Exploring the Different Types of Therapy

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Deciding to go to therapy is a big step toward improving your mental health and quality of life. But once you choose to seek counseling, you have to decide between all the different types of therapy available.  From riding a horse and completing a ropes course to dance and painting, it can feel like the list of available treatments is endless. With so many treatment options available, how can you decide which one is right for you? In today’s post, I’ll help you understand the types of therapy available to you.

5 Types of Modalities

There are various treatment modalities available, but, the most popular include individual therapy, couples counseling, family counseling, and group therapy. 

Individual Therapy Counseling

Individual therapy/counseling is one-on-one therapy with a licensed mental health provider to work through the individual needs of the client.

Couples Therapy and Counseling

Couples therapy/counseling is when a couple uses the therapeutic services of a licensed mental health provider to work relationship stressors, challenges, or possible future conflict to improve the long-term health of the relationship.

Family Therapy and Counseling

Family therapy/counseling brings in an entire family system to build stronger communication and resolve conflict with the support of a licensed mental health provider(s).

Group Therapy and Counseling

Group therapy occurs when individuals are brought together with a licensed mental health provider to work through similar challenges and possibly find support from each other.

Coaching

Involves an individual working with a coach to meet goals. Coaching is generally not covered by insurance.

6 Categories of Mental Health Therapy

While there are many applications within them, the different types of therapy fall into six main categories. These categories guide a counselor’s general approach to addressing your concerns.

Counselors may even specialize in one or more of these kinds of therapy and they may recommend or use different types of therapies to treat varying client concerns.

Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic Therapies 

Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies are in-depth talk treatments. They focus on changing behaviors, feelings, and thoughts by discovering unconscious motivations. 

In this type of therapy, you talk about your thoughts, daydreams, or even dreams. The counselor helps you identify your unconscious thoughts, patterns, and trends in them. They then help you relate those thoughts to your behaviors causing your distress. The therapist finds a connection between your unconscious mind and your actions. 

People may be in this intensive form of treatment for years, but they continue improving long after their therapy ends. It is not unusual for clients that choose psychoanalysis to go to therapy twice a week, or have longer sessions.

These therapies can treat mental health concerns, including:

  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Personality disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use disorder
  • Intimacy issues

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy focuses on how behaviors you learned in the past affect you now. In this type of therapy, your counselor helps you identify the root cause of your behaviors, and provides suggestions and strategies for how to change the ones that cause you stress or concern.

Behavioral therapy addresses mental health concerns including:

  • Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Substance use disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Intimacy issues
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Defiant behavior

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy focuses on how people think. It addresses problematic thoughts and assumes that your beliefs cause you distress. 

In this type of therapy, you and your counselor work to identify thinking patterns that negatively affect you and replace them with more accurate, helpful thoughts. 

Cognitive therapy uses thought-stopping techniques, narrative therapy (journaling), mindfulness practice, and others to help mitigate certain thoughts.

Cognitive therapy treats mental health concerns including:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Anger management
  • Addiction
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Phobias
  • Substance use disorders
  • Intimacy issues
  • Insomnia
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Humanistic Therapy

Humanistic therapy is all about the individual and helping them reach their full abilities. This type of therapy focuses totally on the individual. It assumes that your worldview determines your choices, some of which cause you distress. You and your counselor work to interpret your feelings and improve your views so that you can live as the best version of yourself.

Humanistic therapy treats concerns, including:

  • Self-esteem issues
  • Difficulting coping with chronic illness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Lack of direction and feeling stuck
  • Relationship concerns
  • Trauma

Integrative or Holistic Therapy

Integrative or holistic therapy means using a blend of therapies and modalities to treat the mind and body while customizing treatment for each patient. Therapists use integrative or holistic therapy to treat various psychological problems and disorders. Integrative therapy may include therapeutic approaches borrowed from any or all of the treatments described above and more, depending on the patient’s needs. The flexibility and individualized approach is what makes integrative therapy popular.

Transpersonal Counseling

Transpersonal therapy is based on an integrative approach but differs from the Integrative or Holistic approach because it also includes a focus on the patient’s spiritual beliefs and or practices or lack thereof. Therapists use transpersonal counseling to treat various psychological problems or disorders.

A transpersonal approach to counseling includes integrating religious and spiritual themes into psychotherapy and may range from asking questions about a client’s beliefs, values, and practices to making specific values-based recommendations for engaging in particular types of spiritual practices. This type of therapy aims to address the client’s mental, physical, social, emotional, creative, spiritual, and intellectual needs to facilitate healing and growth. To be clear, transpersonal counseling is not religious or Christian counseling.

The six kinds of therapy likely have various therapeutic applications that fall under them. But, all therapies generally fall into one of these six categories.

A Variety of Therapy Approaches Are Available

There are many different approaches to therapy and most therapists will blend therapeutic approaches to create a customized treatment plan for each client. Blow we’ll walk through multiple types of therapeutic approaches so you can have a better understanding of the help available for you or your loved one.

Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy

Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy relies on revealing negative ways of coping with emotional difficulties and teaching you to deal with these difficulties in a healthier way. 

Your AEDP therapist will establish a genuine and trusting relationship with you where you feel heard and seen. This type of therapy is experiential, meaning it is grounded in experience. This means that, in AEDP, therapists encourage you to share your experience from your point of view. 

AEDP asserts that people already have the fundamental parts necessary for healing. But it might take some exploration and feeling within the moment to learn how to respond and cope appropriately. This process is what you and your therapist will spend most of your time on.

Your therapist will encourage you to become in touch with your innate ability to heal. This approach can include working through conscious or unconscious defenses. The goal is to foster your trust in yourself. Trusting yourself allows you to open up in relationships, which is an essential part of AEDP. 

If you want to develop your emotional skills, rely less on defensive tactics, and learn to flourish in relationships (including with yourself), you may benefit from Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy helps people become more psychologically adaptable. ACT encourages you to be more fully in the present. Accepting your deep emotions, traumas, or negative coping mechanisms is key in this therapeutic approach. 

ACT maintains that to adapt and grow, a person must fully accept themselves as they are. Therapists practicing ACT believe that suppressing or ignoring painful emotions or experiences is counter-productive to growth and change. 

You must investigate your current patterns of thinking to change. After examining these patterns, you can better understand the way your thinking impacts you. This acceptance of your patterns and habits helps you change your behaviors. 

Trying to stop ways of thinking can be detrimental to ACT. Your therapist will help you understand how and why you think a certain way. Your ACT therapist will encourage you to accept yourself within a given moment. This acceptance is ultimately the catalyst for change. 

After fostering the acceptance of the present moment, with all its thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, your ACT therapist will encourage you to develop a new, more compassionate relationship with your experience. 

Individuals experiencing a wide range of psychological issues can benefit from ACT because it emphasizes their unique relationship with their problems.

Addiction Counseling

Addiction Counseling is for individuals who have substance use issues, including alcohol or other substances. 

Counselors perform Addiction Counseling in an inpatient or extensive outpatient program. 

You can expect individual and group therapy sessions focused on learning skills to help you recover. These skills include identifying triggers that make you want to use substances. Once you learn your triggers, you can then practice coping with them when they arise. 

Addiction Counseling emphasizes:

  • Building a support network of sober individuals
  • Pausing to breathe when stressful events or emotions arise
  • Fostering a practice of yoga, meditation, or another form of exercise
  • Maintaining healthy habits 
  • Finding creative outlets that work, such as journaling or art
  • Attending a support group or self-help meetings
  • Staying in contact with a mental health professional

Addiction Counseling may involve a detox program, a space to get the substances out of your system before undergoing treatment. 

Additionally, Addiction Counseling emphasizes developing and practicing behaviors that work for each individual. Counselors recognize that everyone has different stressors that might cause a relapse. 

Anyone who struggles with a substance use disorder can benefit from Addiction Counseling. 

Adlerian Psychotherapy

Adlerian Psychotherapy stems from the ideas of Alfred Adler. Sometimes referred to as “Individual Psychology,” the underlying tenet of Adlerian Therapy is that individuals can positively change their lives. 

Adler believed that people have feelings of inferiority. These feelings are positive for individuals with positive ways to cope with them. But they’re negative for those who don’t. When people feel encouraged to strive toward self-improvement due to feelings of inferiority, Adler stated, they contribute to a greater social good. 

If you feel discouraged or inferior, often compare yourself to others, or want to strive for more, you may benefit from Adlerian Psychotherapy. 

Adlerian Psychotherapy involves four distinct stages: 

  1. Engagement. You and your therapist establish rapport and create a safe environment for you. 
  2. Assessment. The therapist learns about your past and present. This stage helps them understand your life experiences and your thinking styles. 
  3. Interpretation. The therapist suggests how past experiences color your way of thinking and how those might be helpful or not. You then decide if the therapist’s interpretations are useful. 
  4. Reorientation. You test new strategies for ways of thinking and living that help move you toward self-improvement.

Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal Assisted Therapy incorporates animals into your treatment plan. 

The inclusion of animals into mental health treatment can benefit many people of varying ages. 

Generally, the types of animals used in AAT include dogs, horses, and cats. But counselors can incorporate other animals into treatment if they’re trained and handled correctly. These animals include rabbits, lizards, fish, or turtles. 

For some people, the mere presence of an animal is comforting, allowing them to open up and engage in conversation with their therapist more fully. 

Regardless of your situation, the presence of an animal may provide consolation during difficult conversations.

If you’re interested, ask your therapist if Animal Assisted Therapy is something you could incorporate into your sessions.

Applied Behavioral Analysis

Therapists most commonly use Applied Behavioral Analysis for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. For children and adults alike, ABA can assist you in improving skills that might make tasks of daily living difficult, such as communication, social skills, motor skills, hygiene, grooming, academics, and job skills. 

An ABA therapist would first assess your current functioning, asking questions about your experiences to determine what skills might benefit you. A qualified ABA therapist understands how behavior changes according to the environment. As each individual is unique, the techniques used to modify behavior vary according to what you specifically need. 

Usually, behavior modification uses a reward system to encourage a specific behavior and decrease unwanted behavior. Using this system repetitively with various behaviors and skills will eventually increase the skill or behavior. 

You can expect an ABA therapist to help you work toward your goals in whichever area would most benefit your life.

Art Therapy

Art Therapy uses various art forms to help you with specific concerns. Art therapy could include drawing, painting, sculpting, coloring, writing, music, drama, or dance, among others. 

The basis of Art Therapy is that creativity is a way for people to express feelings and thoughts that they might have difficulty communicating in a conversation. Creating art can also help you engage in self-expression, which is key to therapeutic change and growth. 

You don’t need to be artistic to benefit from Art Therapy. Research shows that people benefit from engaging in the creative process, regardless of ability.

Art Therapy is particularly beneficial for those who experience trauma. But it can help people with a wide range of mental health concerns or stress. 

The therapist will encourage you to connect your art with your inner experience. This process allows you to release emotions.

Attachment-Based Therapy

Attachment-Based Therapy relies on John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory to inform the therapeutic process. Attachment Theory emphasizes the quality of an infant’s connection to its parent, most primarily its mother. If a child is adequately cared for and responded to, they will grow up to form healthy relationships. If a mother is too distant, unresponsive, or overly cautious, the infant is more likely to grow up to experience unhealthy relationships. Children must get adequate care and love to learn to trust others and themselves. 

Attachment-Based Therapy’s goal is to help you rebuild the context of your relationships in more healthy, positive ways. Your therapist will show you openness, caring, and empathy. You can experience what a healthy relationship looks and feels like through this therapeutic relationship. 

Although therapists can use it for individual or group therapy, you may benefit from Attachment-Based Therapy in a family therapy setting. 

Your therapist will help you discover your particular attachment style based on your relationship with your parents and your early memories of family relationships. They also will explore your current relationship dynamics as they relate to your upbringing. With this understanding, you and your therapist can then begin to restructure your existing relationships based on a foundation of love and trust. 

Bibliotherapy

Bibliotherapy uses literature to encourage therapeutic change. Life experiences can be challenging, and dealing with the emotions that arise can be complex. Often, you don’t have anything or anyone to compare these new experiences to. Sometimes, you can find comfort between the pages of a book in a character’s experiences. Or, you might find solace in the words of poetry that explain a complex emotion you’re struggling to articulate.

You can read various books that demonstrate concepts that your therapist might emphasize in therapy, such as self-empowerment, healthy relationships, communication, and working through trauma. Your therapist may choose some literature because of specific elements the books illustrate or for imaginative creativity. 

Bibliotherapy can be particularly beneficial for children. Introducing complex topics such as depression, grief, or trauma can be easier when using characters to tell a story. 

In individual or group therapy, literature for therapeutic purposes is beneficial for various mental health concerns. By helping you gain personal insight, perspective, and an outward expression of inward emotional experiences, Bibliotherapy is an excellent choice for anyone seeking mental health treatment.

Biofeedback Therapy

Therapists use Biofeedback Therapy for physical and mental health concerns. During a Biofeedback Therapy session, a therapist or other specialist places sensors on your skin in various places. These sensors measure physiological responses to stimulus, stress, and other environmental factors. Your therapist observes the changes through the sensors and helps you interpret the results. 

Looking at things like your breath, heart rate, muscle tension and activity, brain activity, and temperature can give your therapist clues as to how specific stimuli affect your mind and body. They can then teach you to control various bodily functions and respond more calmly to triggers.

While specialists use Biofeedback Therapy to treat physical ailments, this approach for mental health concerns is growing in popularity. If you have anxiety or depression, Biofeedback Therapy may be an excellent therapeutic opportunity for you.  

Brain Stimulation Therapy

Brain Stimulation Therapy is for people experiencing severe mental health disorders, including depression, Schizophrenia, and Bipolar Disorders. This type of therapy is usually only considered after medication and talk therapy don’t produce the desired change. 

A licensed specialist performs Brain Stimulation Therapy in a hospital. It requires general anesthesia. Using electrodes placed on the scalp, the specialist administers a series of electric waves to cause a brief seizure. The seizure causes chemical changes in the brain that can lessen the effects of severe depression.

If you’re interested in Brain Stimulation Therapy, speak with your therapist. This approach is generally only provided in more severe cases where individuals are at an increased risk of suicide. 

Brain Stimulation Therapy usually requires several sessions and follow-up visits with the specialist. Only a qualified specialist should perform Brain Stimulation Therapy.

Brainspotting

Brainspotting is a newer method of therapy developed by David Grand where trained therapists use “brainspots” to activate specific memories that might carry trauma or emotional pain. 

During a session of brainspotting, your therapist uses a pointer to guide your eyes around your field of vision, stopping in spots that might allow your brain to connect to traumatic memories or incidents that bring emotional distress. These connections allow you and your therapist to work more fully through these incidents or memories.

Brainspotting is relatively flexible, meaning your therapist can adapt the experience to your individual needs. 

Since it is a relatively newer form of therapy, there isn’t much literature supporting the ability for therapeutic change through Brainspotting. Although, some studies show it can affect Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other forms of trauma. 

Christian Counseling

Christian Counseling utilizes therapeutic skills with the Christian faith to help people heal. This therapeutic approach is a good option for those interested in the Christian faith or who have beliefs that allow them to benefit from a counselor who can help align their healing with tenets of Christianity. 

Some people choose Christian counseling because they are experiencing life problems tied to their faith. Others may choose it because they are followers of Christ. 

Christian Counseling uses the tenets of the Bible to assist you in developing healthy coping mechanisms, overcoming relational challenges, healing from trauma, and dealing with any other mental health concerns. Christian Counseling encourages strengthening your relationship with God, the Bible, and your faith.

Christian Counseling usually combines another form of therapy focusing on ideas from the Bible. Research shows that incorporating spirituality into mental health counseling can be beneficial for those who have had or plan to connect to their faith. 

People dealing with any mental health concern can benefit from Christian Counseling if they want to strengthen their relationship with God simultaneously. Christian counselors typically have a background in the faith of Christianity, rely on the Bible to help them guide those they counsel, and try their best to integrate the mind, body, and spiritual aspects of counseling. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the most researched therapeutic approaches to date. Numerous studies prove that it affects people who engage in it with the help of a qualified therapist. 

CBT is effective for many mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, substance use disorders, eating disorders, and trauma disorders. 

CBT supports the idea that people have cognitions, or thoughts, that are unhelpful that can lead to unhelpful behaviors. To change these behaviors, CBT therapists help clients examine their negative ways of thinking. 

Your CBT therapist will first examine your negative thought patterns. Recognizing your unhelpful thoughts can lead to clarity about your actions. Once you understand how your unhelpful thoughts influence your behavior, your therapist will work with you to identify more helpful ways of thinking. Additionally, your therapist will help you find more positive ways of coping with negative thoughts and strong emotions. 

CBT utilizes individualized learning through homework activities that can help you more efficiently integrate the strategies you learn in therapy into your everyday life. Once you’ve incorporated some of these strategies into your daily life, your therapist will work with you to continue to reshape any negative or unhelpful ways of thinking that might arise.

Culturally Sensitive Therapy

Culturally Sensitive Therapy emphasizes people’s various ethnic and cultural backgrounds within the therapeutic relationship. 

Some approaches to therapy aim to treat every client the same — utilizing similar techniques, ways of communicating, and explanations of concepts. These therapists understand the importance of different cultures and recognize that these differences can impact the way someone experiences therapy. By bringing these experiences to the forefront of therapy, your therapist will validate your unique background and use it to work on your strengths and propel you toward your goals. 

Your therapist will have foundational knowledge about your specific ethnic, cultural, and linguistic differences. They also will continue learning more about how your culture affects your life experiences.

Culturally Sensitive Therapy’s goal is to make you feel more comfortable and understood, not only when it comes to culture and ethnicity, but also religion, race, age, ability, gender, sexual orientation, and beliefs. 

Your therapist will employ counseling techniques to help you on your healing journey. They also will serve as an advocate for your particular identities in the community by connecting you to culturally-sensitive resources. 

Ultimately, Culturally Sensitive Therapy should make you feel comfortable and understood. When the therapeutic space is safer, you will be more likely to benefit from the process. 

Ultimately, Culturally Sensitive Therapy should make you feel comfortable and understood. When the therapeutic space is safer, you will be more likely to benefit from the process. 

Cognitive Processing Therapy

Cognitive Processing Therapy is a short-term, in-depth type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that focuses specifically on negative thoughts people have about themselves and the world due to trauma they experienced. CPT was developed specifically for people diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is a highly structured approach to therapy. 

Each CPT session has a specific activity or goal in mind, designed to be implemented in one-hour sessions. First, your CPT therapist will talk with you about key concepts, including the effects of trauma and PTSD on mental health. After this, your CPT therapist will go through negative thoughts and how what’s referred to as your “stuck points” can make healing from trauma difficult. The next stages include recounting the details of the trauma you experienced, which CPT practitioners say is key to identifying related problematic thoughts about the self or the world that developed from the trauma.

Identifying stuck points is critical to the healing process. These unhelpful beliefs can contain untrue information, such as “I am a bad person and deserved for my trauma to happen to me.” Your therapist will work with you to challenge these thoughts. Challenging these stuck points can help you regain a sense of power and control over your thoughts, which can lessen trauma symptoms. 

Learning positive coping skills is the final step in CPT, where you and your therapist work together to establish activities that help you deal with trauma symptoms in ways that enhance your life and move toward your healing goals. 

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy is an approach for treating dementia or Alzheimer’s in adults. It uses memory and cognitive exercises in a group therapy setting. Therapists can use CST activities with individuals, but it’s not as effective.

Regular CST activities can improve the quality of life for people living with mild to moderate dementia and Alzheimer’s as much as some medications can. 

Combined with various activities to stimulate memory and cognition, CST serves as an engaging social event for adults dealing with memory or cognitive concerns. Individuals within the group are encouraged to connect with their memories regarding specific events, such as holidays, vacations, days of the year, family gatherings, social events, and jobs. 

A CST group could engage in a memory game, complete a puzzle, read an article, or watch a video about a current event and then discuss it together. CST is a welcoming group activity that makes adults feel safe and connected to others.

CST is generally offered two times a week for several weeks at a time. 

In addition to exercises that stimulate social engagement, learning, and memory, CST promotes activities that can improve communication skills for adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s. 

Collaborative Couple Therapy

Collaborative Couple Therapy encourages partners to use their fights to understand each other more deeply. 

Created by Dan Wile, CCT uses communication between couples to work through any issues that might arise in the relationship. 

In CCT, your therapist will analyze your and your partner’s communication patterns. They will look for signs that you or your partner have things you want to communicate but aren’t saying outright. The dynamic of not saying what you mean or not expressing your true feelings can lead to conflict in a relationship. The therapist will then assist you and your partner in revealing your genuine thoughts and feelings in a way that strengthens the relationship. 

CCT also helps people listen more fully to their partners. Sharing thoughts and feelings in a safe environment leads to a more collaborative relationship. 

Your therapist will intervene if an argument occurs in a session and attempt to expand upon and validate each partner’s comments. In this way, the argument leads to more understanding instead of hurt feelings, anger, and resentment. 

Compassion Focused Therapy

Compassion Focused Therapy emphasizes utilizing compassion to understand yourself and the people around you. It’s a good option for people dealing with shame or self-criticism that causes emotional distress. 

Developing compassion for yourself and others requires practice. Practicing self-compassion exercises can help you manage shame and guilt, which can help you develop compassion for the people around you. 

Contemplative Psychotherapy

Contemplative Psychotherapy utilizes Buddhist mindfulness and meditation practices to facilitate healing and growth. Contemplative psychotherapists work to cultivate mindfulness within themselves to lead by example with their clients. 

Contemplative Psychotherapy is a good choice for those who want to work through existential concerns about life and death and those willing to try mindfulness and meditation as healing methods. 

Mindfulness can help ease stress and anxiety, which come with many different mental health concerns.

Instead of a deficit mindset as some approaches to therapy take, Contemplative Psychotherapy says you are already whole and worthy of a sense of wellbeing. Ultimately, your therapist’s goal is to help you understand yourself in a more full and accepting way.  

Dance and Movement Therapy

Dance and Movement Therapy uses dance techniques to facilitate therapy. Proponents of this type of therapy recognize that the body and mind are connected and that physical movement, stretches, and techniques can help individuals improve this connection. 

Dance and Movement Therapy is a form of creative expression. Creative expression in therapy can help you process your inner experience. You can use movement to express emotions. Emotions are a vital part of any therapeutic growth and healing. 

While verbal communication is vital in therapy, sometimes it is easier for people to communicate nonverbally. Nonverbal communication through dance and movement is appealing for some.

There are physical benefits to Dance and Movement Therapy that provide some people with stress relief. Overall health increases by improving cardiovascular strength, muscle tone, and flexibility. Additionally, physical movement can trigger endorphins that enhance overall mood. The physical and emotional aspects come together in Dance and Movement Therapy to promote the integration of the whole self. 

Your Dance and Movement Therapist will guide you through various body movement exercises to assess your functioning and provide intervention to make you feel better mentally. 

Dance and Movement Therapy also focuses on improving self-esteem and developing a positive self-image. 

Your therapist will work with you to understand your individual goals and needs and develop appropriate dance and movement interventions that help you heal from mental health concerns.

Depth Psychotherapy

Depth Psychotherapy focuses on the effects of the unconscious on human behavior, emotion, and the ability to achieve growth. The unconscious involves dreams, repressed thoughts or memories, and what Psychiatrist Carl Jung called the “collective unconscious.” The collective unconscious is how common archetypes and universal experiences connect all humans. 

Depth Psychotherapy’s goal is to discover and integrate the parts of the self influenced by the unconscious into the conscious experience. These therapists work to establish a trusting relationship with you so you’re more comfortable sharing what can sometimes be difficult parts of yourself.

Depth Psychotherapy uses guided visualizations with imagery, Socratic questioning, roleplays, and other tactics to assist you in connecting deeper parts of yourself. Through this process, you develop a greater sense of understanding and awareness. This awareness can help you approach life’s challenges with more empathetic understanding. 

Depth Psychotherapy is best suited for individuals seeking a greater purpose and understanding of themselves and the human condition or interested in existential pursuits of inquiry. 

Ultimately, you will grow more in tune with yourself and gain a greater awareness and understanding of yourself and life as a whole.  

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a structured, short-term approach to therapy to treat individuals with various mental health concerns, such as self-destructive behaviors, emotional regulation difficulties, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and other trauma-related disorders. 

DBT helps you accept yourself as you are, despite negative patterns of thinking you may have due to various life experiences. This acceptance makes more room for you to change negative thinking that may harm your mental health. 

DBT teaches you tolerance to more adequately cope with negative or difficult emotions and strategies to change behavior and reduce negative thoughts. 

Your therapist will help you recognize and name your feelings as they arise without judging them or shaming yourself for experiencing them. You will also practice distress tolerance by finding ways to cope with destructive urges more positively. Your therapist might also include mindfulness techniques, which teach you to be present in the moment. 

DBT can be used individually or in a group setting. Group settings for DBT help practice skills and work on interpersonal communication, as another goal of DBT is to improve relationship skills.

Discernment Counseling

Discernment Counseling is an approach to couple’s counseling to assist partners in figuring out if they want to continue their relationship. It recognizes that many couples seek counseling because they are close to separating. Counselors use this knowledge to design interventions and help the couple decide if they should stay together. 

Counselors ask plenty of questions in the initial assessment, such as your thoughts about the relationship, your strengths as a couple, common themes in disagreements, if children are involved, and the relationship history. After this assessment, your counselor will speak with you to determine whether there are solvable issues within the relationship. They talk to you about these things together and separately.  

Discernment Counseling’s goal isn’t to fix relationship issues or solve problems but to discern whether there are issues that have the potential to be solved and if each partner deems them worthy of working through. 

Discernment Counseling usually only lasts a couple of sessions. If couples choose to stay together, they might enter couples therapy after Discernment Counseling to engage in a more long-term process. 

Discernment Counseling can provide a foundation of relational strengths for a couple, making couple’s counseling easier. If couples choose to separate, Discernment Counseling can facilitate that process.

Dyadic Developmental Therapy

Dyadic Developmental Therapy reduces mental health concerns and promotes well-being. It’s for children who experience abuse, neglect, or are in the foster care system. DDP focuses on the family, as family dynamics are crucial protective factors in a traumatized child’s life. 

DDP supports Attachment Theory. Attachment Theory states that if infants receive the appropriate amount of physical touch, safety, love, and care, they will grow up to form healthy relationships with others. If infants don’t receive proper care, they will have problems forming healthy relationships. In DDP, the relationship between parent and child is key to the child’s emotional development after significant trauma. 

DDP includes parenting skills to help caregivers make secure, safe connections with their children following trauma. 

DDP also relies on knowledge of the effects of developmental trauma and how, in children, experiencing abuse, neglect, or similar situations can cause changes in the brain that might change how the child develops. 

Your DDP therapist will work with you and your child to make a plan that considers your child’s specific developmental level, emotional, and behavioral issues. 

Eclectic Psychotherapy

Eclectic Psychotherapy uses various techniques and theoretical orientations from other forms of therapy to serve clients best. It’s a flexible form of counseling also called “integrative” or “multimodal.” 

While most therapeutic techniques emphasize the client’s specific problem, these therapists can approach the client’s problems with a wide array of options for treatment because a certain approaches’ techniques don’t constrain them. In other words, your therapists can use whatever approaches work best for you in your situation.

People with various mental health concerns such as anxiety and depressive disorders, trauma disorders, or substance use disorders benefit from an eclectic approach to counseling. 

Eco Therapy

EcoTherapy rests on the theory that people and nature connect. These therapists believe connecting to nature is necessary for human healing. They think activities performed in nature, caring for nature, or simply being in nature can help individuals with anxiety, stress, and other mental health concerns. 

There can be positive effects on mental health when people spend time in nature, which is a critical tenet to EcoTherapy. Spending time in nature also can increase your mindfulness, gratitude, and creativity. 

You might benefit from EcoTherapy if you are willing to try new things or enjoy being outside and among nature. Incorporating nature into counseling could look like going on walks or meditating outside in various natural environments, engaging in taking care of plants, flowers, or gardens, doing physical exercise outdoors, or advocating for environmental conservation by doing projects or volunteer work.

Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally Focused Therapy is a short-term approach to counseling most often used for couples, but it also works with families and individuals. Anyone interested in improving their interactions with loved ones could benefit from EFT.

EFT emphasizes developing a stronger bond between two or more people. It examines interactions and how each individual contributes to undesirable behaviors that negatively affect their emotional bond. 

EFT’s goal is to reduce distress and negative patterns in the relationship so people can grow closer and rebuild trust, love, and intimacy. 

There are three distinct stages in EFT: 

  1. De-Escalation. The therapist has people slow down their conversations and interactions to examine patterns in this stage. Is one person not expressing their emotions? Is one person avoidant? Is one person quick to anger? Your EFT therapist will hone in on these specific exchanges to help you understand what interaction and communication patterns lead to hurt feelings and disconnection. 
  2. Changing Interaction Patterns. This stage involves encouraging each person to communicate their feelings and needs. Your therapist will help you express empathy, even during tense interactions. 
  3. Consolidation. In this stage, you practice the skills you learned during counseling. This stage aims to integrate more desirable communication patterns in EFT sessions and real life.

Emotional Transformation Therapy

Emotional Transformation Therapy uses brain stimulation achieved through colored lights to treat trauma and emotional pain in clients without medication or any invasive procedures. Therapists train uniquely to administer this counseling approach. 

ETT requires an assessment phase, which includes a test of a person’s sensitivity to light. Sensitivity to color and eye movement produces changes in the brain which can cause quick mood changes. The therapist will use your reactions to specific light and color to tailor your counseling sessions to meet your needs. 

ETT posits that specific lights combined with colors can stimulate pathways in the brain. These pathways can trigger particular memories, sensations, thoughts, or emotions. Using the results from your assessment, your ETT therapist will then work with you to understand what comes up. 

The rapid shift in emotional states is effective for treating some mental health concerns. This rapid shift can cause a greater awareness of your emotions. ETT also includes traditional talk therapy, where you and your counselor discuss things that might have come up within an ETT session. 

The awareness gained from ETT sessions can be beneficial if you’ve experienced trauma or have other mental health concerns such as anxiety or depressive disorders.

Encounter-Centered Couples Therapy

Encounter-Centered Couples Therapy seeks to assist couples in enjoying one another’s presence and actively engaging in being together. 

EcCT focuses on “three invisible connectors”: the space, bridge, and encounter. These ideas are metaphors to help couples be more fully connected and authentic. The idea behind the three invisible connectors is for couples to close the space between them, walk across the bridge holding them back, and truly encounter one another.

A central tenet of EcCT is experiencing joy simultaneously, referred to as “communion” by EcCT practitioners. When partners experience communion, they also can experience growth. This approach to counseling aims to bring forth a couple’s creativity and aliveness. 

If you want to make your relationship more enthusiastic, connected, and whole, you may benefit from EcCT.

Energy Psychology

Energy Psychology attempts to lead people toward growth and change by connecting their thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and bodily reactions and sensations. 

Because people’s bodies experience physiological responses when they encounter strong emotions, specifically for people who experience trauma, healing combines a focus on the body’s and mind’s energy. 

Energy Psychology incorporates an understanding of the body’s energetic systems and electrical fields to address a range of mental health concerns. Typically, Energy Psychology focuses on specific areas of the body or energy points. Stimulating these pressure points while engaging in cognitive exercises, mindfulness exercises, or other counseling techniques can signal the brain to regulate the body. 

Energy Psychology’s goal is to use the physical body to address distressing emotional states. 

Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy

Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy uses the care and presence of horses to facilitate the therapeutic process. 

Horses have a history of being empathetic in the presence of human beings. They can pick up on human emotions and respond to them. This response develops self-awareness for people engaged in EAP and can help people heal from various behavioral and mental health concerns. 

Many people are familiar with the comfort that pets can bring humans, but EAP goes beyond this comfort and uses the care, grooming, and riding of horses to engage people in counseling. 

Individuals experiencing substance use issues, anxiety, depression, self-harm behaviors, trauma disorders, and more can benefit from EAP.

Simply being with horses and in nature can be beneficial for some people. EAP takes this idea and extends the care and keeping of horses to engage people seeking counseling in tasks and exercises that benefit their mental health. Unlike humans, horses do not judge people for the struggles or experiences they’ve had. While counselors try their best to make their spaces non-judgemental, the peace offered by horses may facilitate the ability for some people to be more vulnerable with their counselor. As horses are perceptive to behavior in humans, someone might experience this non-judgemental feedback to be highly beneficial as they interact with a horse. 

Caring for horses involves responsibility, physical and emotional strength, and consistency. For these reasons, EAP can be helpful for children or adolescents dealing with behavioral or substance use issues. Additionally, caring for and riding horses helps some people gain confidence, self-trust, creative expression, and empathy.

Existential Psychotherapy

Existential Psychotherapy utilizes familiar existential givens, such as the fear of death, human responsibility, and meaninglessness to engage individuals. The goal is to lead them to greater awareness of the freedom of being fully engaged in life. 

Existential Psychotherapy posits that humans must recognize that, ultimately, life can have a sense of meaninglessness. Initially, this may seem like a bleak thought. But these therapists emphasize the freedom this realization brings. If life lacks meaning, people should do their best to enjoy each moment as it comes.

Another goal of Existential Psychotherapy is to reduce the anxiety that arises from questions of humanity. This type of therapy may be for you if you enjoy pondering the more challenging questions in life or you want to reduce fear about death and learn how to embrace life. 

Your therapist will create a safe environment for you to ponder serious questions about the nature of humanity and your own life and death. This questioning and exploration can reduce anxiety and help you live a more authentic life. 

These therapists believe each human is on their own journey, but a shared sense of suffering and anxiety leads to empathy for the human condition. They do not see themselves as the expert on life but will welcome you to begin your journey of pondering the ultimate truths of humanity.

Experiential Therapy

Experiential Therapy uses experiences to facilitate growth and change. Traditional approaches to counseling usually involve dialogue and communication to work through mental health concerns. Experiential Therapy places people in specific situations where hands-on activities are at the center of the counseling process. This immersive experience can involve art, psychodrama, music, play therapy, or animal-assisted therapy. 

Experiential Therapy places you within an experience that brings up thoughts and emotions depending on your specific needs. Your involvement in whatever activity you’re engaging in shows the counselor how you handle situations and issues.

Experiential Therapy can be used simultaneously with other counseling approaches. Your therapist will inquire about thoughts and emotions that arose during the experience. Understanding your perception of what happened during the experience gives your counselor insight into your inner world. 

Experiential Therapy’s goal is to explore yourself through your experiences and use this information to inform future choices. 

Experiential Therapy can assist people with various mental health concerns, such as anxiety, depression, and trauma disorders.

Exposure and Response Prevention

Exposure and Response Prevention is for people diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. OCD is when a person uses compulsive behaviors to try and control repetitive, distressing, and intrusive thoughts. For example, a person may wash their hands excessively because they have extreme fear and anxiety of germs.

ERP’s goal is to promote distress tolerance skills that replace rituals or compulsions. 

Your therapist will introduce the concept of “habituation,” which involves slowly exposing you to the feared experience. Through distress tolerance techniques such as mindfulness and breathing exercises, your nervous system learns to calm down when exposed to the stimuli. Eventually, after repeated exposure, your body learns to respond differently. 

Another idea behind ERP is that you learn that your previous associations are likely wrong by being exposed to the feared stimuli multiple times. For example, someone who fears germs learns, through repeated exposure, that they will not become deathly ill after exposing themself to germs. 

ERP also can help you manage distressing emotions surrounding the fear itself. You can ease some of these obsessions and compulsions by learning to tolerate uncertainty. 

Your ERP therapist will work with you to develop skills of distress tolerance, mindfulness, and staying present in the moment, which can help you manage your symptoms.

Expressive Art Therapy

Expressive Art Therapy utilizes creativity and the arts to promote growth and change. Examples of this form of therapy include language arts, visual arts, drama, music, and dance therapies. Therapists can tailor Expressive Art Therapy to suit your specific needs and interests. The possibilities for Expressive Art Therapy are numerous, as therapists also can combine this mode of counseling with other approaches. 

People have utilized the creative arts to express themselves throughout history. Expressive Art Therapy recognizes the importance of self-expression. It can benefit those with a wide range of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, substance use issues, eating disorders, and personality disorders.

You can gain a more profound sense of self-awareness through artistic expression, leading to a better understanding of the self. Your therapist will conduct assessments that include conversations with you about what you are interested in. If you’ve always liked music, your counselor might suggest you write a song about an experience you need to work through. If you’re interested in painting, your counselor might ask you to paint what a specific emotion looks like for you. By expressing emotion through art, you might be able to communicate your inner world more effectively than you can with words. 

Most Expressive Art Therapy also includes a more traditional talk therapy component so that you can get the most out of the creative counseling process.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy uses eye movements, lights, and neuroscience to treat individuals who experienced trauma or have other mental health concerns. It’s designed to be short-term but can be combined with more traditional forms of talk therapy if deemed necessary. 

EMDR allows the brain to process traumatic memories, negative images, or distressing thoughts by unlocking them. Instead of being “frozen” in place, EMDR allows the brain to heal from the distressing event through specific eye movements.

Your therapist will assess whether the approach to counseling is a good fit for you. Individuals who experience trauma, are diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or have anxiety or panic disorders could benefit from EMDR. 

Your EMDR therapist will ask you to recall a specific experience, memory, image, thought, or idea that is particularly distressing to you. Using either tapping, eye movements, or particular sounds, your counselor will ask you to focus and notice what comes up in your body during the session. This eye stimulation combined with your focus on your traumatic memory allows the memory to be processed and fade in intensity. 

EMDR’s goal is not to forget any traumatic memories, but to no longer be triggered by them.

Family Systems Therapy

Family Systems Therapy is an approach to family counseling founded by Psychiatrist and Researcher Dr. Murray Bowen in the 1960s. It relies on Bowen’s Family Systems theory, which states that systems, like families, consist of parts affected by one another. This structure means that each family member affects the behaviors of others.

Family Systems Therapy aims to identify these interlocking systems that might result in negative relational patterns and address the causes so family members can relate better to one another.

Family System theory posits that every person can benefit from examining the patterns from their family of origin or the family they grew up with during their formative years. For some people, this could include their biological family, their adoptive family, or other key caregivers present in their early childhood. 

While most commonly used in family counseling, counselors also can use Family Systems Therapy in individual or couples counseling. 

Your therapist will ask questions about your family of origin and might even ask you to complete a genogram, which is a diagram of your family relationships going back as far as possible. The genogram ranges in detail but usually includes names of ancestors and family members, births, marriages, deaths, and sometimes mental illnesses if known. From there, your counselor might ask you to recall your relationships with your parents and siblings.

Family Systems Therapy helps you understand how your family relationships from childhood impact you today. By identifying emotions you experienced when you were younger regarding the way your family dealt with life, you may begin to get more clarity about the patterns you currently maintain while relating to your family, friends, significant other, or other loved ones. Your therapist then will help you establish more positive, adaptive ways of relating to others, which ultimately leads to growth and healing.

The Feldenkrais Method

Engineer and Physicist Moshe Feldenkrais founded The Feldenkrais Method to focus on the mind-body connection. It states that by moving the body in gentle and mindful ways, you develop a greater sense of self-awareness, understanding, and empathy for yourself as a whole. 

The Feldenkrais Method claims awareness can come about through movement, so sessions involve gentle physical exercises, stretches, and mindfulness techniques. It can help you reconnect with your body and discover appreciation and respect for your physical being in ways that can inspire appreciation and respect for your whole self.

The Feldenkrais Method is technically an exercise approach, so traditionally, it doesn’t involve talk therapy. But you can use it simultaneously with other forms of counseling. 

This approach might be specifically helpful for people recovering from injuries, who have experienced trauma, or who are interested in physical exercise. The Feldenkrais Method is said to improve mobility, flexibility, and coordination. These skills can lead to positive mental health changes. Movement also can create physical self-awareness, which can potentially lead to a more thorough understanding of thoughts and emotions. 

Feminist Psychotherapy

Feminist Psychotherapy emerged as an approach to counseling as the waves of feminism gained popularity in mainstream western society. It examines the unique way women relate to the world around them after being seen as inferior to men for many generations. It’s also a response to the once male-dominated field of psychotherapy as a whole. 

Feminist therapists aim to treat all genders as equally deserving of respect and dignity and accept. They believe in the historical marginalization of all genders besides males. 

Critical to Feminist Psychotherapy is an analysis of power dynamics. Power dynamics are inherent in any relationship, specifically within the counseling relationship. Usually, a counselor is an “expert” with high levels of education and status. The client then is thought to be less than. Feminist Psychotherapy, instead of ignoring this power dynamic or using it to their advantage to tell clients what they ought to do, seeks to highlight it and converse about it. Bringing up how the power dynamics affect the counseling relationship helps people examine the power dynamics in all other areas of their life. 

Feminist Psychotherapy can be helpful for a range of mental health concerns, can be utilized for a person of any gender identity, and can be used in group settings, family settings, or individual counseling. 

Critical to Feminist Psychotherapy is the idea that people grow through relationships with others. Your therapist might help you analyze your patterns of relating to significant others in your life and might ask you to recall some of your early relationships with parents or other caregivers. 

Feminist Psychotherapy does not have a list of techniques necessary for treatment. It focuses on the ideas of empathetically relating to you, from one human being (your counselor) to another (you). A healthy relationship with your counselor becomes a model for all of your relationships.

Gestalt Psychotherapy

Gestalt Psychotherapy emphasizes the innate dignity of the individual coming to counseling. The individual is the expert on their own experience, not the counselor. 

Gestalt Psychotherapy focuses on the present instead of diving into a person’s past experiences. Practitioners of Gestalt Psychotherapy believe that a person’s experiences influence their perception of a given situation and use this idea to help people navigate growth and change.

Your therapist will pay particular attention to your perception of yourself and your current circumstances. Instead of offering ideas about what the counselor thinks might be happening, they will inquire about what you think is going on. The idea is that if you focus too much on the future or the past, you may experience anxiety, but only the present matters.

The environment is vital in Gestalt Psychotherapy, so your counselor will make sure the therapeutic space is safe and welcoming. They will hold space for your difficult emotions and experiences without judging you. They might employ techniques such as encouraging you to make “I” statements, practicing self-awareness, performing role-plays, emphasizing physical sensations in the body, and bringing attention to body language. Your therapist will work with you to make sure you are comfortable, leading to a higher likelihood you will be open to change. 

Gottman Method Couples Therapy

John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman founded the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy. The method uses assessments, communication skills, and real-life practices and skills to assist partners in becoming closer to one another. 

One of the main theories behind the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy is the Sound Relationship House theory. The Gottmans posit that partners can grow closer in a relationship by having a solid foundation of understanding. This foundation begins with safety and builds upon itself to include the goal of creating shared meaning. 

Anyone who wants to improve their relationship can benefit from the Gottman Method, including married couples or those in a committed relationship. 

The Sound Relationship House theory includes tactics such as knowing one another deeply and creating love maps (details regarding partners personalities, likes, dislikes, etc.), sharing fondness of one another, turning to each other for needs, managing a positive perspective, managing conflict, achieving goals and dreams, and creating shared meaning. 

Your counselor will work with you and your partner to develop the necessary skills for relating to each other in a more positive, loving way. 

The Gottman Method effectively assists couples in resolving conflict and growing closer together. 

Guided Imagery

Guided Imagery is a relaxation technique used for people with various mental health concerns, including anxiety disorders, panic disorders, trauma disorders, and substance use issues. 

Guided Imagery uses the mind to recall or imagine a pleasant scenario. Some people might refer to it as a person visiting their “happy place” in their mind. The idea is that the individual takes themself, mentally, to a place where they can be calm and at peace. 

For people attempting to manage stress, Guided Imagery can be a technique that they engage in when they recognize they are feeling overwhelmed. They can take a few moments, practice some deep breathing, and go to a peaceful place in their mind without physically going anywhere. 

People who deal with anxiety may find themselves particularly anxious in a crowded situation. In these moments, their counselor may encourage them to find a safe, quiet place to stay while they breathe and close their eyes. Then, they could engage in Guided Imagery by imagining themselves in a place that isn’t crowded and instead puts them in a state of relaxation. 

The Hakomi Method

The Hakomi Method aims to develop a person’s self-awareness and understanding. 

In the Hakomi Method, a person’s inner self is called their “core material.” The Hakomi Method seeks to move people closer to knowing their core material through bodily movements and other experiential techniques. Core material can include messages, self-image, beliefs, thoughts, and feelings, some of which can inhibit a person’s growth if they’ve had negative experiences. 

The Hakomi Method draws upon the eastern practices of Buddhism and mindfulness. Additionally, it emphasizes non-violence, unity, organicity, and mind-body integration. Ideally, sessions of the Hakomi Method are conducted in a state of mindfulness the entire time.

Sessions of the Hakomi Method usually follow a structure, beginning with what is known as “contact.” This stage is when the counselor and client engage in a trusting, safe space. If you don’t feel comfortable in the space, you won’t do as much self-exploration. 

Second, your therapist will encourage you to notice sensations in your body and mind as you turn inward. Known as “accessing,” this step can include positive statements from your counselor that might be contradictory to what you think of yourself. 

Third, you and your counselor will discuss things that came up for you. The Hakomi Method posits that individuals are inherently capable of wisdom. And, in a safe space, you will be more likely to integrate helpful thoughts and emotions about yourself and your experience. 

Finally, you and your counselor connect what came up in the session and real-life situations you experience. 

Harm Reduction Therapy

Harm Reduction Therapy uses principles of treating substance use issues and combines them with counseling tenets. Harm Reduction Therapy for substance use issues makes using drugs or alcohol safer instead of entirely getting rid of the behavior. 

For some people, completely stopping the use of substances might not be a possibility. Harm reduction aims to keep these individuals safe as they work toward recovery and healing. 

Counselors use Harm Reduction Therapy in treatment facilities, group counseling, or individual counseling. 

Harm Reduction Therapy’s goal is to decrease adverse outcomes that individuals and society face when substance use issues are present. 

Holistic Psychotherapy

Holistic Psychotherapy uses traditional and non-traditional therapies of holistic healing that focuses on united the mind, body, and spirit via traditional talk psychotherapy and non-traditional therapies.

Holistic Psychotherapy treatment can include a variety of treatment methodologies such as Acupuncture, Biofeedback. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Eclectic Therapy, Guided Imagery, Hypnotherapy, Meditation, Mindfulness, Psychoanalysis, Reiki, Somatic Experiencing Therapy, Yoga. 

Holographic Memory Resolution

Holographic Memory Resolutionreduces trauma symptoms in people with mental health concerns such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a history of abuse, or anyone with negative experiences that still affect them in their present life. It is a non-invasive way to process emotions related to trauma in a safe space so that people do not become re-traumatized. 

Your counselor will begin with an assessment where you discuss memories or trauma that affect your day-to-day life. They will then use Hypnotherapy to bring you into a state of relaxation where your subconscious mind is more easily accessible. Your counselor will ask you to recall a distressing memory in this relaxed state.  

Your counselor might ask you to describe the emotions that arise while visiting this memory. Usually, HMR counselors suggest guided visualizations that involve colors and symbols that work best for you to represent emotions that arise. By revisiting this memory and describing emotions, HMR can help you process the trauma by giving it less power. You become empowered as you realize you are safe and no longer in a traumatic situation. The idea of HMR is to make these memories less threatening to you in your present life.

Human Givens Therapy

Human Givens Therapy asserts that all people have specific needs that must be met in life to become fulfilled. These needs include basic needs, such as food, water, shelter, and safety. Other needs include emotional fulfillment, life meaning and purpose, and a connection with others. Human Givens Therapy aims to assist people in developing healthy strategies to get these needs met.

If a person is experiencing a problem, the therapist connects the problem with one of the “human givens” or specific needs. Then, they work with the person to develop strategies to meet this need safely. 

Human Givens Therapy posits that life-long learning is also a critical need. For this reason, this approach to therapy continues to integrate new research. 

Humanistic Psychology

Humanistic Psychology posits that humans have an innate ability to grow and achieve higher levels of happiness and functioning. 

Humanistic Psychology also asserts that people need safety in relationships. Therefore, your counselor will provide you with warmth, genuineness, and authenticity. Whatever problems you bring to counseling, your therapist will listen to you with empathy. The goal is for you to feel seen, heard, and understood. 

Your counselor will guide you to find strengths within yourself that you can utilize to reach your potential. For this reason, Humanistic Psychology is more of a guiding theory than a specific approach to counseling. It can help many people with nearly any mental health issue.

Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis, or a specific state of awareness that maintains a relaxed feel but with attention to a particular idea or feeling, to engage people in the process of counseling. Hypnotherapy’s goal is to put people in an almost trance-like state where they can direct their focus entirely inward to solve a problem or ease the symptoms of various mental health issues. By focusing inward, you can achieve a greater sense of self-awareness. 

Being in a more in-tune state of awareness can help you connect with your sense of self and recognize the strengths and abilities you already have that can help with your concerns. 

If you are interested in Hypnotherapy, you should seek a licensed professional with experience and appropriate certifications. Hypnotherapy can be used alongside other counseling techniques or on its own. 

Imago Relationship Therapy

Imago Relationship Therapy uses the idea that people experience specific emotional pathways in early childhood with parents or caregivers. When they marry or enter a long-term commitment with another individual, it reactivates these pathways. Because each person uses their past experiences to relate to others, partners can experience conflict if these emotional pathways aren’t explored or understood. 

People’s images of what connecting to another person looks like follow them from early childhood to adulthood. If they don’t take the time to understand how these may affect them negatively, they can continue acting in the same unhealthy ways they learned to get love as children. 

Imago Relationship Therapy proposes that, if handled properly, conflict can lead partners directly to a more connected, loving relationship. 

In Imago Relationship Therapy, your counselor would engage you both in the process of being present with one another to produce safety. Then, you and your partner must understand your emotional pathways from childhood and, knowing these, must recommit to your relationship. Instead of turning away from your partner during painful emotional experiences, your counselor encourages you to turn toward one another. Then, your therapist encourages you to engage with positive feelings about each other to maintain this connection. 

IRT’s goals are to be safe within the relationship, communicate needs, and empathize with one another. When combined, this leads partners to grow together through conflict.

Integral Psychotherapy

Integral Psychotherapy relies on Philosopher Ken Wilburn’s Integral Theory, which says that people have different perspectives on life based on their experiences and differences. If they can unite these perspectives, they can form a more complete picture. 

Integral Theory suggests that counselors must be more flexible and less rigid in their approaches to helping people. Instead of focusing on the differences each approach or theory has, Integral Psychotherapy aims to establish the helpful similarities or things that have already proven to assist individuals with mental health concerns. 

Integral Psychotherapy states that instead of counseling from one of the “quadrants” — such as an individual perspective, a familial perspective, a biological perspective, or a community perspective — counselors must look at all views to best help clients. 

Your therapist will help you look at all perspectives in your life to see how each views a problem. By understanding and integrating more perspectives, Integral Psychotherapy allows for greater self-awareness and, as a by-product, growth and change.

Integrative Body Psychotherapy

Integrative Body Psychotherapy aims to increase the connection between the mind and the body. Practitioners of IBP say that to achieve well-being, individuals must recognize the patterns that their bodies hold due to conditioning, experiences, and emotions. 

Called “holding patterns,” IBP posits that these patterns can create blockages in the body. Since the mind and body are inherently connected, a person dealing with a life challenge can benefit from a deeper awareness of the structures and energy flowing throughout the body. 

Another important goal in IBP is to experience a sense of integration, which includes the mind, body, emotion, and spirit. IBP often uses movements, breathing techniques, and breathwork to increase self-awareness. 

If you engage in IBP, your counselor might guide you through a series of breathing exercises to connect with your inner sense of self. By identifying areas of the body that feel disconnected or painful, your IBP practitioner will help you use movement and breathwork and engage you in a discussion to examine these holding patterns. 

IBP aims to identify stuck emotions, then systematically assist you in fully integrating the way you feel in your body to your state of mind. 

People with anxiety or depressive disorders, trauma, or substance use disorder could benefit from IBP. 

Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy

Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy is thought to be a quick and efficient form of counseling. 

ISTDP counselors believe that people avoid distressing feelings because they are uncomfortable confronting them. This discomfort is understandable but gets in the way of growth and healthier interpersonal relationships. If people want change, they must confront these deeper feelings that often result from childhood experiences.

ISTDP counselors might encourage you to explain your true feelings about a situation, even if they are frightening or uncomfortable. 

People often employ defenses to help them block experiencing their genuine emotions. Your ISTDP counselor will recognize which defenses you use even if you don’t notice them yourself. For example, if you quickly change the subject when asked about a specific traumatic experience, your counselor might question you and ask you to confront why you are deflecting. They will then encourage you to be brave for yourself and overcome these defenses so you can truly feel your emotions. 

This directive, action-oriented approach to counseling can be helpful for people who want to experience a rapid change in their symptoms. 

Internal Family Systems

Internal Family Systems therapy encourages people to embrace all parts of themselves, even the difficult ones. Its goal is to help people achieve balance and harmony within themselves.

IFS states that people do not have “bad” parts. Instead, they experience difficulty embracing all aspects as simultaneously affecting one another. IFS seeks to name and understand these parts and ultimately balance the factors that work toward self-growth. 

Life experiences can encourage the various parts of the self to become out of balance, forcing the system into a less-than-harmonious operating state. Your IFS counselor will help you recognize these parts of yourself, inquire as to why you think they might be off-balance, and then assist you in balancing them. 

People with a wide range of mental health concerns can benefit from IFS, but it is particularly effective for those who have dealt with traumatic experiences.

Interpersonal Neurobiology

Interpersonal Neurobiology studies how relationships and connections affect the brain.  

IPNB states that the brain continues growing throughout our lives. This growth indicates that issues with the brain that once seemed untreatable could potentially be treatable by continued study and research into Interpersonal Neurobiology. 

IPNB is used for understanding change in counseling and other fields like education, parenting, business, and the military.

An important idea that comes from the study of Interpersonal Neurobiology is the concept of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to make connections and neural pathways. These connections include the way that humans learn. By repeatedly studying specific things or acting in certain ways, the brain forms pathways that make the behavior or concept easier to perform the next time. IPNB shows that neuroplasticity continues throughout a person’s life. It doesn’t stop in childhood.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Interpersonal Psychotherapytreats individuals diagnosed with mood disorders, such as bipolar disorders, depressive disorders, or Schizophrenia. IPT is a brief approach to counseling. 

To treat mood disorders, IPT posits that counseling should include all the main tenets of “good” therapy: a strong therapeutic alliance, empathy, listening, and making sure the client feels heard and understood. 

IPT states that people grow from relating to others or maintain harmful ways of relating that result from early relationships in childhood. 

Your counselor may utilize various techniques to help improve your interpersonal relationships, such as examining life experiences and transitions, attachment issues, grief, or other interpersonal issues. The goal of IPT is for you to understand the way you relate to others more fully and how this can be helpful or hurtful. 

Your counselor will help you develop more healthy ways of relating to others that are unique to you and dependent on your circumstances. 

While IPT was originally for treating depressive disorders, people with a wide range of mental health concerns can benefit from it. 

InterPlay Therapy

InterPlay Therapy uses play to help people unlock parts of themselves hidden due to societal pressures, time, and experiences. 

Practitioners of InterPlay Therapy state that the body has within it inherent wisdom. Through creative and experiential activities, people can connect with parts of themselves that may have been lost to social pressures to conform to norms and rules. 

Counselors can use it in individual sessions, group sessions, or even large-scale workshop sessions. 

Creative expression is key to InterPlay Therapy. But people don’t have to be creative to benefit from it. Sessions include various creative exercises that are easy to follow. Your counselor may ask you to use movement to express an emotion, tell a story, or notice the way your body moves freely. 

InterPlay aims to develop people’s self-awareness through physical movement, the mind-body connection, and fun, shared activities. 

InterPlay Therapy can be beneficial for different mental health concerns a

Jungian Psychotherapy

Jungian Psychotherapy, founded by Carl Jung in the early 1900s, includes themes of unconscious memories or experiences as the sources of distress.  

Jungian Psychotherapy supports the idea of the “collective unconscious,” or shared experiences and human traits that all people encounter in their life. When people have too many repressed memories or experiences, they struggle to achieve “individuation,” or a sense of wholeness. Jung believed it was not sufficient to address the symptoms of emotional distress. Instead, people had to engage in intensive counseling sessions to alleviate emotional distress.

Therapists may utilize techniques such as dreamwork, which combines writing about your dreams and then exploring potential themes. This approach could also include word association, a method where your counselor says a word, and you say the word that comes to your mind. Your therapist would measure how long it took you to respond to terms. From there, they interpret how you connect emotionally to the various word stimuli. 

Jungian Psychotherapy’s goal is to help you feel more integrated and whole. 

Jungian Psychotherapy can be helpful for various mental health concerns, such as depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, emotional problems, or problems with self-esteem and self-image.

Mentalization-Based Therapy

Mentalization-Based Therapy helps individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder. MBT posits that people with BPD have issues seeing how their mental states affect their actions, specifically their interpersonal relationships. This ability is called “mentalization.” 

MBT’s goal is to help people’s capacity for mentalization. The first step in MBT is to name and understand emotional states, including emotions, thoughts about feelings, and gut reactions to situations. After practicing understanding emotions, your MBT counselor will help you employ strategies to regulate your emotional expressions. MBT also aims to increase your self-regulatory ability, so you don’t act impulsively on emotion.

From there, your MBT therapist continue the process of helping you understand your various emotional states throughout your life experiences. This greater understanding leads to self-awareness, which also can help you manage your reactions to emotions. 

Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder benefit from MBT, but anyone interested in emotional regulation or developing interpersonal relationships can too.

Megacognitive Therapy

Metacognitive Therapy focuses on maladaptive coping mechanisms that result from a person’s desire to control distressing emotions. Maladaptive coping mechanisms can include problems relating to other people, worrying, rumination, and reassurance seeking. 

MCT posits that people’s emotional states are temporary. Still, if they act negatively because of a distressing emotional state, that can cause long-term damage and psychological distress. 

Metacognition refers to a person’s ability to think about their thinking process. Metacognitive Therapy stresses that a person’s beliefs about their thoughts and their resulting actions can be untrue, and this can cause mental health issues.

MCT’s goal is to help you become more aware of your metacognition. This process can include in-depth discussions about your thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and actions. 

Your MCT counselor will help you make connections between the way you think about your thoughts and your resulting behaviors. Your MCT counselor might use “experiments” to help you with metacognition. 

For example, if you deal with rumination, or repetitive thoughts, you might think continuing to worry will drive you to a state of deep despair that will be impossible to escape. Your MCT counselor might challenge you to worry as hard as you can for several minutes within the session. When you realize that you still retain your sanity and control after your intense worrying, you gain a deeper understanding of metacognition. 

MCT can be helpful for a range of mental health concerns, including anxiety disorders.

Middendorf Breath Experience

Middendorf Breath Experience focuses entirely on breathing. This approach to wellness encourages people to notice how they breathe while staying in the present moment. One of the key components of Middendorf Breath Experience is that people start by noticing how their breath exists without trying to change it.  

If you hold your breath in specific ways, it can prohibit proper energy flow throughout the body. The Middendorf Breath Experience engages people in various exercises that combine movements, visualizations, and breathwork. The Middendorf Breath Experience’s goal is to find change from within via the breath, which is a pathway to healing. 

You can do Middendorf Breath exercises in individual or group sessions. 

Breathwork and breathing exercises can be helpful for individuals dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns. 

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy uses mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help people heal. Mindfulness techniques can include breathing exercises, meditation, guided imagery, or yoga. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has to do with the way people think. It states that people have negative thoughts that affect feelings and behaviors. 

MBCT aims to disrupt thought patterns that can trigger episodes of depressed mood or other distressing emotional states through mindfulness exercises. 

MBCT can treat depression and other mental health concerns. It typically is done in a group setting during eight weeks. But it also works for individual counseling.

Mindfulness exercises such as breathing techniques, meditation, body scans, and guided visualizations help people gain a sense of being present within the moment. Mindfulness increases awareness to body and mind so people can develop a greater understanding of themselves. 

MBCT also helps people understand how their feelings and actions relate to their thoughts. This approach can benefit people experiencing depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, and other mental health concerns.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy

Motivational Enhancement Therapy is for people dealing with substance use issues. Its goal is to move people from ambivalence (not caring either way) about substance use to being internally motivated and action-oriented toward change. 

MET uses assessments to discover more about you and how and why you might use substances to cope. Then, your counselor will help you develop self-motivating beliefs and statements that you can use to encourage change within yourself. 

MET helps you identify the risks involved with continued substance use, understand your responsibility for changing behavior, and find inherent skills that help transform your behaviors. 

MET’s goal isn’t to shame people for their actions but to help them see how they are worthy of changing their behaviors to align their life with their goals. Your counselor might help you identify the discrepancies in your goals and your substance use. Together, you’ll discuss ways your actions are harmful to achieving your goals. Your counselor will help you identify and develop inner strengths to focus on change. Together, you’ll create an action plan and identify internal resources, such as strength, commitment, and dedication, and external resources, like your counselor, a self-help group, or supportive individuals in your life. 

MET also can be helpful for individuals with addictive behaviors such as gambling, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders.

Movie Therapy

Movie Therapy uses movies to engage people in the therapeutic process. Also known as “Cinema Therapy,” Movie Therapy is flexible and can address various challenges and mental health concerns because a counselor can use so many kinds of movies. 

Counselors use Movie Therapy in individual, group, family, and couples therapy. 

Depending on a person’s specific concerns, a counselor might choose a movie that demonstrates a particular experience, emotion, situation, or relationship that they think would benefit the client to watch. Then, after they watch the movie, the counselor and client talk about what they saw and learned.  

Your therapist might ask you to watch a specific movie that highlights an emotion or experience similar to the one you came to counseling for. Visualizing characters in similar situations and seeing how they deal with emotions can be helpful. It can help you see other perspectives and foster great discussions about feelings within the counseling space. 

Movies are also an excellent therapeutic technique to use because so many people have access to watch movies. 

Movie Therapy is particularly effective in couples counseling. If a counselor asks a couple to watch a movie together and then revisit it, answer questions, and communicate about the movie’s messages, this demonstrates the ability to allow couples to grow closer to one another.

Music Therapy

Music Therapy uses music to engage people in therapy. This approach can include creating or writing music, singing, playing an instrument, or listening to music. 

Music Therapy can help people creatively express themselves, identify and process emotions, develop social relationships, improve communication, or manage stress. 

Clinical Music Therapy is a more specialized intervention used to treat people with memory problems, pain, speech issues, brain injuries, and motor function. But some counselors without these credentials use music to help their clients.

If Music Therapy would help you, you and your counselor might make a plan that integrates music into counseling sessions. You might make a playlist of specific songs that make you feel happy and listen to those at the beginning or end of each counseling session. Your counselor might provide musical instruments or ask you to bring your own so you can create a song in therapy that expresses your feelings. 

There are endless ways music can be therapeutic, making it a 

Narrative Therapy

Narrative Therapy utilizes storytelling to engage people in therapy. People’s lives are a collection of stories. When you stop to examine these stories, you can pay closer attention to key characters, themes, symbols, and, ultimately, make meaning of your life experiences. 

Narrative Therapy’s goal is to empower people by identifying how your experiences, or your stories, shape who you are as a person. 

Counselors use Narrative Therapy for individual, couples, children’s, or group counseling. It can benefit individuals with various mental health concerns, including depressive disorders and anxiety. Counselors also use it to help children develop empathy and social skills.

Your therapist will use various techniques during counseling. They might ask you to begin by telling your story. Your story includes your life experiences and your perspective on how these experiences shaped you. By examining your life story, you and your counselor might work to identify important characters, symbols, and themes present within your narrative. 

Narrative Therapy also uses externalization to help people, which is when you view your life as an outsider. This approach can help you develop a different perspective on your life’s story and experiences. 

Your therapist might also use alternate narratives, or deconstruction, to help you identify ways you want to change your story. Imagining different outcomes can be a helpful way to think about the future and highlight ways you want to change.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Neuro-Linguistic Programming involves the study of brain functioning, communication, language, and human behavior. It’s a method of learning the language of your mind. 

Humans communicate in various ways. Some of this communication comes with words, and others come with non-verbal messages. NLP aims to help you identify how your verbal and non-verbal communication can be helpful or harmful to you in the way that you relate to others.

NLP aims to help people relate to others in more effective, healthy ways. NLP will help you more fully understand how other people communicate. 

If you want to work on interpersonal or communication skills, NLP can be a successful approach to counseling. Your NLP therapist will help you identify how you came to communicate the way you do. They will help you connect how you think, feel, and behave. They can also help you practice ways to communicate more effectively within your relationships, at work, school, and in other areas of your life. 

Neurofeedback Therapy

Neurofeedback Therapy uses brain functioning and behavior therapy to help individuals heal. 

Practitioners of Neurofeedback Therapy use biofeedback to make the brain behave in a more functional manner that can assuage the symptoms of some mental health concerns. Neurofeedback Therapy involves retraining your brain to get the desired outcome. 

In Neurofeedback Therapy, the counselor measures your brain activity while receiving a stimulus. For example, your counselor may ask you to think about a time you were stressed, then monitor your brain’s response. By seeing these effects immediately, you can work on making changes in your body, such as breathing deeply, so your responses become more helpful.

Neurofeedback Therapy sessions usually involve having painless sensors attached to your head. Your therapist will then explain what the machine says about your brain and body responses. You might listen to music or watch a calming video while connected to the device. Then, you can watch in real-time as your brain and physiology change. Your therapist will help you understand the changes and what they mean for you and your mental health. 

Neurofeedback helps you learn to self-regulate when in stressful or emotionally-distressing situations. It can be helpful for people with various mental health concerns. 

Neuropsychology

Neuropsychologycombines psychology and neuroscience to understand how the brain and nervous system influence human behavior. 

Neuropsychology informs a lot of counseling approaches, and its continued study is vital to the field of counseling as a whole to better understand human behavior. 

Neuropsychology is not an approach to counseling. Instead, it is a vital aspect of developing effective counseling interventions. Neuropsychology helps counselors understand various neurological diseases, mental health diagnoses, and how brain injuries can affect humans’ behavior. 

Neuropsychologists can administer tests for memory disorders, learning difficulties, mood disorders, and nervous system dysfunctions. They may use psychological testing and brain scans to paint a full picture of concerns. They can help people understand how their brain affects their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. 

Your therapist could help you create a treatment plan if you’re dealing with neurological issues. They could prescribe medication and suggest surgery, rehabilitation therapy, or counseling to help you feel better. 

Nonviolent Communication

Nonviolent Communication helps people learn how to communicate in a non-violent manner. It can help people with various mental health concerns and counselors pair it with other types of counseling.

NVC theorizes that people have needs they seek to have met through various ways of communicating, behaving, and relating to others. Sometimes, people communicate or behave disrespectfully to get their needs met. NVC desires to help people understand that people have a shared responsibility to communicate in respectful, healthy ways. This knowledge can lead to better relationships and a more peaceful society.

Your counselor might practice some NVC techniques with you to help you listen to others, relate to others, and better communicate your needs. 

Object Relations Therapy

Object Relations Therapy focuses on people’s early childhood relationships. The “object” in this theory refers to a person. Object Relations theory states that people are deeply impacted by early relationships, even more so if these relationships are abusive, neglectful, or unhealthy. People’s earliest relationships help them form mental images. These images impact future relationships. 

Object Relations Theory states that people often engage in a process called “splitting.” Splitting is when people categorize relationships as being either good or bad. In reality, relationships are generally not entirely good or bad. They have healthy parts, unhealthy parts, and have ways of relating that are in between. 

Your counselor will help you to see all aspects of relationships. They will help you understand how your earliest relationships affect your ways of relating in the present. By helping you develop healthier ways of relating within counseling, you can more easily take these ways of relating outside of the counseling space. 

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy is an approach to family therapy that focuses on parents’ relationships with their children. PCIT focuses on parenting skills and mental health concerns within a child. Children might need therapy due to behavioral problems, but parents or caregivers must keep up therapeutic work in the home for these problems to get better. 

PCIT teaches parents the basics of Play Therapy, which uses games and activities to facilitate growth in children. Counselors teach parents to use play as a positive reinforcer of good behavior. This positive reinforcement increases the likelihood that the good or desired behavior will increase. 

If a child engages in undesirable behaviors, such as hitting or screaming, parents are encouraged to calmly discipline them to decrease this behavior. 

PCIT can be helpful for children diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, anxiety disorders, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or other behavioral issues.

Past Life Regression Therapy

Past Life Regression Therapy is a form of hypnosis where individuals explore possible past life experiences. The therapist attempts to get the person to recall hidden memories connected to a life they lived before the current one. 

Practitioners of Past Life Regression generally incorporate a spiritual component into counseling. Sometimes, this can be the religious belief in reincarnation. Reincarnation is the belief that people live many lives, and when a person dies, they may return to this earth as another person or living creature. 

Your therapist will help you get into a relaxed, trance-like state, which will help you more easily connect with unconscious memories. The therapist will then ask a series of questions designed to elicit memories about past lives. The goal is to help you connect with lessons learned in previous lives.  

Professionals do not generally accept past Life Regression as a reputable approach to counseling. But, if you want to explore any potential past lives, you can see a Past Life Regression specialist.

Person-Centered Therapy (Rogerian Therapy)

Carl Rogers founded Person-Centered Therapy (Rogerian Therapy) in the 1940s. Person-Centered therapists believe that each individual can grow and change within them, but they need a safe, therapeutic relationship to realize their potential. 

Rogers introduced the idea of unconditional positive regard, meaning Person-Centered counselors view the people they counsel in a positive light, no matter what problems they have. 

Rogers also states counselors must be authentic and transparent, meaning they don’t act as blank slates or try to hide sadness. 

Your Person-Centered counselor will make a great effort to make the therapeutic alliance safe. This effort means they will listen to you without judgment. They will respond with warmth and kindness. They also will help you identify strengths and times that you showed yourself capable of problem-solving. They will use these examples to help show you that you can grow and change. 

Person-Centered counseling can be helpful for anyone experiencing a life challenge or a mental health concern. 

Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor

Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor uses the mind-body connection to facilitate healing. 

Usually dealing with traumatic memories, practitioners of PBSP focus on uncovering unmet childhood needs and helping individuals understand how these unmet needs affect them as adults in their present lives. 

PBSP posits that people can address unmet childhood needs within the present through movement, body awareness, and physical touch. 

Unmet childhood needs can affect people throughout their lives, leading to a person not being their true self. PBSP seeks to help individuals realign themselves with their true selves.

PBSP practitioners help people identify what their unmet needs are. After discovering them, they help individuals recreate the memory and process their emotions. 

PBSP sessions are usually in a group setting. Facilitators teach group members to be more sensitive and attuned to the sensations that arise within their bodies as they move. By recognizing and becoming more aware of the mind-body connection, people can experience growth and change.

Play Therapy

Play Therapy is an approach to counseling utilized for children. Children learn to understand the world through play. Play Therapy embraces play to facilitate therapeutic interventions. Play can include games, dolls, art activities, sports, make-believe, or any other activity that fits a child developmentally and emotionally. 

Play Therapy can be beneficial for children with behavioral issues. Because these children might not have the words to communicate their feelings or might not want to, Play Therapy allows them a space to express themselves and share their feelings through play. 

Play therapists get to know the child’s specific interests and can tailor their counseling space to make it unique for each child. As the counselor observes and interacts with the child, they can understand the emotions that lead to their behaviors. Over time, therapists can encourage children to use play to express feelings instead of expressing them through inappropriate or harmful behaviors. 

Play Therapy can also be used for adults to help them connect with their inner creativity and facilitate child-like joy. 

Poetry Therapy

Poetry Therapy is a form of Expressive Art Therapy which uses creativity to help people explore their emotional world. 

Poetry in itself can be highly therapeutic. Often people write or read poetry to make meaning of their inner worlds. Using poetry for counseling intervention can be helpful for children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. 

Therapists may discover that a client enjoys writing or reading. Based on their specific challenges or mental health concerns, a counselor might encourage their client to read a poem related to their situation or create a piece of poetry explaining how they feel. 

A counselor might choose to read a poem out loud within a counseling session, or they might ask the client to read it out loud. In this way, poetry can be a vehicle for discussing difficult topics. 

Alternatively, a counselor might suggest that a client writes poetry. This expression of emotion through words can be cathartic. 

Poetry Therapy can be used in conjunction with other types of therapy and can be beneficial for a wide range of mental health concerns.

Positive Psychology

Positive Psychology focuses on the positive aspects of life and the pursuit of happiness. These counselors work to help people have satisfying, happy, meaningful lives. 

Positive Psychology assists people in developing lasting happiness, not just joy that can come from material possessions or fleeting moments. 

Counselors in this area study what kinds of things, emotions, relationships, or actions create conditions for happiness. Then they help their clients recognize and embrace those things in their own lives.

Positive Psychotherapy

Positive Psychotherapy aims to help people lead more happy, fulfilling lives. Instead of reducing negative symptoms, therapists encourage people to think about and pursue what brings them happiness, meaning, and fulfillment. They work with you to build on your unique strengths and personal qualities. 

Your therapist will get to know you by listening to your story and concerns with empathy. They will then encourage you to identify your strengths. These can be personal strengths, innate abilities, relationships, resources, or cultural strengths. They might then help you incorporate this knowledge into your current narrative about your problem or mental health concerns. By considering a viewpoint that includes your strengths, you’re more likely to focus on the positive aspects of your life. 

Positive Psychotherapy’s goal is to instill hope within you so that you can become your own champion. This empowerment is gained by exploring the positive aspects of yourself and finding a balance of coping mechanisms that work for you. 

Possibility Therapy

Possibility Therapy focuses on people’s unique life experiences and perceptions that help shape their worldview. By acknowledging these perspectives, the therapists can guide their clients into seeing other possible perspectives toward a life challenge or mental health concern. They then assist individuals in honing in on their inner resources that can help shift their perspective, thus, shifting the problem or challenge.

Possibility Therapy’s goal is to shift a person’s focus from their deficits, or what is not working for them, to the desire to discover solutions to their problems. Instead of seeing your problem as something that can defeat you, your therapist will encourage you to see the opportunities resulting from your challenge or mental health concerns. They will help you set realistic goals and explore potential resources to help you achieve your goal. 

This approach to counseling can be helpful for individuals, groups, families, and couples with a wide range of mental health concerns. 

Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis, founded by Neurologist Sigmund Freud, is the hallmark of psychotherapy. Freud believed that individuals have levels of consciousness and mental health disorders come from the unconscious mind, which stores primal energy and sexual urges. 

Psychoanalysis’s goal is to make the unconscious conscious so people can better understand their whole self. Because the unconscious guards repressed emotions and memories, people can be hesitant to bring them forward. Freud referred to these defense mechanisms as ways people avoid confronting their unconscious thoughts. 

Psychoanalysis uses the Rorschach inkblot test, free association, and dream analysis. 

Rorschach inkblot tests are ambiguous images that have no meaning. Psychoanalysts ask a person to explain what they see within the image and then interpret their unconscious material from there. 

Free association is when a psychoanalyst says a word or phrase, and then the person is encouraged to speak about whatever first comes to mind. Free association aims to discover parts of repressed memories and incorporate them into the conscious mind. 

Dream analysis asks people to explain their dreams. Then, the psychoanalyst makes interpretations, or guesses, about the dream’s latent content. Latent content refers to what the dream means instead of the dream’s manifest content, which is what happened during the dream. 

Psychoanalysis is an intensive form of therapy that requires years of work. It can be helpful for people experiencing anxiety or depression or for people who want to incorporate unconscious material into their consciousness. 

Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy

Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy seeks to help partners understand their partner’s needs based on their unique experiences. By understanding these needs, partners will be more in tune and empathetic in their responses to conflict or disagreement. 

PACT teaches partners to understand the human need for connection and how this need can play out within relationships. If people exhibit problematic behavior within a relationship, it’s helpful to understand how their early relationships affect the way they relate in the present day. 

Your PACT counselor will encourage an exploration of attachment needs for each partner. They will encourage each partner to notice details about their partner’s body language and microexpressions. By seeing small cues in their partner, couples can better understand when they need safety and connection. 

PACT can be helpful for couples experiencing conflict in their relationship. 

Psychodrama

Psychodrama uses drama to facilitate people’s growth and change in counseling. It uses monologues, role-plays, and dramatic presentations. Counselors can use it in individual or group counseling but typically use it in groups.

Psychodrama usually involves three stages: warm-up, action, and sharing. During the warm-up stage, a counselor has group members engage in introductions to get to know one another and build trust and safety. The action stage involves having one individual act out a scene from their life. This scene could be a particularly distressing memory, a time they felt a certain way, or an event that significantly impacted them and their mental health. Group members play active parts within the scene to help facilitate action. Finally, the sharing stage involves the counselor helping the individual process what happened during the action stage.

Psychodrama can be helpful for individuals experiencing grief, mood disorders, emotional problems, or trauma. 

The techniques used in Psychodrama can assist individuals in gaining a deeper understanding of themselves. It can help people develop social skills, self-confidence, and feelings of safety. 

Ultimately, the goal of Psychodrama is to help people process emotions that result from life experiences. 

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic Therapy focuses primarily on revealing the contents of a person’s unconscious mind to become more aware and, eventually, more integrated with their whole self. 

Psychodynamic Therapy focuses on helping people gain insight and develop a deeper understanding of their emotions and how they relate in the world. This comprehension can happen by understanding and releasing past experiences, developing skills that facilitate growth, or engaging in a safe, therapeutic relationship. 

Counselors can use Psychodynamic Therapy in individual, group, couple, or family sessions. It can be helpful for a wide range of mental health concerns. 

Critical to the process of Psychodynamic Therapy is the ability of the person seeking counseling to speak freely about their thoughts, emotions, and perceptions of experiences. Your therapist will help you address any defense mechanisms you use to avoid dealing with unconscious material. They then will help you identify the patterns you engage in and assist you in developing more ways of relating.

Psychological Testing and Evaluation

Psychological Testing and Evaluation is testing done by mental health professionals trained to evaluate the results and make a mental health diagnosis. 

Sometimes, it can be evident that an individual is dealing with symptoms of a mental illness. But simply observing behavior or guessing what’s wrong is not enough for a psychological diagnosis. Psychological Testing and Evaluation is a highly specialized form of study where professionals give the correct tests to individuals dealing with symptoms of a mental health concern. 

Psychological Testing and Evaluation is available at schools, hospitals, clinics, or private offices. Your physician can refer you to a testing specialist specific to your needs. Then a psychologist will speak with you about the symptoms you’re experiencing. They might administer a particular test involving writing, speaking, or doing tasks. It could take several hours. Your psychologist will explain the process as you go along. 

After testing, you will either come back to visit the specialist to learn the results or speak with a counselor about findings. 

Psychosynthesis

Psychosynthesis helps people achieve self-actualization, which is when a person feels congruent, satisfied with their life, and appreciates the present moment. 

Psychosynthesis uses techniques like developing empathy, engaging in introspection, and synthesizing the various parts of a person to become more integrated. This approach combines a person’s emotional, spiritual, cognitive, and physical aspects into therapy. 

A session of Psychosynthesis involves some discussion about the unconscious, which lives within you without you knowing it. It can include repressed memories or primal urges. Introspection is encouraged in Psychosynthesis, which is an empathic look at the self and the ways a person lives their life and engages with their emotional states. Your counselor may encourage you to journal or engage in guided visualizations to develop your ability to introspect. 

Psychosynthesis attempts to help people integrate part of themselves they didn’t know about or had forgotten to experience life fully.

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy is for clients experiencing difficulty with control, including excessive self-control or over control. 

RODBT practitioners believe that control issues can manifest as depression, anxiety, Autism Spectrum Disorder, anorexia nervosa, and some personality disorders. The idea behind RODBT is that while some level of self-control can be functional, an excess can lead to dysfunction in relationships.

Your counselor will help you change your physiological responses when you demonstrate excessive control, such as in social situations. Recognizing the times when you are less open allows you to work on your relating skills. 

In RODBT, openness, flexibility, and social connectedness work together as the core of what it means to be radically open. 

Anyone who has relational struggles or problems with control can benefit from RODBT.

Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy

Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy seeks to develop a more positive self-image by helping individuals identify unhelpful thoughts they have about themselves. These negative thoughts can cause distressing emotions, leading to maladaptive or harmful behavior. 

The way people think about themselves or their belief system causes adverse outcomes because their beliefs guide their actions.

REBT’s goal is to identify these negative thoughts, challenge them, and then construct newer, more accurate thoughts that allow people to behave in more positive ways and ultimately lead to growth and healing. 

Anyone with distressing emotions or negative thoughts about themselves can benefit from REBT. 

Your counselor will work with you to identify what these negative thoughts are. Then, using techniques such as disputing ideas, reframing, and rationalizing, your counselor will help you work toward a more accurate, positive self-image. 

REBT also helps you figure out coping mechanisms that work for you to deal with negative thoughts about yourself when they arise. This approach is how REBT can help you develop a more positive sense of self. 

Reality Therapy

Reality Therapy states that individuals, not mental health issues, are responsible for their actions and behavior. People make choices that help them get their needs met, but some of these choices are unhelpful, leading to poor relationships skills and ways of relating to others. The therapist’s goal is to motivate individuals to take responsibility for their choices and behavior. 

Counselors traditionally use Reality Therapy in prisons and schools. They can use it for individuals, couples, or groups. 

Some mental health professionals claim Reality Therapy doesn’t validate mental health diagnoses.

Motivation, behavior, choices, and action are core components in Reality Therapy. Your therapist might help you understand each of these concepts and how they apply to your life. Therapists often spend time asking clients what their needs are. These can range from small things, such as desiring to rid yourself of a bad habit, to larger-scale issues, such as wanting to get your needs more fully met by your partner. Your therapist will help you decide what behaviors can more efficiently get your needs met. 

Much of Reality Therapy involves identifying how your behavior, thus far, hasn’t been helpful. Once you gain this understanding, you will be more likely to make choices that align with getting your needs met in healthy, positive ways.

Redecision Therapy

Redecision Therapy addresses the sometimes problematic messages people receive from adults in their early life. These messages can encourage people to make decisions that aren’t helpful. By examining the origins of the messages that you maintain to help you make decisions today, you can understand unhelpful, false, or even harmful messages.  

Redecision Therapy seeks to help you more concretely state what changes you think would be beneficial in your life. Your therapist enables you to determine what inherent beliefs and messages could be helpful to the changes that you want to make.

Redecision Therapy uses in-depth assessment and roleplay to explore childhood messages that impact you now.

It can help people with various mental health issues.

Regression Therapy

Regression Therapy focuses on early life memories and experiences. By reliving some of these experiences, people understand what happened to them and how their residual feelings still affect them in the present. 

Regression Therapy focuses on the idea of the conscious, subconscious, and superconscious minds. The subconscious mind might have memories that the conscious mind is unaware of. Regression Therapy’s goal is to bring these memories to light. 

Researchers haven’t studied Regression Therapy much. It’s caused some controversy in the past for creating false memories. 

If you’re interested in Regression Therapy, you should find a licensed professional with expertise in this area. You also should be comfortable with your counselor because the process of hypnotherapy is exceptionally personal. 

Proponents of Regression Therapy say that by revisiting certain memories, you can gain a deeper understanding of what happened to you and, by extension, understand the impact these events still have on you. By identifying the emotions tangled within these memories, you create the opportunity for yourself to heal from them. 

Relational Psychotherapy

Relational Psychotherapy posits that people experience emotions within the context of their relationships with others. Sometimes, these relationships are harmful, making people think they can’t trust others. This lack of trust leads to “disconnection,” where a person isn’t in a healthy relationship because they don’t connect to the other person. Whether this is due to fear, a lack of attunement to other’s emotions, or past harmful relational experiences, Relational Psychotherapy works to identify these patterns and shift them. 

Relational Psychotherapy can be helpful to people of any age, but counselors mainly use it for adults in individual, group, or couples therapy.

Human connection is vital to growth and change. Relational Psychotherapy supports the idea that people exist with others. Also meaningful is the relationship you maintain with yourself. Do you communicate with yourself in harmful ways? Are you constantly engaged in negative self-talk? Relational Psychotherapy aims to address your ways of relating to others and yourself. 

Key to Relational Psychotherapy are the ideas of mutual empathy, connections, and being authentic. Your therapist will connect with you as a human being, not as the “expert” who knows better than you. Relational psychotherapists see that you know yourself best. They are simply there to show you that you can maintain a healthy relationship that has trust, connection, mutual empathy, and authenticity. 

Part of the Relational Psychotherapy process is gaining insight into your patterns of relating to others and helping you shift any unhelpful patterns that lead to disconnection by modeling what a healthy relationship looks like. For this reason, the therapeutic relationship is the most important factor in Relational Psychotherapy. 

Anyone looking to work on their relationship skills, deal with trauma or emotions from previous relationships or experiences, or with other mental health concerns can benefit from Relational Psychotherapy.

Relationship Enhancement Therapy

Relationship Enhancement Therapy is an approach to couples counseling that focuses on teaching partners skills to communicate better. 

RET educates clients about counseling theories, ideas, and skill-building to help partners communicate more openly with one another. RET posits that having a safe space for partners to express their feelings, admit mistakes, and learn to grow together is vital to the counseling process.

Counselors sometimes use RET for individual couples, but they use it more often in a group counseling setting. Anyone looking to develop their relationships skills can benefit from Relationship Enhancement Therapy. 

Your counselor will guide you and your partner to understand the key skills of communicating feelings and listening empathetically to your partner. A critical RET skill is to understand and reflect on what your partner conveys without responding defensively. 

Additionally, RET focuses on practicing conflict management skills. Your RET therapist will work with you and your partner to find out what your specific needs are and understand your patterns of relating to one another, which RET says comes from the way your caregivers related to you in early childhood. 

Reminiscence Therapy

Reminiscence Therapy is for individuals dealing with memory issues such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, or traumatic brain injuries. Its goal is to give people a safe space to revisit pleasant memories. Through exploring memories, RT stimulates parts of the brain connected with long-term memory. This action benefits people dealing with memory issues or neurological conditions. 

Counselors can use RT with other types of therapy or on its own. It can be used in a group setting or individually. 

RT may involve a person and their caregiver or significant other who does not have memory issues. Your therapist may have conversations with your caregivers about some of your significant life moments, such as getting married, having children, specific vacations, academic accomplishments, or career successes. From there, your RT therapist may talk with you about some of these events, including asking questions to help you align your memory with your life experiences. They might encourage you to go into detail about particular events in your life. Or they might ask you to explain any significant memory you want to discuss. 

RT can include physical memorabilia items such as photographs, awards, books, or songs that may help jog your memory. 

Anyone dealing with conditions that lead to memory loss can benefit from Reminiscence Therapy.

Sand Tray Therapy

Sand Tray Therapy is for children and adolescents. It uses small toys and figurines in a sandbox to recreate life experiences, express emotions, or illustrate concepts. 

Therapists use various small toys and objects, such as dolls, beads, play animals, trinkets, and paper. There is usually a sandbox or a table capable of holding sand in the middle of the counseling space, where the child can sit on one side, and the counselor can sit on the other. 

Sand Tray Therapy can be helpful for children, teens, or even adults and couples with various mental health concerns. Sand Tray Therapy can be beneficial for non-verbal children or children who best express themselves through showing, not talking.

A Sand Tray therapist may introduce sand play work to children who experienced trauma. A counselor that uses this approach may ask the child to recreate a scene related to their traumatic experience. This ability to express what happened from their viewpoint using a comforting medium can be therapeutic for children and highly enlightening for counselors. 

Your therapist may ask you to create a scene that expresses your emotions from the past week. They may ask you some questions about why you placed which figures or objects where. Through this discussion, you are likely to gain a greater awareness of your experience. 

The sand tray acts as a space for you to express a problem or situation that you already know that you can heal from.

Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy

Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy focuses on human growth by understanding emotional processes, behaviors, and family dynamics. It looks closely at self-awareness and believes people have the resources they need to heal and grow within themselves. 

STST posits that emotions, thoughts, and perceptions affect actions, and that if people lack understanding about themselves, they may make decisions or act in a way that aren’t congruent with who they want to be. STST claims individuals should focus on developing self-confidence to make more intentional decisions, lead their lives with hope, and communicate with others effectively. 

Counselors most often use STST in family therapy, but they can use it in individual and couples counseling.

STST establishes a concept called the “Life Force,” which all humans possess that allows them to relate to others in more positive, empathetic ways. 

Your therapist will work closely with you to identify areas in which you can be kinder to yourself, ultimately reminding you that you’re a part of a human connection — your Life Energy. When you maintain this understanding, you’ll have an easier time making decisions and acting in ways that align with your higher self. This understanding also leads to a higher degree of responsibility for your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. 

Finally, another STST goal is to strive for unity in your life, meaning you achieve a state of mind where you’re responsible for yourself and your own experiences. Still, you don’t let any negative experiences define you. You are aware of and embrace the connection you have with those around you and with your Life Energy.

Schema Therapy

Schema Therapy rests on the theory that people have conceptual ideas about common human experiences, such as relationships. Early childhood experiences, some of which can be maladaptive, affect these schemas. Schemas affect how people think about themselves and how they think about themselves in relationships with others. 

Your therapist will ask questions about your childhood and how you form relationships, specifically if there were any attachment injuries (such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, or other types of trauma with your primary caregivers). 

Schema Therapy recognizes that your emotions correspond with how you relate to others. Your maladaptive schemas can also be affected by the particular environment in which you experienced your formative years. 

Your therapist will then ask about your current patterns of relating and how you form relationships as an adult. The goal is to identify and explore how these maladaptive schemas affect you in your present life and replace them with more positive ways of relating with others. 

Sensorimotor Therapy

Sensorimotor Therapy focuses on addressing unresolved trauma. 

As a result of trauma, a person’s brain can change. These changes can manifest themselves in physical and psychological issues. Sensorimotor Therapy aims to treat the body to help heal the mind. 

Sensorimotor Therapy uses physical sensation to address the connection with emotional responses in individuals with trauma. 

Sensorimotor Therapy’s goal is for you to manage the physical sensations that arise when confronted by things that remind you of your trauma. It also seeks to connect the mind and body to help you regulate yourself after experiencing trauma.

Sex Therapy

Sex Therapy is talk therapy that focuses on issues of a sexual nature. This focus could include sexual dysfunction, sexual trauma, sex addiction, relationship and couple’s issues, or gender and sexual identity issues. 

Sex Therapy often involves partners, but it also could be used in individual counseling. 

Sex therapists operate from the assumption that every human has sexuality or experience with sex. Just as issues may arise in other areas of life, issues can arise related to sex that counseling can address.

A partner may seek Sex Therapy if they have anxiety-related concerns involving sex with their partner. Sex therapists can help individuals work through emotions related to sex to help identify what is causing anxiety during intimate moments. 

Couples may seek Sex Therapy to address concerns within their sexual relationship like expressing what they find pleasurable, what they don’t, and how they can come together to experience satisfactory and pleasurable sex as a couple. 

For those questioning their gender or sexual orientation, Sex therapists provide a safe, non-judgemental space to explore their options. Sex therapists do not attempt to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Sex therapists also can address sexual trauma in clients and the wide array of adverse effects. Some people seek Sex Therapy to assist them in coping with sex addiction, where sex therapists can help employ cognitive and behavioral techniques or trauma that has led the person to feel unhealthy in their sexual behavior. 

Anyone interested in addressing sex, sexuality, or intimacy with their partner could benefit from engaging in Sex Therapy.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is a short-term, goal-oriented therapeutic approach that focuses on the present and future. SFBT therapists believe that you already have the skills you need to achieve your goals, but you might need assistance identifying and applying them. 

SFBT is suitable for a range of mental health concerns. If you are interested in achieving a goal, working on interpersonal skills, or identifying personal strengths, SFBT could benefit you.

Your therapist will ask you what your life would look like if the problem you bring to counseling didn’t exist. Your counselor will work with you to identify ways to make this imagined possibility a reality. 

Somatic Experiencing Therapy

Somatic Experiencing Therapy is for individuals who suffer symptoms after a traumatic experience to regulate themselves through miniature exposures to things that remind them of the trauma. 

If you have experienced trauma and want to seek healing, Somatic Experiencing Therapy could be a beneficial choice.

Your therapist would administer assessments and get to know you and what happened to you. Using this understanding, they would design a treatment plan. Your counselor would educate you about the nervous system, how your body attempts to regulate stressful events or situations, and how your trauma caused a malfunction within this bodily system. 

Titration is the process of slowly introducing stimulation that sends your body into a fight, flight, or freeze response and is key to this therapeutic approach. Your therapist would help you recognize the sensations in your body, such as heart racing or sweating, during this stress response. Then, you would practice engaging in body-regulating techniques such as breathing exercises. 

A combined understanding of your physical responses to stress and your trauma triggers can lead to greater self-awareness and healing.

Sports and Fitness Psychology

Sports and Fitness Psychologyinvolves studying factors that affect physical activity and performance. 

Mental health is critical to athletic performance, and Sports and Fitness psychologists work to promote mental health so that athletes can feel and perform at their best. 

If you’re a serious athlete, competitor, or someone interested in improving competitive performance ability, you might benefit from meeting with a Sports and Fitness psychologist. 

Your counselor will assist you in determining your specific performance goals. From there, they will collaborate with you to develop a plan using cognitive, behavioral, mindfulness, and physical techniques. Each person’s needs are unique, so your Sports and Fitness psychologist will help you pinpoint exactly what’s best to focus on for achieving your performance and fitness goals. 

Systems Therapy

Systems Therapy is about patterns: recognizing them, determining if they are helpful or hurtful, and establishing new ones. Systems Therapy states that individuals rely on one another as parts of a family unit and that, when unified, the family unit can more easily strive toward a common goal. 

Your therapist will help identify and examine your family members’ emotions to understand the behaviors of the family unit more fully. The family unit’s functioning relies on its patterns of interaction. Once these patterns are more fully understood, your family can understand the unit as a whole. 

If your family has a specific goal or wants help in relating to one another, Systems Therapy can provide a strong foundation for growth and change. Inquiring into helpful and unhelpful interactions the family is experiencing can be uncomfortable, but Systems Therapy’s goal is to identify dynamics that can ultimately lead to change.

Theraplay

Theraplayis an approach to counseling for children that uses play in interactions with the adults in their life. Theraplay employs fun interactions to promote good behaviors and encourage the healthy expression of emotions. 

Theraplay works with younger children up to 12 but could also be beneficial for children slightly older. Children who experience trauma or abuse early in life can benefit from the safety that is Theraplay’s goal. 

Children learn to understand their world through play, so Theraplay encourages children and parents to engage in play that helps establish the safety of the relationship. If the connection between child and parent feels safe for the child, that child will flourish and thrive in their later relationships. 

Theraplay can also increase self-esteem and creative expression within children, which can help protect their mental health as they grow up. 

Thought Field Therapy

Thought Field Therapy uses ideas about energy flow in the body to facilitate therapeutic change and growth. It states that you can’t address mental health concerns through talking or other traditional therapeutic tactics. 

Thought Field Therapy uses “algorithms” that allow TFT practitioners to guide individuals through a series of tapping exercises. The fingertips produce the tapping motions under the eyebrows, the collarbones, mid-back, and arm. A person taps five to seven times in a sequence. While tapping, they think of thoughts or emotions they wanted to rid themselves of or ease the effects of. 

The approach can help individuals deal with stress, anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, depression, sleep disorders, phobias, grief, addiction, and other mental health concerns. 

If you’re interested in TFT, your counselor will assess your mental health concerns and then teach you how to engage in therapeutic tapping. 

Transference-Focused Therapy

Transference-Focused Therapy helps treat personality disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder. TFP focuses on the relationships and interactions between client and counselor, which it posits can improve outside relationships.

Transference is when clients transfer their feelings about a significant relationship to their relationship with their counselor. Transference can result from harmful or abusive relationships in childhood or relationships with primary caregivers. If your therapist can see the dynamics you employ in other important relationships, they can focus on helping you change negative patterns of relating to others. 

Individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder often have trouble relating to others. In TFP, your counselor will examine these patterns, make you aware of them, and help you change them. Your therapist will help you explore the emotions that arise as you relate to others, how you cope with these emotions, and how this impacts your sense of self. 

While counselors initially used TFP for just Borderline Personality Disorder, people with various mental health concerns might benefit from this approach. Those who have troubles in interpersonal relationships, regulating or coping with difficult emotions, or dealing with anxiety or depression could benefit from Transference-Focused Therapy. 

Transpersonal Psychotherapy

Transpersonal Psychotherapy focuses on a client’s innate ability to foster spirituality, mind-body connection, mindfulness, and consciousness to lead to healing. It focuses on human growth and development and the spiritual aspects of humanity. 

Transpersonal Psychology desires to discover human potential. It integrates spirituality, emotions, intellect, social aspects, and existential questions to facilitate growth. It posits that our souls are learning and growing in each phase of life and that the counseling process is one of spiritual growth.

Transpersonal Psychotherapy engages clients in the process of discovering higher meaning in life. This approach might be helpful for individuals seeking to grow spiritually. 

Your therapist won’t necessarily have specific techniques that they use. Instead, they’ll guide you to discovering and developing the connection you have with your humanity. 

Achieving self-actualization is another goal of Transpersonal Psychotherapy. You and your therapist will work together in the counseling space to address questions of love, life, humanity, and striving toward living your ultimate truth.

Trauma Relief Unlimited

Trauma Relief Unlimited helps people recover from the negative effects of trauma. It uses hand movements that target responses from the right side of the brain, which decreases trauma responses.

Your therapist will guide you through a series of hand movements in which you use colors on a pad of paper. You repeat these motions, and the right side of the brain responds. TRU traditionally doesn’t involve any conversational exchanges between client and therapist. In this way, it is a vastly different approach to counseling. It could be helpful for some people because it doesn’t require them to recount the details of their trauma. 

People who experienced sexual or physical abuse, violence, shootings, assaults, accidents, or deaths could benefit from TRU. 

The results of TRU take effect quickly, so if you seek rapid relief from distressing symptoms of trauma such as nightmares, panic attacks, flashbacks, or others, you may consider reaching out to a TRU specialist. 

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is for children and adolescents that experienced trauma like sexual abuse, physical abuse, maltreatment, or neglect. Counselors use it in an individual or a group setting. 

TF-CBT is highly structured with specific goals for each session, lasting anywhere from eight to 25 sessions. It also includes non-offending parents and caregivers to help the child continue the work they learn during TF-CBT and increase positive behaviors at home, at school, and in the rest of their lives.

TF-CBT helps children and adolescents understand the connection between thoughts and feelings. Additionally, TF-CBT uses the trauma narrative process, where children or adolescents retell the therapist their trauma experience. Then, the child and counselor process the trauma. These phases are crucial to TF-CBT’s goal, which is to allow the child to live a healthier life post-trauma ultimately. 

Voice Dialogue

Voice Dialogue posits that each individual has different parts of their psyche. Each person deserves to give these parts of themself a voice. Your therapist will help you engage these parts of yourself in a dialogue to foster self-awareness. 

Voice Dialogue can help clients to assuage their conflicting thoughts or feelings, negative emotions, and problematic patterns in relationships. 

Voice Dialogue can be helpful for individuals who want to engage in the process of self-discovery and gain self-awareness and insight. By understanding each part of yourself, you can begin to understand where conflicting values or emotions might come from. You also can gain insight and empathy toward choices you made that harmed you or self-sabotaging behaviors or patterns of thinking you maintain. 

Voice Dialogue’s goal is to respect, love, and balance all parts of yourself so you make decisions that serve you best as a human being. You can gain awareness skills, self-expression, creativity, empathy, and self-communication by utilizing Voice Dialogue. 

Voice Therapy

Voice Therapy helps individuals who have suffered an injury or are experiencing other difficulties with their voice to regain use and strength. Accidents, neurological conditions, cancer, surgeries, and other occurrences can lead to voice damage, damage to the vocal cords, paralysis of the vocal cords, or other issues that cause speaking problems. 

Voice therapists train specially to help you with exercises to strengthen your voice. These specialists are usually Speech-Language Pathologists with years of schooling. 

Techniques voice therapists may use include exercises to strengthen your vocal cords, posture exercises, breathing exercises that allow for more control over your voice, or even speaking differently.

Sometimes, Voice Therapy can be used to prevent future problems that might occur for people who use their voice professionally by teaching people proper vocal hygiene and safe ways to sing and speak. Singers and actors may use this speciality. 

Voice Therapy is also utilized at times for transgender clients if they want to alter how their voice sounds. Specifically, your therapist will conduct an interview and assessment to see what specific issues you encounter with your speech. Then, they will employ specific techniques to see what is most effective at alleviating the problem. 

Wilderness Therapy

Wilderness Therapy uses exploration into the wilderness to facilitate therapeutic change. Usually used for behavioral health issues in adolescents, Wilderness Therapy uses skills training, group exercises, and nature explorations to engage clients in counseling. 

Counselors usually use Wilderness Therapy for groups of adolescents or young adults experiencing mental health concerns or substance use issues. 

Wilderness therapists rely on the absence of any negative life influences (such as the pressure to engage in risky behaviors). Skills training can include starting a fire, finding and foraging for food, and building shelters. 

Group exercises help bring clients together, mimic healthy family dynamics, and are free of toxic patterns of relating. Exploring the wilderness encourages clients to rely more heavily on themselves and the strength of the group. 

The challenge of Wilderness Therapy includes physical activities, encouraging a mind-body connection. Wilderness therapy also encourages creativity, self-expression, and trust within oneself and the group. These dynamics can model and demonstrate healthy relationships with others that youth might not have in their life. 

If you are interested in Wilderness Therapy for you or for a loved one, seek out a properly accredited and safe program, as placing youth in environments they are not used to can come with some risks.

Choosing the Right Kind of Therapy

While it’s helpful to understand the kinds of therapy out there, choosing the right type of therapy for you is about finding a counselor you feel comfortable with. Then trust your counselor’s advice on the best treatment method for your concerns.

When deciding on a therapist, think about your concerns and what type of therapy might work best for you. Oftentimes people ask a friend or colleague for a recommendation. Therapists are taught in graduate school to “not practice out of their scope of training.” It’s important to remember that just because a therapist was helpful for your friend doesn’t mean they would be helpful for you.

Seek out a therapist that has experience and training in your area of concern. But also keep your mind open to other treatment recommendations that a therapist may recommend. The kind of therapy you receive is always up to you. Don’t accept any treatment plan that you aren’t comfortable with.

Let All Counseling Help

Regardless of what type of therapy you decide is right for you, All Counseling wants to help. We want to help you find the right counselor to get the mental health support you deserve. Use our searchable therapist directory to find a counselor who specializes in the kind of therapy you need.