While we still have a great deal of progress to make, society’s understanding of mental health and mental health treatments have come quite a long way in the past few decades.
What was once discussed in a hushed whisper is now a topic grabbing worldwide attention. No longer is therapy a dirty word.
If you’re interested in therapy, be it to benefit your body and mind, you’re not the only one. According to Psychology Today, more than 59 million people, or roughly 27% of adults, seek therapy of some kind.
This is certainly something to be applauded. However, those entering therapy for the first time may feel intimidated.
What’s the right course of therapy for you? Well, there’s no easy answer to that. Since everyone has different needs, we recommend you continue reading as we detail 10 popular different types of therapy.
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is likely the most common type of therapy on this list. Generally speaking, unless you seek out a specialist, most psychologists you come across will practice some form of CBT.
CBT is so commonplace for a pretty good reason, too.
While conditions such as depression and anxiety aren’t often ‘curable’ in a traditional sense, CBT offers patients solutions for the everyday problems that plague their lives by looking at how they view the world.
The thought is that how we view the world — whether unconsciously or consciously — has a major impact on how we live our daily lives.
For example, under the CBT model, someone who often displays a pessimistic outlook is likely going to cause the patient to shrink back from society or expect the worst in people.
The doctor would then work with the patient to understand why they view the world in a negative light and encourage more positive interaction.
2. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
While CBT is often helpful for the general population, certain patients may benefit from specialized assistance, such as a dialectical behavior therapist.
Like CBT, DBT focuses on emotions and their impact on our surroundings. But that’s about where the similarities end.
DBT focuses on assisting younger patients such as children or adolescents as they begin to navigate increasingly complex emotions such as stress, anger, or sadness.
This is accomplished through an emphasis on mindfulness, recognizing and tolerating stress, and expressing one’s emotions in a healthy, productive manner.
It is worth noting that while DBT is aimed at helping children and the like, it has its benefits for adults, as well. Particularly those with anger issues or patients who struggle with substance abuse.
Individual therapy sessions are often paired with group skills sessions so patients can put their work into practice.
3. Family Therapy
As the saying goes, you can’t choose your family, no matter how badly you wish you could. The fact of the matter is that our families have a tremendous impact on how we view the world — which is both a positive and a negative.
If a parent has poor coping skills or untreated mental illness, this can have a direct impact on the child, either directly or through confrontation with their other parent.
Family therapy is a fantastic way to explore those feelings, however rough they may be, in a constructive and controlled environment.
Sessions are often split into two sections. Generally, a psychologist will talk to each family member alone to put them at ease and pick their brain. Then, the family unit comes together to explore and address their issues together.
It can be contentious and uncomfortable, to say the least, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t helpful. In fact, family therapy can be a great way to learn how to better communicate with those closest to you.
4. Couples Therapy
Over the years, you’ve no doubt heard all sorts of alarming statistics on the failure rate of most relationships. But the fact of the matter is that divorce isn’t the only option. In fact, divorce rates are steadily declining.
Many believe that one reason why divorce rates are decreasing may be due to an increased willingness to attend couples therapy.
Couples therapy is a bit like family therapy. Often, the doctor will address patients individually before the partners come together for a group session and address their issues.
Of all the types of therapeutic interventions, couples therapy is often the best way to deal with issues such as infidelity, sexual incompatibility, and mistrust.
Yet couples therapy isn’t only for those on the verge of a breakup. Counseling is a fantastic choice for those who want to learn more about their partner’s communication style.
It’s a fantastic option for couples who want to strengthen their marriage before it even begins.
5. Hypnosis Therapy
Of all the kinds of therapy, hypnosis therapy is perhaps the most mysterious. For years, people have wondered whether hypnosis is a legitimate form of therapy.
But after years of investigation and consideration, many believe that hypnotherapy can be a fantastic resource, especially when paired with a more traditional form of therapy such as CBT.
The belief is that putting a patient into a hypnotic state allows them to explore their emotions and painful memories without causing distress.
It’s a wonderful tool for those who have experienced past traumas such as abuse or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Of course, hypnotic therapy can also get a bit unconventional, too. Case and point, quantum healing hypnosis therapy, or QHHT.
This unique form of therapy is unlike anything you’ve ever heard of. If you believe in past lives or out of body experiences, QHHT may be for you.
Learn about past life regression with QHHT(R) by following the link to see what this exciting form of therapy is all about.
6. Group Therapy
Not all patients feel comfortable in one-on-one sessions with a therapist, especially if they’ve yet to find the right therapist. For some, they may feel trapped or like they have no idea what to say.
Group therapy is a great middle-step between traditional CBT and DBT, so if you fall into the category above, understand that you still have plenty of treatment options.
Group therapy not only puts some patients at ease, but it can help you heal through the experiences of others.
A group session is so much more than a few people sitting in a circle talking about their problems. It’s about healing together and bonding through your traumas.
7. Psychodynamic Therapy
Psychodynamic therapy is a subsect of talk therapy, where the patient and doctor focus on thoughts and feelings in the patient’s unconscious.
It’s often less intensive than other forms of therapy, such as hypnosis therapy, and relies on the patient’s willingness to explore his or her hidden emotions.
If that sounds Freudian, it’s because it is. Freud was actually one of the principal theorists of psychodynamic therapy.
8. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Most CBT deals with the patient’s day-to-day life and how they interact with the world. But if a patient has experienced extreme trauma, standard CBT isn’t always the most effective treatment method.
In those circumstances, patients are encouraged to seek trauma-focused CBT.
Sessions are less focused on the here and now in favor of understanding the patient’s trauma and how it’s impacted their worldview. As a result, trauma-focused
CBT is a bit more intensive than most other forms of therapy on this list.
Patients are often encouraged to attend multiple sessions per week, as exploring the emotions associated with trauma can be difficult and painful for most.
9. Art Therapy
Sometimes it’s hard to put our emotions into words. That’s why art therapy is such a great tool.
If you’re someone who struggles with verbally expressing their emotions, why not learn to paint, draw, or even sculpt those feelings?
Since a career in art therapy requires a special certification, art therapists are often artists themselves who can help you do something constructive with those potentially harmful emotions.
10. Exposure Therapy
Be it heights, spiders, snakes, or public speaking, we’re all afraid of something. But what if there was a way to gradually decrease that fear?
That’s exactly what exposure therapy aims to do. By exposing patients to the very thing they’re most afraid of (in small doses, mind you), patients can overcome any number of fears.
And no, that doesn’t mean you have to go to the top of the Empire State Building. Thanks to technology, there have been some pretty cool advances in exposure therapy, such as a virtual reality program that lets the player select their level of exposure.
Try These Different Types Of Therapy For A Better, More Fulfilled Life
Therapy is a fantastic way to deal with past traumas, buried emotions, or simple communication issues. At the end of the day, everyone could stand to benefit from some type of therapy, even if it isn’t one of the different types of therapy listed here.
What’s most important is that you understand that you’re not alone. If you’re struggling with your mental health, find help. There are plenty of great resources to help you anytime you need it.
Are you looking to better support a loved one with depression? Make sure you’re not doing more harm than good by consulting our article on what not to say to a depressed loved one.