Different Types of Psychotherapy.

The popular conception of therapy is that of the classic talk therapy; a client, a couch and a psychologist with a notepad and pencil in hand. While some approaches do utilize this method, there are numerous types of therapy that can be used to help a client overcome problems. In all cases, the goal of therapy is to provide a nonjudgmental environment that allows the client and therapy provider to work together towards a mutually agreed upon set of goals.

The following are just a few of the many different types of therapy available:

1. Behavior therapy.

This type of therapy focuses on helping the client understand how changing his/her behavior can eventually lead to changes in how they are feeling. Emphasis is made on focusing on increasing the person’s engagement in positive or socially reinforcing activities. This approach carefully measures what the client is doing and then tries to increase the probability that he/she has positive experiences.

Put simply, behavior therapy aims to substitute undesirable behavior responses with desirable ones.


2. Cognitive Therapy.

Cognitive therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses imagery, self-instruction, and other related techniques to alter distorted attitudes and perceptions. While there are many applications, it is most commonly thought of for the treatment of mental health issues.

How we feel is determined by what we think – this is the theory behind cognitive therapy. For example, if a person has depression it may be the result of having the wrong thoughts and/or beliefs. If these faulty beliefs are corrected then the client’s view of events and his/her emotional state may change for the better. According to several studies, people with depression often have erroneous beliefs about themselves – they may relate negative events to themselves without any evidence, they may see life situations in absolute terms (black and white), and they may see only the negative aspects of things and commonly distort the importance of particular events.

Put simply, the way we think about things affects how we feel emotionally. Cognitive therapy’s thrust is on our current thinking, behavior and communication, rather than looking into the past.

The cognitive therapist works with the client to confront, or challenge the erroneous thoughts by pointing out other ways of viewing situations. By doing this it is hoped that the client’s mood improves. Cognitive therapy has been found to be especially effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Benefits of Cognitive Therapy:

  • Enhance problem solving
  • Improve multitasking
  • Increase concentration
  • Develop communication skills


3. Family therapy.

Family therapy is used to address problems within the family dynamic and within the relationship between family members. Families may seek family counseling to help build a stronger family unit, cope with changes in a family, or seek assistance with parenting overly rebellious, depressed, anxious, or aggressive children. Couples and single parents alike face challenges in the management and maintenance of the emotional health of their family. This provides counseling for the entire family designed to set goals, identify root causes of conflict and smooth out volatile situations within a family.

Family therapy work often incorporates segments of individual, child, or couples therapy. Our family therapists can counsel families, large or small, in addressing issues that have previously caused conflict between family members, work through changes in the family structure, and open up lines of communication between family members. Some of our most frequent family counseling work is with:

  • Parent-Child Conflict
  • Parenting Adopted Children
  • Family Communication Problems
  • Parenting Step-Children
  • Defiant or Angry children
  • Grief and Loss
  • Isolated Teen Behaviors


4. Group therapy.

In group therapy there are usually between 6 to 12 clients and one therapist in a session. All the clients have related problems. The clients benefit from the therapist, and also by observing how other clients suffer and respond to feedback. Getting feedback from other people with related problems gives the clients a different perspective and is frequently helpful in triggering improvement and change.


5. Psycho dynamic therapy.

This is also called insight-oriented therapy. It focuses on the automatic processes as they are exhibited in a person’s current behavior. This type of therapy aims to increase the client’s self-awareness and understanding of the impact of the past on present behavior. It enables the client to take a good look at unresolved issues and symptoms that arise from past dysfunctional relationships and exhibit themselves in the need and desire to abuse substances.

Put simply, psycho dynamic therapy helps people understand the roots of emotional distress, usually by exploring unconscious motives, needs and defenses.

Psycho dynamic therapy is especially effective for people with complex mental disorders, personality and chronic mental disorders. It’s efficacious in treating panic disorder.



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