There are many types of psychotherapy and techniques that a therapist may incorporate into their sessions with clients. The most common types are:
- Individual therapy: meeting one-on-one with a therapist
- Couples therapy: partners meet with a therapist to address relationship issues
- Family therapy: families attend sessions to work on family dynamics
- Group therapy: therapist leads a peer group working on common goals, such as addiction recovery
Each therapist will have a specialty and training background based in certain types of psychotherapy. Common types of therapy include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy draws on cognitive and behavioral approaches to address problematic patterns of thought and behavior that cause emotional distress and negative consequences in the client’s life. The goal of CBT is to help the person recognize and understand why they think and behave in these ways in order to change it.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is based on finding a balance between opposites. DBT was originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder. DBT teaches people to regulate emotions, deal with stress, practice mindfulness in difficult situations, manage negative feelings, and improve communication skills.
Psychoanalysis is at the foundation of modern therapeutic approaches and is associated with the methods of Sigmund Freud. Psychodynamic therapy, also known as psychoanalytic therapy, works on uncovering childhood experiences and relationship dynamics that subconsciously affect thoughts and behaviors. The therapist helps the client to become aware of these subconscious thoughts and feelings in order to change negative patterns of behavior or thought.
Other Types of Therapy
In addition to these core types of psychotherapy, there are other methods such as psychodrama, art therapy, sound or music therapy, hypnotherapy, EMDR, and animal-assisted therapy. These other psychotherapy approaches involve a therapist who is guiding an individual or group to heal from underlying traumas, addiction, mental health conditions, and other issues.