Getting to Know the Therapies Used to Treat Different Disorders

So, you keep hearing us say that therapy is the best way to overcome your mental health problems. But have you ever wondered what exactly you would do in a therapy session that would make such a difference?

There are a wide range of therapies that psychologists can choose from when treating a client. The three that we will be talking about today are Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Psychodynamic Therapy. Keep reading to find out what they are and when they are proven to be useful.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

This therapy would be suited to… people who are looking for practical tips to overcome the symptoms of their mental illness.

 Proven effective for: Depression, anxiety disorders, bulimia nervosa, binge eating, sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, somatisation, hypochondriasis, body dysmorphic disorders, and psychotic disorders.

What is it?

Also known as CBT, this is an intervention technique that helps the person change unhealthy thinking, feeling or behaving habits. It teaches practical self-help strategies that the person can use when they are facing the symptoms of their mental illness – like feeling down or anxious. They are designed to promote positive, instantaneous changes in their quality of life.

CBT is proven to be highly effective when it comes to treating a wide range of mental illnesses. It can even be as effective as medication in treating anxiety and depression! Your psychologist will usually go through a number of steps with you when using this type of therapy. This can include educating you on your particular problems and setting goals to achieve in your sessions. They will then teach and practice strategies with you that you can implement in your everyday life.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

This therapy would be suitable for… people who are looking to feel at peace with the symptoms they experience.

Proven effective for: Anxiety disorders, depression, substance use and somatic health problems.

What is it?

ACT teaches you to accept what is out of your control and commit to actions that will improve your life. The goal of this intervention is to improve the quality of life of the client by:

  • Teaching skills to help them accept and acknowledge painful thoughts and feelings
  • Helping the client understand what is most important and meaningful to them. This understanding is then used to guide and motivate change in their lives.

Unlike other techniques, ACT doesn’t teach ways to control unwanted feelings or emotions. Instead, it encourages you to connect with those experiences as part of the process of moving towards your set goals. It also helps you identify values that are personally important to you and behavioural goals that will represent them.

ACT has become quite popular amongst psychologists in recent years. While it is relatively new to the psych world in comparison to CBT, for example, it is proven to be just as effective in many ways.

Psychodynamic Therapy

This therapy would be suitable for… people who would like to talk through their problems.

Proven effective for: Anxiety disorders, depression.

What is it?

Psychodynamic therapy helps you by exploring and working through any interpersonal conflicts you might be experiencing. It explores unconscious thoughts that may be effecting your mental health and quality of life. There are usually three major elements to this technique; confrontation of conflicts, clarification of those conflicts and interpretation of its meaning.

This intervention is proven to be quite effective for people experiencing depression or anxiety disorders. However, there is also evidence to suggest that a certain type of individual will respond well to psychodynamic therapy. This tends to be someone who has a genuine interest in exploring themselves and who seeks to develop their self-knowledge as well as symptom relief.

Which technique will my psychologist choose for me?

Most psychs use a couple of different styles depending on the clients needs. While the therapy they choose is important, the most important thing is the quality of relationship between you and your psych. If you feel that they ‘get’ you, they are more likely to choose a technique that will work for you.

Ok To Talk can match you with a psychologist who is suited to your specific needs. Click here to begin this quick and simple process today.