The Different Types of Therapy

Psychological therapy is intended to allow a non judgmental environment which allows the client and the therapy provider to work closely to achieve a mutually agreed set of goals.The number of sessions and the frequency will depend on your particular illness or situation,the severity of the symptoms,the rate at which you make progress, the amount of stress you are experiencing and the length of time you have been dealing with the situations. The types of therapies are:

Psychoanalytic Therapy

This type of therapy looks at how the unconscious mind is able to influence thoughts and behaviors. This involves the therapists spending time listening to the clients as they talk about their lives. The therapists believe that childhood events and subconscious feelings and thoughts are able to play a role in mental illness. This talking therefore enables them to look for patterns or events that are significant and may play a role in the client’s current situations. This therapy has two techniques which are:

  1. Free association where the client talks about anything that comes to mind. The client is also encouraged to associate between thoughts and ideas as the therapist listens and helps the client uncover thoughts and behaviors that they may not be aware of. This helps the therapist have a view of the unconscious mind of the client.
  2. Analyzing transference which happens when the client directs an emotion to the therapist, which is an emotion they feel toward someone else.

The benefits of this type of therapy is that the therapist is able to offer an empathetic and non judgmental environment that causes the client to feel safe thereby revealing their feelings.

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy

This type of therapy is aimed at changing the thought patterns of the client as well as to improve communication skills and increase self esteem. This is effective for clients suffering from depression and anxiety,clients who think and behave in a way that can trigger mental illness and those unable to take antidepressant medication. During the cognitive therapy treatment the client is taught how to recognize harmful thoughts and replace them with more constructive ones. The behavioral therapy will help the client overcome problems by changing the behavior. This therapy is of two different types which are:

  1. Dialectical therapy which teaches behavioral skills and assist in handling stress and managing emotions. This emphasizes that the feelings and behaviors of an individual are understandable.
  2. Rational emotive behavior therapy which focuses on the manner in which emotions affect thinking and actions. The aim is to help the client recognize that the intensity of negative thoughts can change the quality of thinking.

The benefits of this therapy is that the client’s thought patterns are changed to a more accurate thinking pattern.

Group Therapy

This is a form of psychotherapy where more than two clients work with one or more therapists. This method is popular with support groups. The aim is for the group members to learn from the experiences of others and offer advice. There are four types of group therapy which are:

  1. Psychoeducational groups whose aim is to have a therapist educate a group of people about a particular subject.
  2. Skills development groups which teach members skills that will be required for success in life. An example is a group struggling with a form of addiction might learn skills that will be important in abstaining.
  3. Cognitive behavioral groups help people develop new behaviors by helping change their thought life.
  4. Support groups help members deal with challenges that are associated with a specific situation.

The benefits are that the group members are able to provide support and a forum to help one another.

Interpersonal Therapy

This form of therapy is brief and focused and enables clients to closely examine their relationships with their family, friends and coworkers. The aim is to assist in resolving interpersonal conflicts and improving communication. In this type of therapy, the client may be asked by the therapist to role play important relationships. There are two types which are:

  1. Treatment of the acute period of depression through the elimination of the current depressive symptoms. This process occurs while the person is in depression.
  2. Maintenance treatment is a longer term form of therapy with the aim of reducing or preventing further depressive episodes.

Experiential Therapy

This therapy is aimed at helping the client distinguish healthy emotional responses from those that are harmful. The therapy is characterized by a relationship which is supportive and empathetic with the therapist. It consists of hypnosis, eye movement sensitization and psychodrama.

In conclusion the psychological therapy helps people:

  • Understand behaviors, emotions and any ideas that have a contributing factor to their illness.
  • Identify the life problems or events that contribute to their illness. The problems are a major illness,a death,loss of a job or a divorce.
  • Regain control of their lives.
  • Learn techniques on how to cope and also learn skills that will aid in solving problems.

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