Talk therapy for many newbies to therapy can be daunting. The act of speaking alone with a therapist about your feelings, emotions and troubles can inject fear into those new to the process. But talk therapy doesn’t come in one plain format.
There are various types of talk therapies that can be used case by case to address the type of mental health concerns at hand. A mental health professional or doctor will most likely be the best person to recommend you the next course of action and which type of therapy to approach as you begin your treatment.
What is Talk Therapy?
Talk therapy comes in different formats. The most traditional method is one to one speaking. Typically, a therapist will conduct this asking the client to provide details to prompts. This is just one of the many forms of talk therapy, with others involving groups, over the phone conversations, with family members or with your partner as a couple.
None of these therapies fit everyone’s needs. A therapist might be able to detect within the first few sessions that another form of talk therapy will be more suitable for their client. Or that the therapy, from feedback, doesn’t suit the needs of the client.
Types of Talk Therapies
Let’s begin to explore the various types of talk therapies that could become recommended to you and what you should begin to prepare yourself for as you start treatment.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
The goal of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is to uncover your thought process on life.
This process has been designed to help decrease unhelpful patterns of behaviour. CBT is commonly a treatment provided by a therapy that conducts roughly 12 to 20 sessions. CBT addresses a range of mental health issues including; depressions, anxiety, panic attacks, phobia, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and PTSD as well as some other eating disorders. The course of treatment is designed to produce favourable results with your habits, routine and thought process around negative emotions.
During this form of talk therapy, your therapist will create a set of goals that you will work towards across the sessions. They’ll also keep a track of your progress week on week, occasionally setting homework to help activate learnings from sessions.
- Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
Interpersonal therapy is a form of talking therapy that focuses on depression. The therapy helps to outline issues in relationships of the client with family, friends and partners. You might not be recommended IPT upfront, but go through CBT therapy sessions to uncover how you feel about your relationships and depression.
The goal is to address the cycle of feeling depressed from bad relationships and becoming depressed affecting future or current relationships with those around you. These sessions normally are offered between 16 – 20 sessions due to the nature of the specific type of talk therapy. This is something to consider if you suffer from a depressive disorder.
Please seek recommendation from a licensed therapist or counselor.
Counselling has been a popular form of talk therapy for many years helping to address the many difficulties in life surrounding you. During these sessions, you’ll address issues you face and over roughly 6 – 12 sessions speak to your counselor in confidence about how to deal with these issues on a daily basis.
Traditionally those who suffer from the following tend to get recommended counselling as a form of talk therapy. They include; struggling to cope with a long-term condition, chronic pain, addictions, fertility problems and other such conditions. CBT and other such conditions involving a therapy are focused more towards mental health conditions.
Please seek recommendation from your doctor about which to take.
- Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Talk therapies don’t always involve talking all the way through. MBCT or Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy is one that combines mindfulness practices with cognitive therapy to address your mental health conditions. Whilst mindfulness has been constantly recommended in the therapy space thanks to its benefits to the mind and body, this type of therapy has a fixed programme of exercises and sessions to address the condition.
During these sessions, you’ll address cognitive issues focused mainly on treating depression or an addiction. These sessions will focus on developing techniques like meditation and breathing exercises weaved in with talk therapies to address you thoughts and emotions.
MBCT is normally recommended as a course to address recurring issues with your mental health condition and not always as a standalone treatment. One of the many benefits to this form of talk therapy is that you can activate many of the learning at home to continue a healthy routine and practice.
- Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Specific to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), the goal of EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing addresses traumatic moments using a range of specific eye movements and prompts to help you reframe situations and memories.
EMDR has been developed to help PTSD sufferers that may experience flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts and bad experiences that remind them of a certain event they cannot let go. The goal of EMDR is to reprocess your memories of the event. Sessions tend to be between 8 to 12 sessions and a support network is important to the success of this treatment thanks to the nature of the memories and intensity of the sessions.
As always, we recommend seeking help your GP or doctor to address your issue and to get the correct form of treatment recommendation. As you see from above, there are so many forms of talk therapies and even more to add to this list, so it doesn’t stop there.
The important thing to takeaway is to re-frame how you think about therapies. Many people think of therapy as a one set course or route that isn’t customisable to each person undergoing the treatment. But this isn’t the case, therapies can be personalised, adapted and shaped to meet your needs and tackle your mental health condition.
If you’re new to the Therachat Blog, feel free to explore our other articles surrounding the topics of anxiety, depression, therapy and other mental health conversations. We’d love to have you as a regular reader.