Types of Psychotherapy
and Benefits

This page discusses some of the different types of psychotherapy, along with the benefits to each type.

These days, virtually all professionals in the field of mental health agree; an effective therapeutic component to the treatment of mental illness is essential to combating the disease.

However, they do differ on which therapeutic approach yields the greatest benefits.

Indeed, there are at least three distinct types of psychotherapy, all of which are different in approach and effect.

They are:

  • Psychoanalysis – This is perhaps the most well-known mode of treatment. It is the prototypical ‘patient on a coach, with a doctor in the chair’ style of therapy that most people immediately think of when they attempt to picture a therapy session. This style of therapy is often (sometimes derisively) referred to as ‘talk’ therapy, as the analyst tries to probe the mind of the patient, attempting to discover unconscious feelings or thoughts that may be motivating factors in the emotional state of the subject.
  • Cognitive Behavioral - For therapists who favor this approach, they focus more on actual behaviors or specific thought patterns that produce poor results. The idea is that if the patient can actually learn to recognize and change their own thought processes while they are occurring, they can then adjust and modify their own behavior and response to their environment more effectively. This type of psychotherapy sees the most use when attempting to address a specific problem, such as quitting smoking, or social avoidance.

  • Group Therapy - The group therapy approach is where multiple patients work at once, with either a single or multiple therapists. The line of reasoning with group therapy is that since people can be bolstered by their peers who are also suffering from similar conditions, they will feel safer, and be more able to honestly participate in the curative process.

All three of these different types of psychotherapy are proven to be effective.

Many times, it is up to the individual education, training, or preference of whichever doctor or therapist you happen to be dealing with.

Sometimes, they are even used in conjunction with one another, to great effect.

Speak with your therapist about his or her own approach, and thoughts about the different therapy types, to be sure you are getting the kind of therapy which best suits your own particular condition, situation and needs.

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