How Different Psychotherapy Techniques Can Impact You
By: Samantha Dewitt
Updated May 12, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Lauren Guilbeault
If you're thinking about therapy or even if you've already been in therapy, you might be thinking about the different types of therapy that are out there. You might be thinking about how each of them works and what their focus is or even how they could impact you. Well, different psychotherapy techniques, better known as different approaches of psychotherapy, actually encompass a total of 5 different areas. These include psychoanalysis and psychodynamic, behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, humanistic therapy, and integrative therapy. Each of these has different methods, different options and many different ways of influencing the people who participate in them.
First up is integrative therapy, which is also sometimes referred to a holistic therapy. This is actually a type of blended therapy. What that means is the patient is treated using aspects of each of the other therapies that we'll discuss here in a minute. That doesn't mean all four of the other options are used. It means that some combination of the others might be used. The therapist may use elements of behavior and cognitive therapy. They might use elements of psychoanalysis and humanistic therapy. Or maybe they use three different types, or they use different types of therapy depending on the patient that they are working with.
Working our way through, humanistic therapy is about the way that the individual relates to others. It's about the way that people make choices in their life and the way that they reach their best self. It encompasses a total of three different types of therapy (at least primarily). Client-centered therapy, gestalt therapy, and existential therapy are three of the most common types of this type of therapy, and they're areas that we will take a little bit closer look at.
Client-centered therapy looks directly at the client or patient. It looks at the client being able to talk about their thoughts and feelings without fear of criticism or even without many questions from the therapist. Gestalt therapy is about focusing on the moment and being more responsible for your own moments. Finally, existential therapy is all about a search for meaning in life and even the free will that the individual has. Any combination of these could be used, but primarily a therapist may focus on one or the other of these forms of humanistic therapy.
This therapy is more about the thoughts that a person has instead of about the things that they're engaged in. Where other types of therapy might focus on actions, this one is going to about the way that thinking can lead to something more when it comes to emotion and behavior. Not only that, but these methods of therapy consider ways that changing the way that you think will adjust and change the way that you feel about your life and even the things that you do in your life.
With this type of therapy, you're focused on learning and how that type of learning can be used to create any type of behavior. Desensitizing and cognitive-behavioral therapy could be aspects of this type of therapy. Even more, it considers ways that you can be taught to do things, whether they are good or bad. Looking at how something was learned early on in life is the first step to understanding what someone does now and the type of things that they will continue to do in the future. This theory says that people learn to associate one thing with another, leading to continued action the same way.
Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic Therapies
These final styles of therapy look at just about everything that a person is feeling or experiencing intrinsically. This is about behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that the person may not even realize that they are experiencing. They look at the way that each of these things affects someone from their unconscious mind, and it's extremely important for the patient and the therapist to have a strong relationship. This is one of the most common styles of therapy, and it provides some different opportunities for patients to work through their experiences.
Ways To Work Through Mental Health Concerns
If you're struggling with any kind of mental health situation, you'll want the best possible treatment methods, and there are some different types that you can get. While we've already talked about the different types of psychotherapy, there are also subsets that you want to consider as well. After all, you're not the same as anyone else. That means you need a type of therapy that's designed to help you rather than just helping any random person. So, what are you going to do? Talk to your therapist about different styles of therapy.
Inpatient and outpatient therapy are the two main categories, but within each of those are things like individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy and more. It's going to be up to you and your therapist to decide which types of therapy are the best for you and to look at how each one could impact the treatment that you're getting. After all, if you're struggling it's going to impact your entire family in some ways and getting family therapy might be the best way to take care of all of you at the same time. Not to mention it gives your family a chance to talk about what they're going through as a result of what you're experiencing.
With group therapy, you get the chance to talk with people who are experiencing exactly what you are. You get to talk with people who are either coming up behind you on the path or who have made it a little further than you and both of those things are going to help you succeed. Talking to someone who hasn't quite made it there yet is going to help you see just how far you've come. Not to mention it's going to help motivate them to keep going because they can reach where you are.
On the other hand, you are talking to people who are further along than you helps to motivate you to keep pushing forward. They can be your mentors and your support group. These are people who know what you're experiencing. They're people who are right there alongside you, and that can be a great way to keep moving and keep fighting, even when it's hard. And these types of groups exist for anything from drinking and drugs to anxiety and depression. Getting help in a group is possible for you, no matter what you're going through.
Talk with your therapist about the best ways that you can get the help you need and make sure that you're looking at the way each one works for you. Maybe you do better in solo therapy, or maybe you do better when you have your family around you. Maybe a group is going to help motivate you because they can help by just understanding. No matter what you feel most comfortable with your best option is to talk with your therapist and let them know so you can work your way through anything.
Working With BetterHelp
If you're looking for a way to get the help you need and you don't know how to go about it, the first thing you should do is look at online therapy. You'll be surprised how great it can be because there are all kinds of great features of online versus in-person therapy. What you'll find is online therapy gives you a whole lot of freedom and flexibility. It's going to make your life a whole lot easier, and in far more ways than you would think.
When you meet with someone face-to-face, you're forced to plan for things like traffic and long days at work and surprise trips and a whole lot of other things. You have to worry about whether the therapist you feel most comfortable with is even in your area or close enough for you to drive and you have to think about walking into that office each time you have a session (and who wants to think about that). All of those things make it hard for a lot of people to even think about going to therapy, even when they know that it could do them a lot of good.
With BetterHelp and other types of online therapy, you're going to have the freedom to schedule an appointment whenever you want. You don't have to worry about driving time because you can log on from anywhere with an internet connection. That means you also don't need to worry about things like vacations or surprise work trips. You can still have your session because you're doing it all online. Plus, you don't have to worry about those nosy neighbors seeing you walk into a therapists office, because it all takes place where you're most comfortable. What could be better than that?
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