A Guide to Different Types of Therapy

If you’re thinking of trying therapy, you might’ve already noticed the surprising amount of types available. Though some approaches work best for specific conditions, others can help with a variety of issues.

In therapy, you’ll work with a trained psychological state professional. What you’ll neutralize each appointment depends on the well-liked methods of your therapist and therefore the issues you’re looking to deal with .

You can expect to spend a while discussing how challenging situations, emotions, and behaviors affect your life.

Types of Therapy
Types of Therapy

This will likely involve working through some negative events or distressing thoughts. it's going to be difficult within the moment, but the top result's usually a happier, more fulfilling life.

Here’s a glance at some common sorts of therapy and the way to settle on which one is best for you.

Psychodynamic therapy

Psychodynamic therapy developed from psychoanalysis, a long-term approach to psychological state treatment.

In psychoanalysis, you'll expect to speak about anything on your mind to uncover patterns in thoughts or behavior which may be contributing to distress. It’s also common to speak about your childhood and past, along side recurring dreams or fantasies you would possibly have.

How it works

In psychodynamic therapy, you’ll work with a therapist to explore the connection between your unconscious and your actions. This involves examining your emotions, relationships, and thought patterns.

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Psychodynamic therapy are often a longer-term approach to psychological state treatment, compared to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other sorts of therapy. Traditional psychoanalysis is an intensive sort of treatment that folks can attend for years.Research suggests many of us still improve, even after they complete psychodynamic therapy.


Psychodynamic therapy could also be an honest choice for addressing:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • eating disorders
  • somatic symptoms
  • substance use disorder
  • a variety of other conditions

Behavioral therapy

Behavioral therapy may be a focused, action-oriented approach to psychological state treatment.

According to behavioral theory, certain behaviors develop from belongings you learned in your past. a number of these behaviors might affect your life negatively or cause distress.

Behavioral therapy can assist you change your behavioral responses.

How it works

In behavioral therapy, you won’t spend much time talking about unconscious reasons for your behavior or working through emotional difficulties.

Instead, you’ll specialise in ways to vary behavioral reactions and patterns that cause distress.

There are many subtypes of behavioral therapy, including:

Systematic desensitization. desensitization technique combines relaxation exercises with gradual exposure to something you fear. this will assist you slowly get wont to replacing feelings of fear and anxiety with a relaxation response.

Aversion therapy. In behavior therapy , you learn to associate the behavior you would like to vary with something that’s uncomfortable or unpleasant in how . This association may assist you stop the behavior.

Flooding. this is often almost like desensitization technique , but it involves facing your fears directly from the beginning , instead of gradually. If you've got a phobia of dogs, for instance , the primary exposure step could be sitting during a room of friendly, playful dogs. With desensitization technique , on the opposite hand, your first exposure step could be watching pictures of dogs.


Behavioral therapy could also be an honest option for addressing:

  • anxiety
  • phobias
  • substance use disorder
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • oppositional and defiant behaviors

behavioral issues that result from communication difficulties or emotional challenges

Cognitive behavioral therapy 

Cognitive behavioral therapy may be a short-term approach to psychological state treatment. It’s almost like behavioral therapy, but it also addresses unhelpful thought patterns or problematic thoughts.

The idea behind CBT is that certain feelings or beliefs you've got about yourself or situations in your life can cause distress.

This distress may contribute to psychological state issues, occur alongside them, or develop as a complication of other psychological state issues.

How it works

In CBT sessions, you’ll work on identifying patterns and learning more about how they could negatively affect you.

With your therapist’s guidance, you’ll explore ways to exchange negative thought patterns or behaviors with ones that are more helpful and accurate.

Like behavioral therapy, CBT doesn’t spend much time addressing past events. Instead, it focuses on addressing existing symptoms and making changes.

CBT often involves homework or practice outside the therapy session.

For example, you would possibly keep track of negative thoughts or things that trouble you between sessions during a journal. This practice helps to strengthen what you learn in therapy and apply your new skills to everyday situations.

There also are some subtypes of CBT, such as:

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). DBT uses CBT skills, but it prioritizes acceptance and emotional regulation. you'll expect to figure on developing skills to deal with distressing or challenging situations. you'll also find out how to simply accept and affect difficult emotions once they arise.

Rational emotive therapy. This approach helps you find out how to challenge irrational beliefs that contribute to emotional distress or other issues. the thought behind rational emotive therapy is that replacing irrational thoughts with more rational ones can improve your well-being.


CBT could also be an honest option for addressing:

  • mood disorders, like depression and manic depression 
  • anxiety and phobias
  • eating disorders
  • substance use disorders
  • OCD
  • insomnia
  • some symptoms of schizophrenia
  • CBT also can be very helpful surely conditions when combined with medication.

Humanistic therapy

Humanistic therapy is an approach that appears at how your worldview affects the alternatives you create , especially choices that cause distress. It’s supported the assumption that you’re the simplest person to know your experiences and wishes .

Humanistic therapists work to assist you better understand what you’re experiencing, offering guidance and support without interpreting your feelings for you.

How it works

Your therapist will assist you work toward the goal of living your most fulfilling life, largely by enabling you to be your true self. You’ll spend time exploring ways to grow and increase self-acceptance along side discussing the problems you’re handling .

Another important principle in humanistic therapy is unconditional positive regard.

This simply means your therapist will accept you, albeit they afflict you on some things. Humanistic therapy is especially useful for dealing with negative judgement (perceived or real) from others.

Generally, you’ll be the one directing the session. Your therapist will step in when needed, but otherwise they’ll be actively taking note of you, occasionally asking inquiries to ensure they understand what you’re saying.

Humanistic approaches to therapy include:

Existential therapy. during this philosophical approach to treatment, you’ll consider concepts like responsibility for your choices and your freedom to form choices. you would possibly spend time talking about what certain parts of your life mean to you and the way you would possibly find greater meaning in life.

Person-centered therapy. This approach works from the assumption that emotional distress may result when others criticize you or show disapproval for your choices or actions. this will make self-acceptance and growth difficult. Therapists offer acceptance, empathy, and guidance as you're employed on personal growth and positive change.

Gestalt therapy. With this approach, you’ll check out unresolved issues, like relationship and family conflicts, considering how they affect your emotional well-being. Gestalt therapy focuses on this moment and sometimes involves role-playing or acting out scenarios with movement or visualization.


Humanistic therapy are often useful for addressing:

  • self-esteem issues
  • difficulty dealing with chronic health concerns
  • effects of trauma
  • depression
  • relationship issues
  • substance use disorder
  • feelings of worthlessness or being lost in life

How to make a choice

With numerous options, it can feel overwhelming to plan to a selected quite therapy. If you receive a psychological state diagnosis from your healthcare provider, they'll have some recommendations supported your needs.

Ultimately, the selection is yours. confine mind that a lot of therapists use a mixture of techniques from differing types of therapy. It’s also perfectly normal to undertake one approach, find that it doesn’t work for you, and check out a special type.

Therapy are often difficult, no matter the approach you select . you would possibly feel uncomfortable or nervous about discussing psychological state symptoms and private thoughts with a stranger. This often gets easier with time.

Whether you’re having a difficult time in life or have a psychological state issue that causes serious distress, your therapist is trained to assist without judgment. If you don’t feel they're , hunt down a replacement therapist.

If you’re unsure where to start out , consider rummaging through the American Psychological Association’s database of therapists in your area. Most list the kinds of therapy they provide .

As you contact potential therapists, keep a couple of things in mind:

What issues does one want to address? These are often specific or vague.

Are there any specific traits you’d like during a therapist? for instance , are you easier with someone who shares your gender?

How much are you able to realistically afford to spend per session? does one want someone who offers sliding-scale prices or payment plans?

Where will therapy fit into your schedule? does one need a therapist who can see you on a selected day of the week? Or someone who has nighttime sessions?

Remember, it’s okay to change therapists or therapy types if one isn’t working for you. Keep trying until you discover someone who feels right to you.


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