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Different Kinds of Therapy

Posted by arizonarecover on April 28, 2020

If you are on the hunt for a therapist or treatment program, you might want to contemplate which type of therapy will be the most beneficial to you. Considering the sheer number of the types of therapies available, it can be overwhelming to commit to a specific one. However, the good news is that a therapist or other licensed mental healthcare professional will likely be able to deduce what kind of therapy is most suited to your circumstances by speaking with you about what you are struggling with. Therapies are administered by mental health professionals who use strategies and tools to tackle their patient’s unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. What happens during the therapy session depends entirely on the approach chosen by the therapist and the issues that the patients are looking to address. 

Unfortunately, this might require you to bounce around to a number of different providers before finding the right one, as they will not be able to tell you what you need and if they can offer it to you without you having to sit through a session or two first. Learning about the different types of therapies out there can help you to narrow down which therapists you may want to test out based on what kinds of methods they use to treat patients. This article will serve as a guide to the different kinds of therapies and treatment methods that are out there so that you can be better informed about your potential needs!

Psychodynamic Therapy

In this type of therapy, the therapist tries to deduce a pattern between the patient’s unconscious mind and actions. The patient is expected to talk about their thoughts, however distressing it may be, along with any bad childhood memories or even fantasies. The therapist examines these emotions and weaves a pattern around it to help get it out of the patient’s head.

Psychodynamic therapy stands out to be the best when compared with other types of therapies. It has a long term effect on mental health, with an added benefit that the patient continues to improve even after their treatment is completed.

This type of therapy can be used to address anxiety, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, etc. 

Behavioral Therapy

Considered as an action-oriented approach to mental health treatment, behavioral therapy functions differently from what other therapies do. According to this, people develop behaviors from the things they have done in the past. The reason why, patients are not required to work through emotional difficulties and instead, they focus on changing patterns and behavioral reactions that cause distress. 

It has three subtypes – Systematic, Aversion, and Flooding. The first one gradually exposes the patients to something they fear, making it easy to replace the feelings of anxiety and fear with relaxation. Aversion includes making the patient learn to associate feelings of fear with something uncomfortable and unpleasant, which aids in stopping the behavior. Flooding is similar to a systematic approach, with the only difference being that the patient is required to face their fear directly from the start, and not gradually. 

This therapy is suitable for addressing issues like substance abuse, phobias, fear and anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), behavioral issues, etc. 

Humanistic Therapy

It is an interesting approach to deal with your unhealthy traits. The therapy focuses entirely on how your worldview affects the decisions you make, especially the ones causing distress. The therapists try to help you understand what you are experiencing without interpreting your feelings. 

During the session, the therapists ask the patients to work toward the goal of living a fulfilling life while being themselves. The patients grow and increase self-acceptance while also discussing the issues and problems faced. In this therapy, patients are more likely to drive the sessions and not therapists. The latter can intervene in between but only when they have a question so that they understand what the patients are saying.

Humanistic therapy is useful in depression, issues with self-esteem and past relationships, substance abuse, trauma, feeling of worthlessness, etc.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Though a short-term approach to treat mental health, cognitive behavioral therapy is good for addressing problematic thoughts and thought patterns that are solely responsible for causing distress. It works on the idea that certain beliefs and feelings about your own self can result in stressful thoughts, which may add to your existing mental health issues, or develop as a new and serious complication.

During the sessions, the patient works on identifying patterns responsible for creating unhelpful thoughts. The therapist guides their patients to replace their negative thoughts and behaviors with something accurate and more helpful. Like behavioural therapy, this one too does not spend too much time focusing on past memories. The process deals with what’s troublesome right now, and works towards improving it, which is the reason why CBT cannot be used to offer long-term mental health treatment. However, the techniques and coping skills learned through this process can definitely be applied to other problems that may arise in the future, so in this way it can be effective in the long-term as well.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy has two subtypes. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) focuses on acceptance and emotional regulation. The patient is expected to develop skills to cope up with their stressful emotions if and when they strike. Rational Emotive Therapy makes patients learn how to eliminate irrational beliefs that cause emotional distress. Replacing such thoughts with more rational, practical ones can improve a patient’s well-being. 

This therapy is suitable to address substance abuse, insomnia, anxiety, phobias, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorder, schizophrenia, etc. 

While these options may seem straightforward at first, choosing one therapy that suits you is really a daunting task. However, your healthcare provider may have some recommendations for you based on your mental health diagnosis. It can help narrow down the ones that are suitable for you based on your condition. 

Therapy is never going to be easy, regardless of the type you opt for. Sessions with your therapist will likely bring back painful memories, force you to face your fears, cause you experience traumatic events again, etc. However, a professional therapist can get you through all of this. They are trained to make you feel comfortable and provide help without judging you. 

However, which therapy to choose lies entirely on you. Certain therapists are using combined therapies to treat a wide range of mental health problems, while there are also those, who prefer practicing only one. You can also choose to go with one therapy, find out it isn’t working, then jump to another. This may cost you time (and money), but that way, you would know which ones helpful.