So often people say, “go to therapy” like it will solve all your problems. Therapy isn’t a monolith. There are more forms of therapy, all with their own benefits and treatment styles. The therapist also matters. Depending on the type of therapy you need and the kind of therapist that would work for you, there are a lot of moving parts. If you aren’t going to the right form of therapy, you won’t see results.
Whatever you are going through, finding the right form of therapy is essential. Whether you’re trying to change your behavior or cope with mental health issues, below is your guide to therapy in all its forms.
The most common form of therapy is psychotherapy, otherwise known as talk therapy. Psychotherapists don’t prescribe medications. Instead, they provide insight into the human mind, especially in relation to the ways that they develop. The job of the therapist is to listen and provide feedback by mirroring emotions and offering methods to help the person see their life in a new context.
Whether you are in psychotherapy because you need someone to talk to for an unbiased perspective or need to let off steam about your childhood, psychotherapy can be very helpful. Not just for individuals too. Talk therapy is great for couples and full families.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
When you are trying to change behavior, you need cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. CBT offers a range of methods to rework the mind’s patterns and therefore behaviors. It can help you a lot to work with a CBT specialist who can take you through specific exercises and thought experiments. CBT is helpful in all kinds of situations, including overeating, drug and alcohol addiction, sex compulsions, and much more. CBT is a great form of therapy for anyone who wants to change the way they’re behaving but are having a hard time doing so.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a form of therapy used to combat negative thinking patterns that occur in the mind. It is a form of CBT that focuses on self-harm, suicidal ideations, and other negative self-thoughts. DBT is very commonly used to treat teens and young adults, who are more prone to self-harm and suicide. DBT treatment Seattle, for example, provides treatment for these young people.
This type of therapy aims to alter thought patterns. Sometimes negative thoughts are inherently illogical, and pointing out the lack of logic can help patients change the patterns by stopping themselves every time they have one of these thoughts. DBT provides a framework to change the way you are thinking about yourself.
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing
Eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of therapy focusing on physical movements that have an impact on the nervous system and the brain’s response to trauma. EMDR is essentially a trauma therapy that can help rewire the brain’s response to external stimuli. If you have had trauma in the past, you know that you probably respond in a certain way to certain things.
EMDR can help you move beyond that. It can help you overcome the triggers that trauma results in. Furthermore, EMDR is very popular with people who don’t respond well to psychotherapy and aren’t interested in talking. With EMDR, you have a physical approach to trauma and a solution to move forward.
Of course, addiction has become one of the biggest problems in the United States. It’s not hard to figure out why. With the overall mental health in the country decreasing, the uncertainty about the future going up, and the ability to obtain powerful drugs becoming widespread, addiction has gone way up. Addiction counseling is always necessary when someone is recovering from addiction.
Whether it’s one-on-one counseling with a substance abuse expert or group therapy in the 12-step setting, detox isn’t enough. Long-term sobriety comes from working on those underlying problems that led to the substance abuse in the first place. Fore example, dual diagnosis is a form of therapy that is used to treat both the addiction and the underlying mental health issue. It has become a central aspect of addiction recovery.
Mindfulness therapy can be used in tandem with all the above forms of therapy. Mindfulness refers to the act of being completely present and in the moment. Mindfulness can be achieved in many ways, meditation and mindfulness therapy are probably the most effective. In this form of therapy, a therapist teaches you how to be in the moment. They can also provide grounding techniques to help you get into the moment.
When it comes to meditation, you start by sitting down and closing your eyes. Then, focus on your breathing. Allow your thoughts to wander but always bring them back to the present. When you do this every day for a specific time period, your brain will start to adapt. Being in the moment becomes a lot easier. Mindfulness helps you remember that most anxiety comes from living in the future and most depression comes from living in the past. If you can live in the present moment, you realize this moment usually isn’t so bad.
There is also the unavoidable connection between the body and mind. The groundbreaking book The Body Keeps the Score details the relationship between trauma and the body quite well, but it’s difficult to quantify in our daily lives. When we are struggling with physical symptoms to mental pain, the treatments are usually mental. However, physical therapy, occupational therapy, massage, and more can also help heal you.
Whatever you have been through and whatever you are going through now, there are so many benefits to therapy. When you find the right therapeutic avenue to go down, you may feel like a light bulb goes off in your brain. Still, putting in the hard work is necessary. Therapy takes time, no matter what form of it you are using. Some, like EMDR, only take a few sessions while others can last years. Whatever you choose, remember therapy is a tool to help you.