Types of Therapy
If you’re considering trying therapy, you might wonder where to begin. Perhaps the terms used to describe treatment are unfamiliar to you, or the idea of sharing your problems with a stranger is somewhat intimidating. Still, as a neutral, non-judgmental confidant, a therapist can help ease your burdens and provide valuable advice.
While therapy cannot cure conditions like anxiety, depression and PTSD, talking about your emotions with a trained counselor can help you find some relief from the symptoms that interfere with your daily life. Working through negativity or identifying the source of your stress can be challenging in the moment, but in the long run, you can expect to feel happier and more fulfilled.
Here are some types of therapy you may want to explore.
Psychodynamic therapy is the first thing you may envision when you picture someone working with a therapist. A mental health professional who specializes in psychoanalysis will ask you questions about your past to uncover developmental challenges or learned coping mechanisms that might contribute to the struggles you are having today. Many psychoanalysts will expect you to talk about your upbringing and explore any recurring dreams or fantasies you might have.
Unlike other types of therapy, psychodynamic therapy doesn’t have a designated endpoint. You can stay in treatment as long as you still feel it’s helping you meet your goals for improving self-awareness.
In behavioral therapy, you won’t spend much time talking about your childhood memories or subconscious thoughts. Instead, your counselor will focus on your existing symptoms, guiding you to change behavioral reactions and patterns that are currently making you unhappy.
Subtypes of behavioral therapy include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy helps people learn to change their thoughts and habits by recognizing negativity and replacing it with a more optimistic outlook. CBT often involves homework or practice to reinforce the lessons learned in therapy sessions. Cognitive behavioral therapy has proven to be one of the most successful evidence-based addiction treatment methods because it uncovers links between thoughts, feelings and actions and guides people to an improved awareness of how these factors impact their recovery process.
- Dialectical behavioral therapy is an offshoot of CBT that incorporates various methods for helping those with mental disorders and addiction, including problem-solving, stimulus control, cognitive restructuring and other treatments. The term “dialectical” stems from the idea that combining acceptance and change in the therapeutic process creates better results than either belief system on its own.
Targeted Trauma Treatment
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a trauma-focused treatment. The concept behind this therapeutic approach is that specific eye movements can reduce the negative emotions behind hurtful memories. During an EMDR session, your therapist will ask you to recall traumatic or triggering experiences while they direct your eye movements. Sounds and other stimuli can also be part of EMDR treatment.
Deciding to pursue counseling together with your partner or family doesn’t mean you have a dysfunctional relationship. Instead, look at it as a tool for strengthening your communications skills, including setting boundaries and learning healthy ways to resolve conflict. A couples or family therapist will usually work to help you understand and improve the dynamics within your relationship, so you can change anything that isn’t helpful.
How to Find a Therapist
The federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act states that health insurance policies must cover mental health services as they would other medical necessities. If you are uninsured, look to see if any nonprofits in your community offer free or low-cost counseling.
Several different types of professionals can provide therapy, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, licensed professional counselors, addiction specialists and others with specific training in mental and behavioral health.
It might take some trial and error to find a therapist who is a good fit for your needs. You can start by asking your primary care physician for a referral or searching online for someone whose practice focuses on your unique concerns. Therapists can also combine different approaches to create a customized plan that works well for you.
Start Your New Life Today
Understanding why you respond in specific ways that planted the seeds for your substance use disorder gives you a stable foundation for overcoming addiction. Often, the cycle of substance abuse begins when someone who feels inadequate turns to drinking or drug use to mute their defeatist attitude and negative self-talk.
Your therapist can teach you how to recognize irrational thoughts when they arise, and replace your harmful habits with new, healthy ones. At Beach House, our focus on the client-therapist alliance allows you to develop a strong bond with your counselor while you work through your long-term treatment program. To learn more about the qualities that make us one of the nation’s best addiction rehabs, contact us today.