In a country like India, where mental health is taboo, thinking of starting therapy to improve your mental condition is a commendable step in itself. With therapy, you can work on resolving your mental and emotional issues by diving into your interior world and unpacking your story before a licensed and trusted professional. So, it is time to applaud yourself, as it's a wise move to decide to develop a closer relationship with yourself if you want to manage your physical and mental health efficiently.
But before you decide on a therapist, it could be helpful to understand the different treatment approaches they may employ. After all, knowing what you seek to gain from the therapeutic experience would not hurt. And you may have already seen the surprisingly wide range of options. While some approaches are more effective in certain situations, others might be helpful for various issues.
In therapy, irrespective of the treatment approach, you can expect to spend time discussing your life and its challenges with your therapist. You'll also learn to cope with difficult circumstances, unpleasant feelings, and upsetting thoughts so that, in the end, you may lead a better and more fulfilled life.
So, to help you better understand the different approaches and how they can suit your individual needs, listed below are some of the most popular forms of therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is evidence-based and one of the most well-known psychological treatments. It is asuccessful talk therapy technique for addressing a range of mental health conditions. Frequently employed by psychologists and therapists, it focuses on how people's cognitions affect their thoughts, behaviors, emotional responses, and actions.
The goal of EMDR treatment is to reduce the distress brought on by upsetting memories. It involves remembering a particularly traumatic event while responding to a side-to-side visual stimulus provided by the therapist. The subsequent lateral eye movements can assist in lowering the emotional intensity of the memory, allowing it to be safely addressed.
This evidence-based and time-limited practice believes that relational deficits impact mental health. Simply put, IPT demonstrates that signs of depression and other mental illnesses may manifest following a distressing change in one's social environment. Strong attachments are encouraged in this treatment to improve and enhance interpersonal functionality.
Eclectic therapy is a client-centered, evidence-based therapeutic approach. It is commonly referred to as multi-modal or integrative therapy. It employs an eclectic strategy or a variety of psychological theories to customize treatment to each client's unique requirements and situations. Thus, eclecticism incorporates various theories and viewpoints rather than concentrating on and sticking to a particular strategy.
Behavioral Therapy aims to recognize and assist in changing potentially harmful or unhealthy behaviors. It is based on the notion that all behaviors are taught and can be changed. The therapy frequently focuses on current issues and solutions.
To treat emotional and behavioral issues, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy identifies prevalent irrational ideas and destructive thought processes. The therapist will work with you to create techniques to replace these long-standing beliefs with healthy, constructive thought patterns.
Schema therapy focuses on the maladaptive thinking patterns known as schemas, which can lead to inappropriate conduct or difficulties in maintaining healthy adult relationships. It aims to assist the client in recognizing their behavior, comprehending the underlying causes, and altering their thoughts and behaviors to improve their capacity to manage relationship difficulties or emotions in a healthy and productive way.
This treatment was originally developed to address major depressive disorders and prevent relapse in depression. It focuses on basic mindfulness practices like meditation, present-moment awareness, and breathing exercises. Unlike CBT, it does not place as much emphasis on changing thoughts. Instead, the emphasis is on changing how people perceive thoughts and the connections between thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction is a meditation therapy. It is an eight-week course that teaches participants how to incorporate mindfulness into their daily lives. It is a flexible and adjustable strategy that effectively lessens daily stress. The two fundamental components involved are yoga and instruction in mindfulness meditation.
DBT emphasizes emotional control, mindfulness, and embracing uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. Using DBT, a therapist can assist a client in striking a balance between change and acceptance. A therapist can impart new skills to a patient using DBT, such as improved coping mechanisms and mindfulness exercises.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is an action-oriented approach to psychotherapy. In this, clients learn to stop ignoring, denying, and struggling with deeper emotions. Instead, they learn that these are normal reactions to certain circumstances and shouldn't stop them from moving on in life. With this understanding, clients start to embrace and accept their struggles and resolve to adjust their behavior as needed.
Cognitive Analytic Therapy is a time-limited therapy. It examines past experiences and events to understand why someone feels, thinks, and behaves in a certain way before assisting them in problem-solving and creating new coping mechanisms.
Grief Therapy is intended to assist you in processing and coping with a loss, regardless of whether it was the loss of a friend, relative, pet, or another aspect of your life. It may provide a means of coping with painful events constructively. The strategies used provide direction and helpful tools for handling loss.
Emotionally Focused Treatment is a short-term therapy that emphasizes attachment and bonding in adult relationships. To move the relationship on a healthier, more constructive path, the therapist and clients examine relationship patterns and take action to strengthen them and increase their trust.
Solution Focused Brief Therapy is one of the most frequently used treatments. It differs from traditional methods that spend time analyzing problems, pathology, and past life. Rather, to provide speedy and pragmatic solutions, SFBT focuses on finding solutions in the present and examining one's hope for the future.
Gestalt Therapy is one of the most common existential, person-centered, and humanistic therapy types. This technique helps clients focus on the present to comprehend what is truly happening in their life at this time and how it makes them feel in the moment instead of what they might imagine is happening based on past experiences.
Applied Behavior Analysis aims to understand how behavior works, how it is affected by the environment, and how learning takes place. The goal of this treatment approach is to encourage helpful behaviors through positive reinforcement, while simultaneously decrease negative and harmful behaviors.
This treatment involves the incorporation of art and psychology to treat mental health conditions. It includes expressing thoughts, experiences, emotions, and feelings using a variety of artistic mediums, such as journaling, sketching, sculpting, etc. All of these forms are employed as a means of expressing emotions.
ABT is a form of psychoanalytic psychotherapy founded on the study of attachment theory. It explores how one’s childhood experiences might impact their ability to form meaningful relationships as adults. ABT helps rebuild trust and a sense of security in relationships which can help prevent or treat mental health conditions as well.
A therapeutic modality developed by Alfred Adler, Adlerian Therapy is a humanistic and positive therapy. It focuses on how individual personality is developed in the context of a person’s interconnectedness with society.
This therapy uses sensors linked to your body to measure key bodily functions. Through this, you can learn more about the way your body functions. With this knowledge, you might be able to address health issues and gain better control over some bodily systems.
As the name suggests, experiential therapy requires the client to delve into a certain experience. By using certain tools and techniques to re-enact and recreate these experiences, this therapy can help bring greater awareness to the client. It helps individuals analyze and release negative thoughts and come up with better coping mechanisms.
Informed by the existential philosophy, this therapy focuses on the client’s approach in relating to the world. It believes that difficulties arise as a result of an individual’s confrontation with the conflicts of their existence. As a result, existential therapy emphasizes human capability and freedom of choice.
This treatment approach consists of two components. The exposure part refers to confronting the thoughts and situations that trigger the client’s obsessions, anxieties, or fears. The response prevention refers to voluntarily choosing not to indulge in compulsions.
This therapy teaches clients to gradually approach and face situations that trigger their fears or trauma-related memories. It aims to make the clients realize that these fears and memories are not dangerous and do not necessarily need to be avoided.
Family therapy is a form of psychological counseling that can make significant changes in the lives of families experiencing distressing situations. It teaches the clients to communicate better, work through interpersonal relationships, and resolve conflicts.
This therapeutic approach takes the family system as an emotional unit. It believes that individual behavior must be taken into consideration from the context of the family.
This is a type of psychotherapy that addresses the problems in functioning within the family. The therapist “joins” the family unit and tries to understand the rules governing the family, map the relationships within the family, and ultimately reform dysfunctional relationships by reinforcing healthy patterns of interaction and communication.
This is a form of talk therapy that focuses on the individual nature of every person. It emphasizes their positive character traits and behaviors and how these can help them make rational choices to reach their full potential.
This is a mind-body intervention that uses hypnosis to reach a trance-like state. Here, the client has a heightened awareness, focus, and concentration, which helps them stay more calm and composed. This can further help them gain control over undesirable thoughts and effectively cope with mental health conditions.
Also referred to as analytic psychology, this therapeutic approach emphasizes helping people find their true selves by getting in touch with their unconscious mind. This therapy ultimately aims to bring a balance and union between the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind.
The relationships of a person, within and beyond their family, influence their behavioral patterns. In marriage and family therapy, the unit of the treatment isn’t just the individual but the entire set of relationships that may have influenced them.
This form of counseling is aimed at people who have ambivalent feelings about their positive behavioral changes. It is a client-centered approach that helps individuals find internal motivation to resolve those ambiguous feelings and insecurities around change.
NLP uses concepts from neuropsychology, linguistics, and behavioral pattern establishments to help understand and control human behavior. NLP therapists can use this program to influence the behaviors of their clients by promoting self-confidence, developing better learning and communication skills, and helping them achieve higher productivity.
Play therapy can be used by engaging in imaginative or other sorts of play. It gives children a safe space to express their emotions while equipping them with emotional regulation tools. Children respond best to play therapy because they frequently find it difficult to express their feelings, emotions, and concerns, especially after a significant loss. Thus, to aid the process, play therapy can be helpful as it gives them the means to express themselves.
This non-verbal therapeutic intervention uses a sandbox, water, or toys to recreate an image of an external world that reflects an individual's thoughts, emotions, and internal conflicts. This provides a safe space for the expression of the inner symbolic world of the client.
This type of in-depth talk therapy aims to bring the unconscious or deeply suppressed thoughts and feelings to the conscious. It does so to examine and analyze them to resolve present conflicts.
This talk therapy emphasizes that discussing issues can help people learn and develop the abilities required to deal with them. It is a strategy that considers all the facets of a person's life. It aims to aid people in comprehending the frequently hidden or unconscious reasons behind challenging emotions and behaviors. This understanding can help them feel better, reduce their symptoms, and make better decisions.
The Gottman Method is an evidence-based form of couples therapy. It helps couples develop a deeper sense of understanding, awareness, empathy, and closeness within their relationships, eventually leading to increased intimacy and interpersonal growth.
Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is a form of evidence-based psychotherapy or counseling. It attempts to meet the needs of children, adolescents, and their families struggling with PTSD and other issues associated with traumatic life events.