In the last few blogs, I've been talking about self care and using summer to give our mental health some attention in hopes of building ourselves up for the colder and busier months ahead. I talked about what the therapy process is like. Let’s take a look at some therapy types. Here are some popular approaches:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - taking a look at negative thought patterns that feed negative emotions and maladaptive behaviors. Challenging thoughts and creating better behavioral patterns.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy- made for addressing maladaptive patterns and mood dysregulation, this therapy combines distress tolerance training, regular homework, groups, and mindfulness to teach new ways of handling stress, social interactions, and emotions.
Acceptance and Commitment - some thoughts and situations can’t or don’t need to be changed, so this approach helps people accept certain things (e.g. having chronic pain) and reminding themselves of their values and goals and moving in that direction.
Mindfulness - getting in touch with the present moment, often through meditation and body awareness. Very helpful in moving away from past/future dwelling and worrying and to touch base with the here and now.
Bio/neurofeedback - a mindfulness meets technology approach. As your heart rate or brain waves are measured, you are trained to use techniques like deep breathing to alter your state. You can see it in real time through the feedback from the heart or brain monitor and learn how to activate relaxation and focus.
Exposure - great for fears/phobias/anxiety inducing situations and obsessions/compulsions, this approach helps face the things we often avoid and teaches us that the situations we fear are rarely as bad as we build them up to be. Starting small (e.g. in imagination or a picture of a feared object) a therapist helps you re-train your misconception of something being dangerous or scary or beliefs that you can’t handle those things.
Parent training - parents can meet with a counselor to learn techniques. This can be individual or group. Examples of techniques include Love & Logic and Nurtured Heart Approach.
Couples counseling - couples can attend counseling together to learn communication and conflict resolution. No issue is too small, and focus can range from better communication in parenting to handling infidelity or considering divorce.
Family counseling - families can sit down together and work on how the family system functions, working on relationships and communication and setting family goals.
Grief counseling - great support for those who have lost a loved one, in individual or group format, this counseling helps work on any and all grief stages and towards acceptance and healing.
Group counseling - group counseling can be great for social support and a sense of belonging. Individuals with similar concerns or goals can come together tor support and learning, both from the facilitators and the other members.
These are just some of the most popular approaches. As you can see, there are so many various therapies out there! A quick Google search in your area can find you specialists in any of these therapies as well as various groups and programs. There’s something for everyone! If you’re not sure which one is right for you, meet with a therapist and try some things out. Ask questions! Most therapist are trained in multiple modalities, and can refer you to other specialists as well!