X Common Therapies, And Which One Is Right For You?


Life can take a toll on anyone, whether work or personal life, but you don’t have to struggle alone. Trying to get through life’s challenges all at once can be threatening to your mental health; however, help is always available. Getting psychological therapy has become more acceptable than before. But where does one start?

While your friend may swear by their therapist or the healthcare helpline might suggest the best options out there, it is better to do your research before booking a session. You need to know what types of therapies you can get and which would be right for you. You don’t want to risk consulting a therapist specializing in a domain that isn’t your area of interest.

Understanding each type of therapy in depth can be a tedious and long process. You need a basic understanding of each therapy type and which psychological problems it is most suited for. Knowing this will help you scrutinize available therapists and book a session.

But first, what is psychotherapy?

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy digs further into an individual’s problems to understand the underlying issues and help them bring a lasting change in their life. Psychotherapy not just assesses an individual’s emotional problems but also assesses their physical well-being. Following are seven types of therapy you must consider before booking a session.


There are various types of therapies, and the term “counseling” is used as an umbrella term for all of them. The reason is that a therapist would just employ one type of therapy. Counseling is a mix and match of various techniques. Since it is highly in-demand, there are options for doing an online counseling masters degree as well.

Precisely, counseling is when you talk to a licensed professional about your mental health struggles. A counselor would help you process your emotions and guide you through the recovery process. It is the most basic type of therapy offered in response to a traumatic incident.

A counselor would listen to your concerns without a grain of judgment and suggest strategies for coping and recovery. Some counselors also specialize in a certain domain like an eating disorder or couple therapy.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Stemming from the field of psychodynamics, ruled by Sigmund Freud, this type of therapy focuses on belief systems that originated during childhood and impact behavior throughout one’s life. For instance, children with a rough childhood might have difficulty maintaining relationships as an adult. Therefore, to help them regenerate their confidence in relationships as an adult, a trained professional might employ psychodynamic techniques in therapy. It is most suited for those with issues of self-confidence or esteem and depression or anxiety.

Behavioral Therapy

Unlike psychodynamic therapy, behavioral therapy focuses on thoughts that initiate in the present. It focuses on changing existing behaviors and understanding why we are more inclined to certain behaviors than others. This type of therapy is mainly employed by child psychologists to inculcate a sense of reward and punishment for certain behaviors.

Some techniques associated with it are:

Systematic desensitization – used when trying to induce behavior or thought

Aversion therapy – to inculcate a sense of reward or punishment for certain behaviors

Flooding – a technique to help the individual face their fear or phobias to process their emotions

Behavioral therapy is suitable for those seeking assistance to deal with phobias or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is the most used set of techniques by a psychotherapist and a counselor. As the name suggests, CBT is inclined towards the individual’s cognitive abilities. It aims to assess the individual’s thought process regarding the issue at hand and how to resolve it through the shifting of mindset.

CBT firmly believes that the thoughts that come to us directly impact our emotional and physical health. Hence, having a healthy mindset would greatly benefit us.

It takes after some ideologies of behavioral therapy as well. CBT is geared towards mood disorders, eating disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, and even OCD.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy or DBT is an extension of CBT. DBT helps understand why certain emotions exist, specifically after a traumatic event. It helps people build coping skills and habits to live with the aftermath of stressful events. Initially, DBT was designed to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD), but its strategies extend to other conditions.

DBT is suitable for individuals who experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicidal ideation, and other self-destructive behaviors.

Humanistic Therapy

Humanistic therapy stems from the field of humanism in psychology. This approach focuses on human values, discovering what drives one’s soul, and realizing the importance of free will. Humanistic therapy is not specifically for treating a psychological disorder or condition but to help people realize their true potential and achieve more in life.

Humanistic therapy can be helpful for those struggling with self-expression, relationship issues, and depression or anxiety.

Family or Couple Therapy

Family or Couple’s therapy is a type of therapy that integrates techniques from some or most of the psychotherapies mentioned above. It’s not just about one person but a couple or family experiencing problems.

Normally, family or couple therapy takes place in a group setting or on an individual basis, depending on what the therapist deems best. It helps in finding out causes for why a family or couple may be experiencing problems by allowing the expression of emotions in the presence of a neutral third party.

Family therapy is about getting everyone on the same page and creating a healthy environment at home. On the other hand, couples therapy is for a range of problems that a couple might be experiencing – anger issues, sexual dilemmas, or recurring arguments.


These were the six basic types of therapies. We hope this article must have given you a good understanding of which therapy is right for your issue. A counselor or psychotherapist might use some or most of these, depending on your diagnosis and treatment. It is crucial to understand what each therapy focuses on so that you can assess your therapist’s qualifications and experience before booking a session.


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