Discover 6 Common Types Of Therapy And When To Seek Help

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Types Of Therapy

Life has twists and turns; sometimes, we need some help figuring things out. Therapy can help some people cope with stress, and build resilience. It may also address specific challenges you may be facing like anger management or anxiety. 

If you’re thinking about therapy, you may be curious what to expect. After all, there are several forms of therapy. The purpose of each is to help us understand ourselves better. The desired outcome is usually to live a more fulfilling life and begin thriving.

Because each form of therapy is unique, educating yourself can help you choose. Once you know more, you can evaluate what to look for in a therapist. You can also parse through options like the popular BetterHelp online therapeutic chat versus conventional, in-person therapeutic experiences.

Step one is educating yourself so let’s start to explore.

Understanding Why People Seek Therapy

Before learning about the types of therapy, who is a candidate? Why do people turn to therapy in the first place? 

There are various reasons and only some fall into neat little categories. Generally, if you are feeling unsatisfied, overwhelmed, stressed, or depressed, therapy may be able to help. If your emotions feel unstable at times or you experience rocky relationships, you may also benefit from therapy. 

Nearly any challenge in our lives has the potential to benefit from sessions with a therapist. However, there are some common motivations:

1. Mental Health Challenges: Therapy can help with challenges like anxiety, depression, and stress. Being in a safe space with a trained professional may benefit some people living with mental health concerns.

2. Relationship Issues: Whether it’s romantic, familial, or interpersonal, therapy can help navigate communication issues and conflicts. This may help some form healthier relationships.

3. Life Transitions: Major changes like career shifts or loss can be overwhelming. Therapy may aid in coping and personal expansion.

4. Self-Exploration and Personal Growth: Seeking therapy proactively supports personal development. It can be empowering to become curious about yourself. Therapy is more than just a place to seek help with challenges. It can be a place to explore self-reflection.

5. Trauma and PTSD: For those dealing with trauma, therapy may help them reduce stress and cope better. The right form of therapy for PTSD and trauma can help some process and heal from emotional wounds.

6. Addiction and Substance Abuse: Therapy is often crucial in supporting individuals dealing with addiction. In these cases, therapy may aid in understanding behaviors and working toward recovery.

7. Workplace Stress: Coping with high stress at work is challenging. So many people face this condition in their lives. Sometimes, it helps to talk about it and strategize. Therapy can help some find a healthier work-life balance.

8. Identity Exploration: Therapy can offer a non-judgmental space for individuals to explore aspects of identity. Identity exploration may include gender, sexuality, or cultural identity.

9. Difficulty Coping with Daily Life: Therapy often supports those overwhelmed by daily challenges. If therapy can help you develop effective coping mechanisms, you may find relief.

10. Lack of Clarity or Direction: Feeling lost in life is common. Therapy may assist with clarifying goals, values, and aspirations. People may discover a more purposeful life through therapy for lack of clarity.

Types Of Treatment You May Encounter

If you are exploring therapy, you may encounter a few common styles. Knowing what to expect can empower you.

One part of evaluating your therapy experience is becoming familiar with the different types of therapy. It may help you choose the right type of provider. It may also help you feel more comfortable with the process.

While this is not a comprehensive list, it explains some of the most common forms of therapy today.

1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Changing How We Think

A popular type of therapy is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It helps by recognizing and challenging negative thoughts and behaviors. When we understand how our thoughts affect our feelings and actions, we can develop healthier ways of coping. CBT is great for tackling issues like anxiety, depression, and stress.

2. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): Mindfulness in Action

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focus on mindfulness—accepting thoughts and feelings instead of trying to control them. By aligning our actions with our values, we can work towards a more meaningful life. ACT helps with issues like anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.

3. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): Balancing Change and Acceptance

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with mindfulness. It’s about balancing acceptance and change. Its history lies in borderline personality disorder treatment. However, it’s now considered effective for various conditions. DBT may help with emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance.

4. Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): Navigating Relationships

Relationships can be tricky, and that’s where Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) comes in. It explores communication and relationship dynamics. These factors can be useful for dealing with depression or interpersonal issues. IPT may help us improve how we communicate and build healthier relationships.

5. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): Healing from Trauma

Many people who have experienced trauma have found profound relief through Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). It involves guided eye movements while recalling distressing memories. This can help to reduce the emotional impact of traumatic experiences.

6. Treatments Under Study: New Approaches on the Horizon

In the ever-evolving world of mental health, researchers are exploring new therapeutic approaches. From neurofeedback to psychedelic-assisted therapy, these treatments under study show promise for the future of mental health care.

While this is not a reason to delay seeking help now, it is encouraging to know that options continue to grow, delivering a future that seems bright with ways to help more people live fulfilling lives.

Using This Information To Your Benefit

Therapy comes in many forms, and the decision to seek support is a commendable step toward better mental health. Therapy may also foster personal growth and an improved overall well-being. Whether addressing specific challenges or embarking on a journey of self-discovery, therapy can offer a confidential and supportive space for healing and positive change. 

You can use this article as a starting point to explore types of therapy. This may help you feel more confident as you venture into the journey toward mental health improvement. This may also spark a desire to learn about a specific modality that could be right for you.

By Melissa L. Walker, Guest Post Writer for

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