Sometimes, we encounter an emotional struggle in life that we cannot seem to overcome on our own. Thankfully, there are psychotherapists available to help us navigate these challenges, with talk therapy being the most common form of psychological counseling. During these sessions, you and your therapist meet on a regular basis to discuss whatever you’re struggling with.
If talk therapy isn’t a right fit, your therapist has several tools at their disposal. The exact type or types of psychotherapy they will utilize depends primarily on your specific diagnosis. Continue reading to learn more about which type of therapy is best for you.
What are the different types of therapy?
As humans, we each have a unique psychological make-up, as well as a wide range of personality traits and life events that shape us. Your therapist is tasked with addressing the specific mental health issue you’re facing, while identifying unique aspects of your potential diagnosis. Once your therapist has conducted the intake interview, administered any assessments and reviewed your mental health and medical history, they will be able to create an individualized treatment plan.
Not all therapy, however, is conducted using a one-to-one format. In addition to individual therapy, there are group therapy settings, such as family-focused therapy, couples therapy or process group therapy options. Depending on your needs, your therapist can also integrate holistic therapies that are complementary to traditional psychotherapy. These might include guided meditation, mindfulness or yoga.
Which type of therapy is right for you?
When your therapist has decided which type of therapy is best for you, they have taken several things into consideration, like any goals you wish to address. These can include improving emotion regulation, taking a deep dive into your childhood or changing a dysfunctional behavior pattern. Therapies may be short-term in duration or may involve ongoing sessions that continue for months or years.
To determine which therapy is the best fit for you, consider these evidence-based therapies:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT combines thought-based elements with behavioral elements. CBT helps us understand how our thoughts impact our behaviors either negatively or positively — CBT aims to shift dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): DBT is another behavioral form of therapy that focuses on helping us achieve greater control over our emotions. The four focus areas of DBT include stress tolerance, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness and mindfulness.
- Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT): REBT is an offshoot of CBT, focusing more on changing negative beliefs and thought patterns. By identifying these thought distortions, our therapist can guide us toward developing healthy new thought patterns.
- Psychodynamic therapy: Our childhood experiences can have a profound impact on our mental health in adulthood. Psychodynamic therapy examines childhood traumas or dysfunctional family dynamics and helps us heal and move beyond those experiences.
- Interpersonal therapy: This is a type of short-term therapy that focuses on improving relationships. It can help with a specific relationship issue, such as marriage difficulties or going through a divorce. Interpersonal therapy can also have a broader focus, such as for someone experiencing difficulties in social settings.
- Motivation enhancement therapy (MET): MET is an excellent option when struggling with feelings of ambiguity about recovery. A therapist using MET helps you identify the thoughts and emotions behind the resistance and helps guide you through them.
Determining the most appropriate and effective therapy for you l depends on your specific diagnosis and any unique features or life circumstances involved. After making these observations, a skilled psychotherapist will select the therapy or therapies they believe to be the best fit.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders. Our programs are accredited by The Joint Commission, and result in frequent publications of ongoing research into effective treatment methodologies. We offer holistic care that encompasses the mind, body and spirit through inpatient and outpatient treatment, provide drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to transform and save lives through the science of medicine, the art of therapy and the compassion of spirituality, and is complemented by our philosophy of healing with respect and dignity. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call 866-313-6307.