Types of Therapy: Which Should You Choose?
Are you in search of a therapist, and finding that there are a wide variety of types of therapy to choose from? What do they all mean? Which type of therapy fits which symptoms? It can definitely be a lot of information to digest, so today we’re going to go over some different types of therapy.
What Is Therapy?
According to the American Psychological Association during therapy, "Psychologists apply research-based techniques to help people develop more effective habits."
However, therapy is not just the work of the doctor, it’s also the time and effort put in by the patient. It’s seen as a collaborative effort that can really only work if the patient and therapist work together. The collaborative effort is supposed to help improve negative aspects of one’s mental health and provide the patient with the coping mechanisms needed to work on it in the future.
Benefits of Therapy
Therapy can benefit a wide variety of people with various issues. Whether you’ve already been previously diagnosed with a mental illness, or if you just need help coping with your day to day life, seeing a licensed therapist and/or psychologist can help.
Before looking into therapists, you have to decide what type of therapy would be best suited for your needs. To do this, you must have a better understanding of what the different benefits of each type of therapy are.
Different Types of Therapy
There are different types of therapy that all tend to have their own types of benefits. Knowing the benefits of each type of therapy can help determine which is best for you.
One type of therapy that you may choose from is psychodynamic therapy. This is a good type of therapy meant for long-term treatment. This uses the more traditional method of psychoanalysis to help uncover thought patterns and behaviors that could be negatively affecting your mental health. People can continue to benefit from the therapy even after they are no longer attending sessions.
According to Healthline, "In psychodynamic therapy, you’ll work with a therapist to explore the connection between your unconscious mind and your actions." It’s believed that the unconscious mind could be influencing your conscience mind as well as thoughts/actions.
This therapy can be good for treating substance abuse, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and other types of mental health issues.
Behavioral therapy is another type of therapy. This therapy is focused on changing behavioral responses that are negatively impacting one’s life. This type of therapy doesn’t focus on unpacking the unconscious causes of behaviors like psychoanalysis. There is a wide variety of types of behavioral therapy including aversion therapy, flooding and systematic desensitization. These methods can be used to treat anxiety, phobias, substance abuse, ADHD, OCD and oppositional/defiant disorders.
Humanistic therapy is a different type of therapy that one may consider. According to Healthline, "Humanistic therapy is an approach that looks at how your worldview affects the choices you make, especially choices that cause distress."
These types of therapists make it a point to not interpret your feelings for you. Instead, they try and help you work through what you’re feeling and offer guidance so you can interpret the feelings on your own. These sessions will often explore different ways to help yourself grow and to increase self-esteem as well as acceptance. Some types of humanistic therapy include existential therapy, gestalt therapy and person-centered therapy.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is another type of therapy that’s fairly common. This is used as a short-term form of treatment. This type of therapy addresses both thought patterns and behaviors. It helps replace negative thought patterns and behaviors with ones that tend to be more healthy.
With CBT, patients may be asked to perform tasks and keep track of their moods outside of the sessions. CBT is useful for treating individuals with depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, OCD and insomnia. There are also different types of CBT that can each be beneficial in their own unique ways; for example, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and rational emotive therapy.
Which Type of Therapy Works Best for You?
While you may find yourself benefiting from multiple types of therapy, it’s important to find which one is the best fit for you and your needs. Someone who is struggling with bipolar disorder may choose CBT, while someone who is struggling with a defiant disorder may want to pursue behavioral therapy. The choice should be based on your needs and the long-term goals you have for your treatment process. Once you figure out which type of therapy is best suited for you, you can start your search for a therapist.
If you’ve already been previously diagnosed by a psychiatrist or other medical professional, they may be able to provide some insight as to what type of therapy is best for you.