The Different Types Of Counseling Styles

Each person is different and responds to different types of counseling differently, so it is important to consider the right counseling style that will fit the needs of the patient. Throughout the years, many different types of counseling have emerged from research and practice. Each counseling style fits different needs of specific issues, so when seeking therapy, be sure to consider which type of counseling is best for you. The following are common styles of counseling:

Cognitive Therapy


Cognitive therapy is a form of therapy that focuses specifically on a person's train of thought, to identify problematic patterns of thinking. Once problematic patterns that stimulate negative thoughts and interpretations of the patient's self and world have been identified, the therapist uses cognitive restructuring, to change the way the patient interprets thoughts and situations. This will lessen negative emotions and sense of self.

Behavioral Therapy


Behavioral therapy adopts the philosophy that if a patient changes his problematic behavior, he will see a positive change in thoughts, feelings, and interactions with others. Behavioral therapy uses different theories of behavior, reinforcement, and motivation to pinpoint and improve problematic patterns of behavior. It is not uncommon for behavioral therapy to be incorporated into therapy sessions when working with interpersonal, relationship, and emotional issues.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) combines both cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy to create a focus on how a person's thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are interconnected. By identifying the pattern between these three key components, the patient develops an understanding of how his thoughts, emotions, and behavior all influence each other. The patient is able to pinpoint the troubled thoughts that create negative emotions, which fuel problematic behavior. The patient then learns how to restructure the way he thinks to develop healthier thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.

Psychodynamic Therapy


Psychodynamic therapy focuses on self-awareness of the patient's actions and behavior. Psychodynamic therapy is similar to CBT in that it works to understand how beliefs, thoughts, behavior, and emotions are interconnected. However, it focuses on the unconscious beliefs and emotions that tend to trigger the problematic thoughts, emotions, and behavior, rather than conscious, automatic thoughts that occur in initial reactions to situations.

Humanistic Therapy


Humanistic therapy is a client-centered approach that emphasizes unconditional acceptance from the therapist and the free expression of the patient. With humanistic therapy, the patient is encouraged to freely express what is affecting him as he works with the therapist to find meaning, self-actualization, and understanding of emotions. Two common humanistic therapeutic techniques are client-centered therapy and Gestalt therapy.

Interpersonal Therapy


Interpersonal therapy is a form of therapy that helps an individual understand the dynamics of communication and interpersonal relationships. Interpersonal therapy targets communication and interpersonal behavior to help the patient understand how he contributes to the struggles and emotional issues he faces. The premise of interpersonal therapy is if you can improve interpersonal behavior and communication, you will receive more support and acceptance from others and from yourself, which will help improve overall mood and reduce emotional issues.

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