Talking Therapy: which therapy is for me?
From those professionals discussed in the previous post, there may be a large variety of therapies used to help help the mental health disorders that they face. Here I am going to break down a few of the common therapies used to treat depression and anxiety.
Mindful Meditation: This is an increasingly popular therapy that enables the client to live with the negative thoughts through acceptance and distancing rather than being combative and fighting the thoughts. Although it is very effective when used for mental health illnesses such as depression and anxiety, it can be used for a wide array of issues. There are different ways of approaching this including Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive therapy (MBCT).
ACT is all about being open and accepting. By increasing your emotional intelligence, it enables you to distance yourself from your negative thoughts and beliefs, viewing them in a more objective manner. This allows painful feelings to come and go by acknowledging their presence and letting go without dwelling on them. The most important aspect is being present, living in the here and now. I personally really like this one, it can be hard and takes practice but is very beneficial and therapeutic.
MBCT is using mindful meditation as well as cognitive therapy to be present in the moment, stop the minding wandering and avoid unpleasant thoughts. This therapy also enables you to understand, manage and distance themselves from the negative thoughts. In return interrupting the automatic processes that trigger the negative and often repetitive thoughts.
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a short-term problem solving and goal focused therapy that combines the use of cognitive therapy with behavioural therapy, as well a wide array of other issues. The combination of the two use together has proven to have great results in treating anxiety and depression. It uses the idea that the way you think, and act directly effects the way you feel. This therapy includes self-help strategies, education, and goal setting. These tools include identifying and challenging negative thoughts that trigger depression, as well as breaking the pattern of thinking and beliefs that associate with anxiety.
Cognitive therapy (CT) challenges negative and unhealthy thoughts with strategies where the patient observes their emotions and thoughts, which brings change to their behaviour. For example, having to give evidence about a thought, proving it false and replacing with a positive.
Behaviour therapy (BT) is giving the patient skills to alter negative behaviour. For example, practicing behaviours that create more positive outcomes for a person who continuously things negative about themselves.
Psychodynamic Therapy is a more open and intensive therapy rather than goal based. The client is encouraged to talk freely about emotions, desires, and fears, removing any defence mechanism and diving into the unconscious. This leads to discussions about emotions, thoughts, early life experiences and beliefs where the insight is gained of emotional suffering and problematic patterns are recognised. The ultimate goal is to alleviate symptoms and for the client to live a healthier life.
Interpersonal Therapy is a short-term therapy that focuses on the link between mood and life events that trigger mood disorders. This is done through correcting problems in interpersonal relationships and social interactions, developing skills needed to manage them. Recognising patterns in relationships that make the client more vulnerable to depression and other mental health disorders. It is believed that improving the client’s mood will improve relationships and vice versa.
The type of therapy used is often subjective to the clients’ preferences and mental health needs. Mental health is an ever-developing condition which takes hard work where there isn’t a quick fix. Being open and honest can be extremely hard but is a necessary part of leading a more happy and healthy life.
Next: Talking therapy: A few of my favourite techniques
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