One of the primary reasons why therapy or counseling can sometimes fail is a lack of insight on the part of the client. The gaining of insight has been a key component in the success of psychoanalysis since its inception. While there are actions people take and words that are uttered without deliberate thought, there is a subconscious idea of some sort behind them. It is often not until introduced to the concept of metacognition that we begin thinking about how individuals are able to gain insight into their actions. In this article, you will learn insight therapy, the various types of it, and how they can be helpful for specific conditions and our relationships with others.
What is Insight Therapy?
This is an indirect type of therapy that lets you do most of the talking rather than having the therapist ask the questions and lead you to where they believe the problems might be, like with behavior therapy. Insight therapy is more like a friendly chat rather than a therapy session, and many people feel more comfortable with this type of therapy. Even though it is still a form of psychotherapy, it lets you discover how your past influences your current actions and behaviors.
Different Types of Insight Therapy
There are different types of insight therapy, and some are used more than others in the psychiatry field. The four types of insight therapy include psychoanalysis; cognitive; humanistic; and group, family, and marital therapies.
Different Types of Insight Theories
Below, we’ll discuss the different theories related to insight therapy.
Dual Process Theory of Insight
According to the dual-process theory of insight, there are two steps to solving problems. The first step is to use analytical and logical thought processes that are based on reason. The second step uses your intuition and the automatic “gut feeling” process that is based on your experiences.
Three Process Theory of Insight
With this theory, your intelligence has a key role in gaining insight, but there are three processes that include selective encoding, combination, and comparison.
Selective Comparison uses your past experiences with the solutions and
There are four stages of insight, which include preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification. Each one is just as important as the others, and you have to go through all four stages to gain the insight you need to improve your state of mind.
Thinking About Our Actions and Relationships
Metacognitive and insight therapies have proven beneficial to those who have compulsion disorders. When an individual has anxiety or an obsessive-compulsive disorder, they may perform actions on a ritualistic basis to alleviate the stress. These compulsions can often create dysfunction in a person’s life.
For example, an individual who leaves the house for work or school and becomes extremely obsessed that the door has been left unlocked or the clothing iron left on might turn back around and return home. This behavior will continue despite the number of times the door is found locked or the clothing iron turned off. If this individual is successful in ignoring the compulsion and therefore does not act upon it, they are likely to obsess about it all day. When faced with this compulsion, there are two choices: 1) Return home to double-check and risk being late or 2) Ignore the compulsion and experience anxiety for the remainder of the day.
A therapist who uses metacognitive and insight therapy will have the individual explore the underlying reasoning behind the compulsion. There may be something from the past, or there could be something on a subconscious level that is bothering them. By exploring their thought process and pattern of behavior, the individual may gain valuable insight into the underlying cause of the fear of leaving the door unlocked or the clothing iron turned on.
It may be that the individual has concerns about the safety of their family or feels guilt over a past incident in which the safety of a child or other loved one was placed in jeopardy. Using the locked door as an example, the individual may have some paranoia about break-ins or fear of “letting someone in” to their personal life.
The compulsions and associated rituals may bring temporary relief to the individual, but they are also dysfunctions and can cause problems in both personal and work relationships. When a thought process or a behavioral pattern interferes with how an individual functions, it is considered a mental health disorder. According to research into the area of anxiety and compulsive disorders, unearthing the underlying fear or concern can often mitigate further dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors.
Insight therapy may also benefit those who have interpersonal relationships at work or at home. If relationships are complicated due to constant misunderstandings and bickering, there may be an underlying issue that is causing the behavior. Using metacognitive strategies can be highly effective in aiding the individual in gaining the necessary insight to change their thought patterns as well as their associated behaviors.
No one is comfortable when their lives have become dysfunctional. However, we are often trapped in a cycle of irrational thought processes and dysfunctional behavioral patterns. Seeking the help of an in-person or online therapist who specializes in any of the above types of insight therapy may be of benefit.
If you do not have the time to travel to a therapist’s office, you might want to consider online therapy.A study has shown that online therapy can feel more personal than traditional therapy. Ninety-six percent of people using online therapy reported feeling a personal connection with their online therapists as opposed to 91 percent who saw face-to-face therapists. They were also more invested in completing homework the therapists assigned them and occasionally reviewed correspondence between them and their therapists, leading them to move forward with their lives.
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To learn about ourselves and make necessary changes, we first must learn how to think and carefully examine our actions and behaviors. Insight therapy can help you do just that and help you apply it to your specific situation. Regardless of which of the four types of insight therapy you go with, being able to listen and think clearly will allow you to make these changes and see growth as a person, allowing you to live a happier and healthier life. Take the first step today.