Types of therapy

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

There are literally hundreds of ways of providing therapy. Below are a small sample of types you are more likely to find at Grand Valley Counseling.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological treatment that challenges the way you think about something. It has been effective for a number of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, marital problems, eating disorders, and severe mental illness. It has been proven to be effective in a number of clinical studies. It often leads to significant improvement in quality of life and overall functioning.

Core principals of CBT state that Problems are based on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking, learned from the way you grew up, or learned from unhelpful ways of coping with issues. In therapy we challenge your thinking to help develop better ways of coping and improving how to behave and function.

Here’s a simple example:

You are driving and someone speeds up from behind you, cuts you off and races on ahead. You are angry. You think, “that JERK!” and you are tempted to catch up to him to cut him off.

In CBT we challenge that thought that he’s a jerk. We don’t know why he is driving that way. If we think, “maybe he overslept and he’s rushing to work so he doesn’t get fired.” How does that change how your feel? Is he still a JERK, or maybe he’s a smaller jerk. If we think, “maybe he’s rushing to the hospital because a family member is seriously injured.” How does that make you feel? Most people notice an immediate difference how they feel and want to act from “that JERK!” to “someone’s hurt.”

Another example: Bill has his 5th DUI. He doesn’t understand why everyone is so against his drinking. After-all, his dad drank one or two 6-packs after work every night until he died, and his older brother still drinks that way. “They are ok, why does everyone think my drinking is bad?” thinks Bill. Using CBT we would challenge those ideas that drinking like that is ok and compare his drinking to others to see if he notices a difference. We would help him explore how growing up the way he did causes him to believe a certain way about drinking that might not be shared by everyone else.

Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of trauma and disturbing life experiences.  More than 30 studies have shown that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference.

One study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100% of thesingle-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions of EMDR. More than 75% of combat veterans were free of PTSD after 12 session of EMDR.

One of the effects of EMDR treatment reported my most clients is that a traumatic even from years ago no longer feels like “it just happened.”

You can read more at WebMD, and The American Psychological Association.

Other forms of treatment include: hypnotherapy, DBT, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, humanistic psychotherapy, gestalt, and others.