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HomeHealthExploring Different Therapy Approaches

Exploring Different Therapy Approaches

Whether you want to change negative thought patterns, explore your unconscious mind, focus on family dynamics, or express yourself creatively, a therapy approach can meet your needs.

Before selecting a therapy technique, assessing your mental health condition is essential. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This therapy approach is most commonly used for anxiety disorders, but it can be helpful for a range of other mental health conditions. Your therapist will help you break down the problem into separate parts, including thoughts, physical feelings, and actions. You will work together to identify and learn how to change unhelpful patterns.

You may do some diary work and track your symptoms to ensure you are addressing your problems. Your therapist will also encourage you to reshape harmful or inaccurate thinking patterns.

Humanistic Therapy

Humanistic therapy focuses on the person, using gestalt and existential therapies. This approach encourages people to let go of unresolved emotional baggage and embrace a sense of personal meaning in life.

It also helps clients reestablish their true identities by removing their fear of judgment from their interactions with others. For example, therapists may ask their clients to imagine someone having trouble sitting in an empty chair across from them and carry out a conversation as if that person were there.

This type of talk therapy can benefit people dealing with depression, anxiety, personality disorders, low self-esteem, and relationship issues. It allows the client to open up and feel supported by a nonjudgmental therapist.

Client-Centered Therapy

This form of therapy works off the theory that people have an inherent desire to promote their growth and health. The therapist in Seattle, Washington, uses empathy and acceptance to support the client.

The therapist also shows genuineness and congruence with the client. This ensures that the client can communicate freely with their therapist.

This type of counseling can benefit anyone struggling with self-esteem, stress management, relationship issues, phobias, anxiety, or grieving a loss. It is also adequate for situations such as parenting challenges or job frustrations. The person-centered approach allows clients to set goals and work through life’s difficulties at their own pace.

Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on helping clients identify and reshape the narratives they tell themselves about themselves. These stories often influence how they feel about themselves, their relationships, and other aspects of life.

A narrative therapist will often help their client deconstruct these problematic stories to make them more specific. This can reduce overgeneralizing and clarify the root cause of a problem.

This type of therapy also encourages the externalization of problems so that people can view them from a more objective, non-blaming point of view. This can help improve self-esteem and pave the way for change.

Reality Therapy

Reality therapy relies on Glasser’s choice theory, which states that human behavior is chosen and driven by an individual’s needs. Counselors who utilize this approach teach clients that their choices are controllable and increase accountability for actions. Ineffective organized behaviors are reorganized into more effective ones, and counselors encourage self-evaluation and goal setting.

During therapy, therapists may ask questions that help clients understand their psychological needs, such as love and belonging, power, freedom, fun, and survival. They will then develop practical goals and solutions to address their needs. This can benefit people who suffer from addiction because it encourages them to stay in the moment.

Coherence Therapy

A coherence therapist is an educator who helps clients differentiate between necessary and unnecessary symptoms. They equip people with the tools to continue doing this outside the therapeutic setting. This approach has proven effective in stopping many problems, including anxiety, low self-esteem, procrastination, rage reactions, and more.

The therapist guides the client through a discovery process to increase their hypothesis space, including the possibility of a hidden cause for their symptom. This progressive representational redescription yields a relatively optimized schema balanced in semantic generalization and episodic detail.

Collaborative Therapy

In collaborative therapy, therapists are transparent with clients about their thoughts and feelings. This includes professional thoughts, such as diagnoses, and personal thoughts, such as judgments and hypotheses. This is not the same as disclosure and is meant to build trust with the client.

The postmodern approach behind collaborative therapy centers on two key concepts: flexible knowledge and multiple realities. The therapist recognizes that the client is the foremost authority on their experiences and will consider what they say valid.

Clients who choose this approach may experience increased insight and engagement with their treatment. This can motivate them to stick with their treatment plan and achieve goals.

Compassionate Presence Therapy

Therapeutic presence is a mindful relational stance that supports client safety and growth. Therapists blend their experiences and attune to their clients’ moment-to-moment experiences through verbal cues and body language.

They also focus on their emotional and physical stability by regulating their physiology and emotions in resonance with their clients, a process called co-regulation.

Distractions can include internal such as judgmental thoughts or feelings of self-doubt, and external, from the noise of their office or demands of the day. Cultivating mindfulness and self-compassion practices in their daily lives and a brief centering practice before each session can help therapists invite a state of therapeutic presence into their work.

Buddhist Psychotherapy

As Buddhism has gained more traction in Euro-American culture, more therapists are beginning to incorporate Buddhist philosophy and practices into their work. This type of therapy is called Buddhist counseling.

This type of therapy combines the wisdom of Buddhist teachings and understandings with Western psychotherapy styles such as cognitive behavioral therapy. The goal of this type of therapy is to alleviate mental suffering.

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