When you want help managing your mental health, whether you suffer from anxiety, depression, or other issues, figuring out where to begin can become overwhelming. The world of psychotherapy is pretty big and often confusing as all different types of therapies and treatments are available.
Of course, no single treatment method is right for everyone, which is why it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the most widely-practiced forms of therapy.
Consider this your quick guide to the different types of therapies.
Psychotherapy is an umbrella term for the various types of therapies out there. Having ‘psycho’ in the name can be misleading, as psychotherapy is simply defined as talk therapy. It’s also a therapy that can be used alone or with certain medications to treat mental health disorders.
Essentially, it requires you to see a licensed therapist to identify your troubling thoughts and triggers. Your therapist will evaluate your condition to give it a name and determine what the best course of treatment is.
One of the major benefits of psychotherapy is that it helps you to understand your own behaviors and emotions and which major life events or experiences led to them. In this understanding, it also helps you to learn healthy coping techniques and problem-solving skills so you can regain control over your mental health, life and its pleasures.
The following are the most common forms of psychotherapy and how they work:
Supportive psychotherapy works via therapeutic alliance – as in, the relationship between the individual and their therapist. The goal of supportive psychotherapy is to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, personality disorders, and other conditions by improving one’s self-esteem, restoring their relation to reality, and teaching them to regulate their impulses and negative thought patterns.
It also reinforces an individual’s ability to cope with everyday stressors and challenges so they may regain their voice and self-autonomy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a short-term therapy that’s also goal-oriented. It focuses on the link between thoughts (cognition) and actions (behavior). It’s a method of helping people change the thought patterns that lead to unhealthy, unproductive, and incapacitating behavior.
CBT is often used with individuals who suffer from anxiety, depression, phobias, and varying levels of stress. This would include individuals with substance use disorders or other addictions such as gambling, smoking, and even overeating.
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
IPT is another short-term form of therapy, and it focuses on cultivating skills for better communication and interpersonal effectiveness concerning existing relationships. The IPT method is also geared towards those with anxiety and depression who tend to blame themselves for everything that has gone wrong in their lives.
Essentially, IPT teaches individuals skills and techniques to help them heal themselves in order to heal their existing relationships.
Psychodynamic therapy emphasizes how certain life events, experiences, and relationships affect a person’s current life situation and choices. Its goal is to help individuals acknowledge and better understand their negative feelings and repressed emotions to resolve any internal psychological conflicts that keep them from moving forward.
This method of therapy is especially popular for people suffering from depression as it aims to improve life experience, self-esteem, and relationships.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
DBT is a form of CBT, with the primary aim of giving people the skills to accept themselves and live mindfully — as in how to regulate their emotions, handle stress effectively, and improve their existing relationships.
DBT was originally developed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder. However, it is effective for a variety of mental health conditions, especially for those with an inclination towards self-harm or uncontrollable intense emotions.
If you feel that therapy would help you, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists.