Therapeutic Techniques And How They Can Help You
Updated January 07, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Avia James
As the field of psychology evolves and becomes more dynamic, new therapeutic techniques are developed to better support individuals who seek therapy. Most therapists study several different techniques, but they often choose to focus on a particular method when working with clients. With so many options to choose from, it's important to find the best fit for you. In this article, we'll discuss several of the most popular techniques used by mental health professionals, so you can decide which one will benefit you the most.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitivebehavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Specifically, it suggests that thoughts create emotions, and then emotions drive behavior. This type of therapy works by identifying and correcting the negative thoughts that influence certain emotions, so they do not trigger undesirable or harmful behavior toward the self or others.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, is similar to cognitive behavioral therapy, but it focuses on the way that emotions are connected with thoughts and behavior rather than the way thoughts influence emotions. This type of therapy also incorporates the concepts of acceptance and mindfulness to help clients let go of things they cannot control, accept things that are unpleasant or upsetting, and learn how to live peacefully with themselves and their environment.
Client-centered therapy is a form of humanistic therapy that rejects the notion of the therapist being in control of the session. This perspective allows the client to take the reins. The therapist acts as a guide, helping the client to understand their inner struggles and feelings. In this form of therapy, the therapist takes a non-directive approach and allows the client to explore him or herself freely without interruption. Client-centered therapy values of acceptance and empathy, encouraging the client to freely express their thoughts, emotions, and desires without challenge or redirection from the therapist.
Gestalt therapy is another form of humanistic therapy in which the therapist expresses unconditional acceptance and empathy while keeping the client focused on the present. The goals of this type of therapy are self-awareness and acceptance of the client's reality. Like client-centered therapy, the therapist acts as a guide, not a leader. The client grows in their way on their own time without interruption or influence from the therapist.
Existential therapy focuses on philosophical and existential themes rather than technique or evidence-based practices like the previously mentioned therapies. With this type of therapy, the client and the therapist focus on the internal and spiritual struggles that the client faces to achieve existential, emotional, and psychological understanding. The goal of existential therapy is insight, not resolution. With insight, a client gains an understanding of themselves and how they fit into the world.
Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a relatively new form of therapy that is specifically designed to help people who have post-traumatic stress disorder and related issues. EMDR is designed to help the client cope with trauma and abuse by lessening the intensity of their traumatic memories and the distressing symptoms that they cause. EMDR therapists use exercises like having the client follow the trail of a pointer with their eyes to distract the brain from becoming too overwhelmed.
While you're working with a therapist to improve your wellbeing and mental health, there are a few things you can do on your own to care for yourself between sessions. Some of these tools may even enhance the positive effects of therapy.
- Try The calming effects of yoga will ease any anxiety you may feel. When you go into therapy with a clear head and a calm mind, you will be much more successful.
- Focus on yourself. Self-careis of the utmost importance when you're participating in therapy. You need to make sure your batteries are fully charged before each session with your therapist. The best way to do that is to set aside time for yourself each day. You can use this time to take a bubble bath or read a good book. What you do doesn't matter as long as you focus only on yourself.
- Talk a walk. Exerciseisn't only good for boosting metabolism; it also has great mental health benefits. Getting thirty minutes of physical activity a day keeps your body and mind healthy. Walking has been shown to release endorphins to the brain, which combats stress and anxiety as well.
Finding a therapist that is knowledgeable and equipped to help you can be difficult. The logistics of making a million phone calls, visiting offices, and figuring out insurance premiums can be a real headache. Luckily, this isn't the only way to get the support you deserve.
Online therapy options, like BetterHelp, have been found to be just as effective as in-person therapy. Specifically, one of the therapy options mentioned in this article, cognitive behavioral therapy, is one that is readily utilized and online therapy. One study explored 373 studies spanning the last couple of decades regarding the effectiveness of internet-based CBT (ICBT) for a large variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, phobias, mood disorders, and even physical ailments such as heart disease. The findings were conclusively that online therapy is not only just as effective as conventional therapy, but it removes many of the barriers in place with in-person therapy, such as cost, ability to get to appointments, therapist availability, and stigma.
Expanding on the above points, BetterHelp tends to be cheaper than in-person therapy since you don’t have to commute or secure transportation to and from sessions, and our therapists are able to offer lower rates since they don’t have to pay to rent out office space. Additionally, being able to have sessions and conduct therapy from the comfort of your own home enables BetterHelp to be more private and secure than in-person therapy, while also enabling clients to feel safe from any safer that they might be concerned about with attending therapy in-person.
BetterHelp has an online platform where you can find everything you need to begin therapy. The counselors and therapists at BetterHelp are fully accredited and have thousands of hours of experience. When you sign up, you will take a detailed quiz to match you with the right person. Then, your therapist can help you to understand your problems and choose the right therapeutic method for you.
Furthermore, their hours are flexible; most therapists are available at any time of the day. This is a great option for those who don't have a ton of time. Even better, you can meet with them from the comfort of your own home or anywhere you have an internet connection.
Continue reading below to find reviews of some of our experienced and board certified therapists, from people experiencing similar issues and utilizing a variety of therapeutic techniques.
"I have gone to several therapists on and off since I was 14, battling everything from anxiety, eating disorders, panic attacks, depression, and addiction. Honestly none of them has had the impact that Justin had on me in the few short weeks that I’ve been matched up with him. He’s made me feel like I can trust someone again and without judgment, I can tell his kindness is genuine. Using CBT treatment, I’m already seeing that I cope with a lot of issues in a more positive way or at least am more aware. I was days away from just giving up everything, but he truly shined a light in my life ... I’m not completely recovered but I know I’m on the right path. I would highly recommend Justen as a therapist.”
"It's amazing how beneficial therapy is. The EMDR sessions with Keith have enabled me to reclaim my power and control over my own life. As a result of my work with Keith I went from too scared and anxious to leave the house with crippling panic, to being able to enjoy walks with my husband in the park, garden and we have even traveled by plane, and train. I've been able to leave some toxic relationships that weren't serving me, and now feel equipped to not only face life but to enjoy the richness and fullness of it. I highly recommend Keith as a counselor and the EMDR sessions."
It can be hard to know which therapeutic technique is right for you. Now you know more about some of the most common types of therapy, but the truth is that you don't have to choose a specific method. A great therapist will guide you throughout your work together. Take the first step today.
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