IPT is a fairly new type of psychotherapy as it has only been around for just over two decades and it was originally designed as a way to treat Major Depressive Disorder. However, over time it has been used to successfully treat several other disorders as well, such as drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, several types of depression, etc. Due to its success and popularity, the use of IPT as a reliable psychotherapy treatment continues to grow, and studies have shown its effectiveness is comparable to using medication.
Invented during the 1960s, CBT is a combination of behavioral therapy and cognitive based psychotherapy. It is often used by therapists in conjunction with other types of therapies to treat an illness.
It is short-term therapy, lasting typically from three to ten months with one session a week, with a specific goal that has to be reached at the end of the treatment period.
The focus of CBT is not to dwell on the upsetting events faced by an individual but rather the emotional and physical importance the patient places on the upsetting events. It is based on the idea that if an individual is too focused on the negative aspect of things it hinders them from seeing the full picture with an open mind and thereby may lead to missed opportunities.
For example, someone suffering from anxiety may be reluctant to attend a work event because they are worried they won't get along with their co-workers or won't be liked by them. As a result of this negative thought, the individual avoids all team building and work events but by doing so they are missing an opportunity to bond and socialize with their colleagues and thus making their initial (baseless fears) come true because her colleagues now view the individual as cold, aloof and unwilling to mingle with them.
Many times these negative thoughts are automatic patterns for individuals and stem from past experiences. For instance, if a child only got love from their parents if they did well in school or exhibited good behavior, they will likely grow up terrified of failing at something because they will think nobody will love them unless they are perfect and successful.
CBT extends beyond just talking things through, and a treatment plan often includes techniques and exercises such as writing in a journal, engaging in relaxation and mindfulness activities or taking part in physical and social activities. It is important to note that while treatment is short term, it is not a quick and easy process and requires expertise from the therapist and a firm commitment and active participation from the patient to work together towards their common goal. CBT is also not the most effective method when it comes to treating severe mental disorders and illnesses, while it can form a part of the treatment plan, it is rarely used as the only treatment plan.
Developed in the 1970s, DBT was initially used to treat individuals who were chronically preoccupied with suicidal thoughts or suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. It has since become one of the preferred kinds of psychotherapy to treat individuals who suffer from very severe emotional dysregulation and for individuals who have found very little or no success at all with other types of therapy.
Treatment using DBT is based on the idea of problem-solving and allowing the patient to accept or come to terms with their situation and uses dialectical (two opposite concepts such as change and acceptance, coming together) methods to do so.
DBT uses a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, team consultation as well as coaching over the phone. The therapist uses the individual sessions to bond with the patient; to understand their unique needs and the problems they face, while group work enables the patients to enhance their behavioral skills and practice what they have learned. It also allows them to feel motivated and provides a support system. Patients also know they can reach their therapists over the phone whenever they some additional help to overcome a difficult situation. The creation and use of a consultation team are very important in DBT due to the illnesses and disorders the therapists' treat. Team consultation supports them when dealing with complex and difficult cases and patients.
DBT is broken up into four different stages to ensure that every concern is dealt with and the patient's issues are treated in order of importance and severity. The four stages are as follows:
Most studies and research indicate DBT has a high rate of success and efficacy, however, due to the complexity of the disorders this therapy treats there is still room for improvement and further research is needed to determine the long term therapeutic gains of DBT.
It is a common misconception that therapy is only for people who are suffering from a serious mental disorder or condition. It is this belief that can lend an aura of taboo to the subject of counseling or therapy.
While psychotherapy is a very effective way to deal with mental disorders and more often than not forms a significant part of a patient's treatment plan, it is becoming more common and more socially acceptable for individuals to seek out the services of a mental health professional for a number of non mental disorder related issues such as:
In short, therapy is not just for mental illnesses, and the dozens of different kinds of psychotherapy options are a testament to that. We are lucky to live in a time when awareness surrounding mental health is increasing, so there is help for almost anything you are going through.
If you find yourself struggling with something and feel it would be helpful to speak to a neutral, third party then consider speaking to a therapist, psychotherapy is not a risky treatment method; it has a very high rate of success and can only serve to benefit you. Don't let your mental health cripple you, rather gain the tools and skills to take control and live the life you were meant too! The Internet is also a great place to gather information and resources and even therapy sessions.
If you are someone who already suffers from a pre-existing mental health disorder and feel that your life may be spiraling out of control or you find yourself consumed with thoughts of suicide or violence, get some help immediately. Speak to a family member, a friend or your doctor about accessing treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Are The Kinds Of Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy, otherwise called talking therapy, is a method used by psychologists to manage, treat, and prevent various mental illnesses in patients. Below are the different kinds of psychotherapy and their therapeutic approaches:
This kind of therapy focuses on helping patients overcome their mental situations by evaluating the effects of their thought patterns (cognitive) on how they respond (behavior) to things. In this case, the psychologist and the patients would collaborate on replacing those unproductive/toxic thoughts and behaviors like those that lead to a panic attack with good ones. This treatment approach is suitable for managing people living with depression anxiety. Also, the mental health care method can be used in people under the influence of substance abuse or those who want to overcome certain addictive habits.
No doubt, life can be unfair; therefore, some past or present occurrence may impact your present feelings, thereby affecting your relationships with people and the kind of choices you make. Psychodynamic therapy emphasizes that experts should communicate with you to unravel those unfavorable/memorable events that have shaped your life view. The psychologist would ask you some questions to know what steps you've taken to prevent the reoccurrence of those ugly situations in the future. Psychodynamic therapy is also great for a therapy couples session.
Apparently, psychodynamic therapy focuses on helping patients accept and resolve those negative feelings to improve their self-esteem and relationships with people. This remedy plan is particularly suitable for those living with depression
Dialectical behavioral therapy dbt is a suburb of the cognitive behavioral therapy cbt. The solution centered therapy is all about furnishing patients with the necessary skills to manage and handle emotions, stress and, relationships in a healthy manner. Initially, the treatment plan was invented to manage and treat people with borderline personality, but now, the therapy is used for various mental illnesses, especially for those with negative and self-harmful thoughts.
Unlike other therapies, the holistic approach takes into consideration the uniqueness of the patient. That is, the mental remedy focuses on client's being themselves. With this, they would be able to live a fulfilled and rewarding life.
There are two major subcategories under humanistic therapy; they include Gestalt therapy and client-centered therapy. Gestalt therapy only addresses the current feeling of the patient instead of delving into the root cause.
The therapist would have the first hand of your feelings through role-plays and other creative methods. The purpose of this is to help you arouse emotions so you can know how to face such emotions in real life should they happen.
On the other hand, person centered therapy is a non-directive kind of treatment that believes that patients know the exact psychological area they would like to explore. In this case, the therapist's job is to listen to the patient without bias and then have a first-hand experience of their feelings and emotions. With this, the client centered psychologist can create an enabling environment to actualize those things. Aside from these two treatment strategies, we also have the existential therapy.
Cognitive therapy is more about the patient's thinking. In fact, cognitive therapists are of the opinion that bad thinking translates into harmful emotions or bad behaviors. Therefore, they collaborate with the patient to improve on their thoughts.
Online therapy is a convenient means of delivering mental health services to patients online. The internet-styled therapy is suitable for busy people or those who are shy of discussing their challenges physically. All you need is a phone or a laptop with a good webcam and an internet connection to enjoy the benefits of online therapy. BetterHelp.com is an example of a credible therapy mental health service provider. They also have packages that are ideal for therapy couples.
What Is Psychotherapy Vs. Counseling?
Psychotherapy is a talk session/therapy handled by a psychologist therapist. Just like cognitive therapy, the purpose of this therapy is centered around helping living with various mental disorders through ways like anger management to overcome their challenges.
Usually, the sessions are long-term and can incorporate therapy couples. Mind you; a competent psychologist treats their patients by delving into the psychology history to unravel the situation's root causes.
On the other hand, counseling helps individuals achieve their desired mental health, career, and life goals. Unlike psychotherapy, counseling is usually short-term and does not address the root cause of the matter. Instead, it focuses on proffering practical and immediate solutions through surface findings.
Again, counseling seeks to resolve situations on a conscious level while psychotherapy delves into the unconscious. However, both treatments are cool for managing mental health issues.
American Psychological Association is an example of an organization that accepts qualified psychologists.
Which Counseling Approach Is The Best?
Hmm, this is a trivial question. For example, two counselors may use the same counseling approach on a patient but still record different success rates. This might be a result of the difference in the counselors' communication style and knowledge about the patient's challenges.
However, we are of the opinion that the cognitive behavioral therapy approach remains the best for several reasons. First, the treatment combines several approaches to ensure the mental well-being of the patient. Secondly, the counseling approach is suitable for managing and treating various mental issues in people living with depression, borderline personality, or experiencing eating disorders and anger management issues.
Can A Therapist Write A Prescription?
Yes, and No. In the real sense, therapists are not expected to write prescriptions or prescribe medications.
But recently, in the US, some states (Illinois, Louisiana, Idaho, and two others) now allow therapists to prescribe medications. However, those therapists must undergo some clinical training. In fact, it is expected that they must have bagged a post-doctoral degree in clinical psychopharmacology. Also, those professionals must participate and pass some recognized national exams from accredited boards.
Do Therapists Diagnose You?
Yes, they can. To become a licensed therapist, the professional must hold a master's degree in psychology or similar fields. The master's program curriculum is majorly about diagnosing and treating patients with mental health challenges.
Since most therapists would like to remain relevant, most of them even go beyond the masters' degree level to diagnose and write prescriptions for patients on different mental issues.
How Do You Get Therapy If You Can't Afford It?
In the US, about half of the population delay or lack access to health services due to their financial strength. However, you can still get the best of treatment even at a low therapy- see how to go about it:
Why Is It Good To See A Therapist?
Statistics show that half of the American population sees therapists every year. Here is why you need to see a therapist:
Life can be a battle; most times, we can't seem to fight those wars on our own; therefore, we need a partner. Needing a partner does not imply meeting anyone; instead, you should see a person who knows about your challenges and can help you get better at them. This is where a therapist comes in.