Gary Yorke, Ph.D. has been providing psychotherapy for over 20 years.

When should I refer to a Mental Health Professional?
If any of the following persists longer than two weeks:

• Restlessness and agitation

• Feelings of worthlessness and guilt

• Lack of enthusiasm and motivation

• Fatigue or lack of energy

• Difficulty concentrating

• Thoughts of death or suicide

• Sadness or hopelessness

• Irritability, anger, or hostility

• Tearfulness or frequent crying

• Withdrawal from friends and family

• Loss of interest in activities

• Changes in eating or sleeping habits

Immediate referral is warranted if someone is aggressive, suicidal, is abusing drugs or alcohol, or there has been an extreme change in behavior.


1) How do I decide if I need psychotherapy?
If an issue or symptom has been bothering you for more than two weeks, it may be appropriate to consider pschotherapy.  Typically an initial visit, called a Diagnostic Assessment, is completed first to determine in psychotherapy is appropriate.

2) What are some typical issues or symptoms that might indicate psychotherapy should be considered?
Any significant change in behavior or mood that lasts for more than two weeks suggests psychotherapy might be warranted. Other behaviors or symptoms that should be considered include: habits that can’t be stopped, obsessions or compulsions, panic or anxiety attacks, oppositional or defiant behavior, exteme sadness or anxiety, and substance abuse. This list is not exhaustive. An excellent resource is the NIMH website.

3) How long does therapy last?
Therapy can last from a few weeks to as long as a year, or more. The length of therapy is decided jointly by the client and the therapist.


Psychotherapy is the primary treatment modality used by psychologists. There are many types of psychotherapy. At Austin Behavioral Health Center we utilize a “prescriptive approach.” This means that the treatment modalities selected are tailored to the individual client and the issues they want to address.