Let’s Talk About the Different Types of Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a type of psychiatric therapy that utilises in-depth discussions and conversations between therapist and patient. Also known as ‘talk therapy,’ psychotherapy is instrumental in managing a wide variety of mental health issues and emotional traumas. It is focused primarily on teaching patients how to process and handle symptoms (ideally eliminating them), so the patient can have a better quality of life.

Over the past few decades, psychotherapy has been the go-to therapy of many people because of its ease of access and its therapeutic results. While psychotherapists may prescribe medication or refer a patient to a psychiatrist should they feel it’s for the patient’s best interests, most of the time, they will rely on a variety of types of psychotherapy to ease the mental and emotional burden of their patient.

The best part about psychotherapy is that one can become a registered psychotherapist without having a psychology or psychiatry degree. Often, social workers are trained in psychotherapy to help them deal with the emotional trauma of their client. Summer training courses on psychotherapy are available around the country to help individuals learn more about becoming a psychotherapist and helping people in need.

Here are some basic types of psychotherapy that patients can avail of. These therapies are often decided upon by the psychotherapist depending on a person’s particular mental health issue and other circumstances. A psychotherapist can choose to either use one type of therapy or use a combination of therapy types to maximise the chances of helping their patient heal and become well.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Also known as CBT, this type of therapy helps patients by focusing on thought and behavioural patterns that have been deemed by the therapist to be self-destructive. Using CBT, the therapist helps the patient by encouraging them to change their thought patterns and behaviour to more positive and functional patterns. It’s often used in the treatment of depression and trauma-related disorders.

Interpersonal therapy (IPT)

therapist and patient

Also known as IPT, Interpersonal Therapy helps patients understand their issues regarding interpersonal matters, specifically ones that are disruptive of their functional lives and/or disrupts their relationships with other people. It’s a short-term treatment that focuses on such issues as grief, sudden changes in work conditions (e.g. retirement) or a sudden change in their life role (e.g. becoming a parent).

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Also known as DBT, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is a form of CBT that’s primarily focused on regulating a person’s emotions. Often, this is used in the treatment of people with chronic suicidal thoughts, PTSD or borderline personality disorders. DBT involves teaching patients new skills that allow them to take more personal responsibilities, thus empowering them to change unhealthy mental and emotional behaviours.

Psychodynamic Therapy

This type of therapy is reliant on the concept that a person’s current thought and behavioural patterns, as well as their general mental well-being, are heavily influenced by external factors such as childhood experiences. Psychodynamic therapy helps patients gain a sense of self-awareness that allows them to identify inappropriate and repetitive thoughts and feelings that may be subconscious or repressed.

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