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An Ultimate Guide to Therapy Approaches
Therapy is a form of treatment that helps individuals resolve emotional and mental distress and improve behavioral & thinking patterns for the better. There are many different approaches to therapy and different kinds of therapy work for different people. This blog gives a brief overview of the different kinds of therapy approaches. The approach to therapy has a significant impact on the therapeutic relationship and therapy outcomes. Make sure to understand different approaches to therapy and choose a therapist who practices an approach that resonates with you. To learn more about how to find a therapist check out my blog on the same.
Cognitive behavioral therapy:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on a person’s thoughts and emotions and the resultant impact on behavior. A CBT therapist works with clients to uncover unhelpful thought patterns that may be perpetuating self-destructive behaviors. The therapist and client together curate constructive ways of thinking which may help change behaviors and the overall quality of one’s life. CBT has been found to help treat various mental health concerns including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and post-traumatic disorder among others.
Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy:
Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) is a kind of behavioral therapy that identifies four core irrational beliefs that lead to unhealthy patterns of thinking and behavior. After identifying the core belief an REBT therapist equips clients with strategies to restructure that belief and sets up homework for the client to repeatedly re-structure the concerned core belief.
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) focuses on regulating emotions using a combination of mindful acceptance and change. DBT was originally developed to support persons with borderline personality disorder.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) uses a combination of behavioral therapy and mindfulness. ACT focuses on giving clients the skills to accept situations that they can’t change instead of pushing hard emotions away and focusing on moving on despite difficult feelings.
Psychodynamic therapy focuses on exploring the unconscious meanings of people, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and often trace the triggers of their concerns to childhood. often extensive and long-term.
As the name suggests, emotion-focused therapy (EFT) focuses on exploring the emotions of the person. EFT believes that emotions are key to one’s identity. EFT starts with becoming aware of and being able to describe and regulate one’s emotions. As a second step, the therapist and client collaboratively explore the functions of emotions while giving the resources to process uncomfortable emotions. Lastly, emotions are leveraged as a guide to action.
Humanistic Therapy believes that people have the innate capacity for choices and self-awareness. According to the humanistic school of thought human beings are innately good and the source of most problems is not being one’s true self.
Narrative therapy was introduced by Michael White & David Epston. seeks to help clients identify some core values that they hold dear and live their life by them. Narrative therapy as the name suggests aims to re-author the narrative of the client’s life by their core values. Narrative therapy is based on social justice and often questions the dominant discourses of society.
Solution-focused therapy, as the name suggests focuses on building the smallest, actionable solutions possible for any problem, collaboratively. it acknowledges the problem, the focus is always on finding solutions and acting upon them without going into the history and reasons for a problem.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Processing Therapy: (EMDR)
EMDR was originally intended to work with clients with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic memories. According to EMDR trauma is a result of unprocessed memories. EMDR involves spontaneous associations with traumatic memories.
Exposure therapy involves systematic guided exposure to objects, places, and things that a person has any phobias or fears about. It can either be flooding (the individual is flooded with images and situations involving things that people are afraid of) or imaginative (the client is made to imagine being in a situation involving things, people, or situations that the person is afraid of.
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