What Are The Most Commonly-Used Types Of Psychological Therapy?

Updated November 11, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC

In this day and age, the demand for psychological therapy is at an all-time high. People are facing all kinds of issues and require the proper coping mechanisms and sounding boards to have in their corner. Now, while the upsides of psychological therapy are extremely well-documented, there are certain types of psychological therapy which are used more frequently than others.

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Now some might wonder why certain variations of psychological therapy are more popular than others. There are a plethora of reasons. Some types of treatment may be more suitable for common issues. The more commonly used psychological therapies may also be older than their less popular counterparts. This is not to say that newer models of psychological therapy are not effective; however, there is still something to be said for psychological therapy treatment which is ongoingly used.

Reviewing Commonly-Used Types Of Psychological Therapy

Having extensive knowledge about which types of psychological therapy methods are most commonly used can provide valuable insight.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is a form of treatment which is reserved for individuals with various issues. The issues in question can include but are not necessarily limited to, addiction, anger management, depression, etc. One of the amazing things about group therapy is that it brings people together and creates a dynamic of support and inclusion. Everyone is there for the same purpose and is therefore likely to feel more comfortable with opening up and sharing their struggles with the group.

In addition to togetherness and support, group therapy provides an excellent opportunity for its participants to learn and listen. Hearing about someone else's challenges can be insightful and open up one's eyes. Sometimes, it also helps people to know that they are not alone in this world. The benefits and flexibility which comes along with group therapy are one of the many reasons why group therapy is commonly used.

Interpersonal Therapy

As the name suggests, interpersonal therapy is all about helping individuals who struggle in relationships with other people. This type of therapy is commonly used, largely as a result of its importance. The truth of the matter is that having healthy relationships with other people is extremely conducive to one's success and opportunities in life. Someone who struggles to get along with other people is going to have a tough time, particularly in the workplace and other critical aspects of life.

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Interpersonal therapy largely focuses on the root of the issues which impact the patient's ability to maintain healthy relationships with those around them. The underlying cause can vary depending on a series of factors; however, once the root of the problem is dealt with, the patient can begin to heal and learn some appropriate methods for developing healthy, positive relationships with other human beings.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy centers around the weight which thoughts have on each's behavior. If certain behaviors need changing, then one's thoughts must be changed first. In essence, this variation in psychological therapy focuses on helping patients improve their thoughts to change unwanted or undesirable behaviors. Similarly to other types of treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy is all about getting to the root of what causes certain thoughts and then introducing new ways of thinking so the patient can improve their behavior and quality of life.

Taking note of triggers and various patterns in thoughts and behaviors is a part of the cognitive behavioral therapy process. When the reasoning and psychology of thoughts and behaviors are understood, then the therapist can begin working towards changing them. Cognitive behavioral therapy takes time and can be challenging, but when it's all said and done, this type of treatment has a significant impact on the lives of patients.

Family Therapy

As the name suggests, family therapy is a type of treatment which revolves around the family and solving existing issues or struggles. This therapy is more common than most people realize and it plays such a critical role in society. When a family is struggling or unable to get along with one another, nobody wins. If children are involved, the adverse of a family which does not get along can be even more harrowing.

While family therapy is fairly common, it does share a separate distinction from other types of psychological treatment. Put simply; family therapy is only most effective when all members are involved, eager to participate and improve their situation. If only some of the family members are present during sessions, then that will significantly complicate the job of the therapist.

Important Things To Remember About Psychological Therapy

When it comes to psychological therapy, there are some important things which everyone should keep in mind. Having proper awareness can help ensure that the process of psychological therapy is as smooth and as productive as possible.

Being Fully Transparent With Your Therapist Is Critical

Talking about certain experiences or issues can be challenging and even embarrassing. However, when you are working with a therapist, full transparency is so important. Being open and honest allows your therapist to put all of the pieces together, learn about who you are as an individual and then take the next steps which will be beneficial to you. If certain details are altered or omitted, then your therapist will not be able to be of full service to you.

Having An Idea Of Your Desired Endgame Is A Good Idea

Whenever you're taking therapy, having an idea of what you hope to get from the session is so important. This doesn't mean that you have to have every single thing figured out, but having a general idea of areas in which you would like to improve can be helpful for both you and your therapist. At the beginning of your sessions, your therapist may ask what you're hoping to get from treatment or which areas which you think could use the most improvement.

Be Open To Feedback From Your Therapist

Taking therapy is an amazing step towards improving your quality of life. Now that you have embarked on this journey, your openness to what your therapist has to say is going to be so important. Sometimes, your therapist may recommend certain lifestyle changes which may not be comfortable. They may advise you to make a different decision and reconsider patterns which you have grown accustomed to. This may be difficult, but ultimately, your therapist has your best interest at heart. It is their job to help you evolve into a better version of yourself.

Of course, being open to what your therapist has to say does not mean that you can't ask questions. It also doesn't mean that you should just nod and say OK. If something which is being said truly doesn't sit right with you, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with communicating this to your therapist. Different things work for different people. The more your therapist gets to know you and build rapport with you as a patient, the better the service they can provide to you.

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Improvements Take Time

Understanding that the therapeutic process takes time to run its course is one of the most advantageous things to remember as you embark on this journey. Sometimes people go into therapy expecting a quick and instant fix, but psychological therapy simply doesn't work that way.

It takes time for your therapist to get to know you, understand your situation and what brought you to therapy. It takes time for the changes which they recommend to be implemented, and that's understandable. Issues don't develop within the blink of an eye, and they also aren't resolved in the blink of an eye. Remaining patient, open-minded and receptive as you go through this journey is going to be very beneficial to you, both in the short-term and in the long-term.

A Final Word

Psychological therapy is so very broad with a multitude of variations. Certain types of treatment will work for certain individuals, while others are better suited for others. At the end of the day, when you're working with a therapist, you're doing so for your improvement and benefit. Going through this process will allow you and your therapist to get to the root of the issues which exist. Once the underlying issues have been discovered, then you can begin to heal and improve the quality of your life.

If you are interested in taking therapy or simply would like to have someone to talk to, then you've come to the right place. Here at BetterHelp, we have an awesome team of world-class professionals who would be more than thrilled to work with you. Regardless of who you are or what you may be going through, everyone needs help sometimes, and there is no shame in admitting this. It's one of the strongest, bravest decisions you can make.

Therapy and help will always be available to those who ask. You can get started with BetterHelp at any time from anywhere simply by clicking here.

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