Talking Therapies: How Talk Therapy Can Help You In Treatment

By: Nicole Beasley

Updated February 02, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly L Brownridge , LPC, NCC, BCPC Counsel The Mind, LLC

Many different situations and environmentslead to negative reactions. These situations canleave lasting, and at times damaging, effects. Mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and chronic stress can have serious symptoms that, if left untreated, can have lasting consequences. Effective and non-invasive treatment for such disorders is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, aims to lessen the effects of symptoms experienced by patients through talk therapy sessions where they can freely express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a safe and productive atmosphere.


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Talking about issues, feelings, or thoughts that cause you great stress or discomfort can help you manage your reactions to things out of your control.Patients with a qualified talk therapists can choose what to talk about in talk therapy. Both the therapist and the patient can jointly work through specific traumas to overcome negative reactions, and to learn more appropriate behaviors for the future.

What is Talk Therapy?

Therapy is defined as "treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder.” The talk therapy definition lies within the definition of psychotherapy, which is the process in which "psychologists apply scientifically validated procedures to help people develop healthier, more effective habits.”Talk therapy allows psychologists to collaboratively work with patients with disorders such as depression and anxiety.

There are several different approaches to talk therapy, including:

  • Behavior therapy
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Humanistic therapy
  • Integrative or holistic therapy
  • Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy

Behavior Therapy

Behavior therapy is a type of talk therapy that involves focusing on learning the role you have when developing normal and abnormal behaviors. Classical conditioning, also known as associative learning, is practiced in behavior therapy. Desensitizing is a form of classical conditioning where a talk therapist may aid a patient with a specific phobia or fear through a repeated and regimented exposure to wherever the fear is derived from. Operant conditioning is another method of talk therapy that is a type of learning that relies on rewards and punishments to curb people's behaviors.

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy is a very effective form of talk therapy that is centered on the core belief that by changing one's thoughts one can change how onefeels. By doing this, people are in control of their reactions, no matter the stimuli. Cognitive therapists believe that "dysfunctional thinking leads to dysfunctional emotions or behaviors.” By changing this thinking, patients can change their emotions and behaviors.

Humanistic Therapy

Humanistic therapy is a form of talk therapy that emphasizes a patient's capacity to make rational decisions such that they can progress and develop to their maximum potential. Other important themes of humanistic therapy are a concern for others and a sense of respect for all. The three types of humanistic therapy are client-centered therapy, gestalt therapy, and existential therapy.

Integrative/Holistic Therapy

This type of talk therapy looks to combine many different forms into one, an all-encompassing treatment plan. By using different methods and approaches therapists can tailor a treatment plan specifically for that patient. Any treatment plan should be discussed and implemented with a trained professional.

Psychoanalysis/Psychodynamic Therapies

These approaches to talk therapy attempt to change troublesome behaviors, thoughts, and feelings through self-discovery of unconscious meanings and motivations. More specifically psychoanalytic talk therapy treatment plans consist of a tight working relationship between the therapist and the patient. Through the therapeutic relationship, patients can discover who they truly are and what their intentions are. Psychoanalysis was famously designed by psychologist Sigmund Freud.

What Does Talk Therapy Treat?

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Talk therapy treats a wide array of disorders including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • PTSD
  • Bipolar Disorder

Talk therapy has shown to be highly effective for treating disorders that have negative effects on people, and finding the appropriate therapist is the most important step. Many different forms of talk therapy focus on specific issues, so researching a therapist that is right for you is very important.

Finding the right talk therapist that can aid you in developing positive and effective thoughts, behaviors and feelings will lead to the alleviation of symptoms. With the correct mental health professional, a treatment plan (of either talk therapy, medication, or a combination of the two) can be tailored to focus on the issues you need to address most in your life.Please consult with your doctor or primary care physician before considering any medication options

How Can Talk Therapy Help Me?


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Talk therapy has proven to be extremely effective when treating a wide array of mental disorders. The benefits of talk therapy showthat through discussing and working to betterone's approach to life, alleviation from trauma can be achieved.

Spanning into the Future

One benefit of talk therapy is its persistence over a long period of time. When you're in a talk therapy treatment plan, you aren't just addressing issues that are happening to you in real-time; you're also developing behavioral skills that will help you in future situations. The positive effects of talk therapy ripple far into the future.

A Social Awakening

Talk therapy is also beneficial when it comes to social interactions and relationships. Not only does talk therapy help you understand yourself better, but it also enables you to understand those around you without immediately developing negative thoughts or behaviors. By removing the process of immediately attributing negative thoughts to those around you, you can inhibit those very thoughts from sticking inside your brain.

Don't Forget the Physical

It has been shownthat severe psychological trauma can cause symptoms that manifest themselves in a physical form. In short, they cause pain to an individual experiencing them. Additionally, mental disorders such as depression and PTSD can have debilitating physical symptoms. By startinga talk therapy plan,you can find ways to alleviate these symptoms.

Say Goodbye to Self-Medication

Talk therapy removes the urge or necessity for a patient to seek relief through unhealthy means or behaviors, like drug or alcohol abuse. The desire to look for alternative methods for release is quickly replaced with a healthy talk therapy treatment plan. Talk therapists teach patients new behaviors to lean on when dealing with difficult memories, feelings, or thoughts.

Where Do I Find a Talk Therapist?

Talk therapists can be found both in-person and online. When researching which mode of therapyworks best for you, be sure to keep in mind your disorder and what you want to take away from treatment. Talk therapy shouldcenter around your development when practicing new behaviors or thought patterns when processing negative feelings or situations.

Seeking Talk Therapy In-Person

When looking for a therapist to speak to and see in person, there are some ways you can go about locating the right one for you.

  • Talk to friends and family: Asking those that are close to you may be a good first step when looking for the best therapist for you. Many people live with mental disorders such as anxiety or depression, so asking people who care about you can be a great place to start if you’re comfortable.
  • Consider gender: The gender of your talk therapist can be a small, yet important detail when looking for the appropriate one. Therapy involves being comfortable sharing intimate details about yourself, and gender can affect how you articulate those thoughts and feelings.
  • Look at their photo and call them: Starting a communitive relationship with potential talk therapists can allow you to get comfortable with potential candidates while also making sure you "gel" with how they conduct their therapy. How someone looks, or how someone sounds or speaks can indicate a lot about who they are, and more importantly who they will be when they treat you.
  • Theoretical orientation: This aspect for looking for the correct talk therapist is the most important as it asks you to figure out where you think your issues stem from and which method of talk therapy you should try. If you think you have unconscious motivation for your behavior, you should seek a specialist that works with psychodynamic therapy, for example.

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Talking to a Therapist Online

Nowadays most thingscan be done on the internet: grocery shopping, purchasing exotic fish for your saltwater aquarium, and online therapy. On the internet, you can find and talk to a therapist online, where your sessions, treatment, and recovery are all handled from your home computer. Research such as a study published in Early Intervention in Psychiatrylooked into online therapy for the prevention of depression relapse in young adults. The study’s authors found that more than 80% of participants who logged into the therapy program found the intervention helpful. Participants reported the program as being safe, highly usable, and accessible.

Being able to talk to a therapist online offers those that are unable to physically visit a talk therapist or unsureabout committing to face-to-face treatment access to the professional guidance they need. Online therapy has many benefits including affordability, a wide array of choices, and no geographical limit. If you discover an online therapist that works best for you, you'll never have to worry about relocation when speaking to your therapist.

Online platforms, such as BetterHelp, are designed to offer you a vast array of online mental health care therapists for you to choose from. Online therapy is a great alternative to face-to-face therapy if you are unable to, or are uncertain about, attending in-person sessions.

Recovery with Talk Therapy

Although the positive effects of talk therapy can be long-lasting, completing the required amount of sessions is integral for lasting recovery. Without hard work and dedication, symptoms of debilitating mental disorders are likely topersist. Through effective treatment plans utilizing talk therapy,these symptoms can be alleviated. With different methods of talk therapy focusing on specific behaviors, thoughts, and feelings, talk therapy treatment can either enhance or replace any medicated treatment plan, even while talking to an online therapist from your home.

Here are several reviews from individuals who reached out to BetterHelp’s therapy resources:

“Dr. Drinkwine has helped me address a great deal of triggers that usually can cause a cycle of anxiety for me. I have been seeing her for a few weeks now and I really enjoy our sessions together. She has given me worksheets and homework which really helps. Each session has allowed me to develop better coping strategies to use for when I am feeling anxious. She is a great support. I highly recommend.”

https://www.betterhelp.com/shanna-drinkwine/#testimonials

Mary has done so much to help me work through many tough situations. I always feel like she invested in my journey and a strong ally in my corner. She is always supportive and cheers on your accomplishments while also making sure that set backs never feel like failure but an opportunity to learn something new.”

LINKS:

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/t/talking-therapies

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/06/03/11-intriguing-reasons-to-give-talk-therapy-a-try/#579b097f4ebb

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/benefits-of-talking-therapy.aspx

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-therapy/201005/21-tips-clients-in-psychotherapy

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/understanding-psychotherapy.aspx

http://www.apa.org/topics/therapy/psychotherapy-approaches.aspx

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/psychotherapies/index.shtml


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