Psychotherapy helps people with a wide variety of mental illnesses and emotional problems to eliminate or control their symptoms, function better, increase healing and create overall wellbeing. It has been demonstrated to improve behaviours and emotions and is linked to positive changes in both the brain and the body.
There are several types of psychotherapy. The choice of which to apply depends on the person’s particular needs, circumstances and preferences. Therapists often combine elements from different approaches to best meet the client’s needs.
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
- Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)
- Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Supportive Therapy
- Humanistic / Experiential Therapy
- Transactional Analysis (TA)
- Creative Arts Therapy
CBT helps people identify, analyse and change their patterns of thinking and behaviour that may be harmful, and replace them with more accurate thoughts and functional behaviours. It helps people focus on the present and the solutions to their present problems. Practicing these newly acquired skills in one’s daily life is part of CBT.
CBT helps in treating several mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, trauma-related and eating disorders.
REBT is a brief, direct and solution-oriented therapy intended to resolve specific problems that people face. REBT is based on the concept that people’s emotions are a result of their beliefs rather than the events in their lives. If people’s beliefs are healthy and rational, they will be healthy, emotionally fulfilled and happy. REBT is an educational form of therapy in which the therapist teaches the patient how to identify irrational beliefs, analyse them and replace them with rational ones.
IPT is a short-term form of psychotherapy that helps people understand the personal issues that underlie their problems, such as unresolved grief, changes in work or social roles, and conflicts in personal relationships. It teaches healthy ways to express emotions, improve communications, and relate better to others. IPT is most often used to treat depression.
Psychodynamic therapy is based on the idea that mental wellbeing, patterns of thought and response are influenced by childhood experiences and the unconscious mind. The therapist works with the patient to improve self-awareness and change existing patterns in order to take back control of their life. Psychoanalysis is a more intensive form of psychodynamic therapy.
Supportive therapy uses guidance and encouragement techniques to help people develop and strengthen their inner emotional resources and build resilience to face the challenges in their lives. By improving their self-esteem, reducing anxiety, enhancing coping mechanisms and strengthening social and community ties, supportive therapy helps people deal with issues related to their mental health conditions.
Unlike behaviour-based therapies, humanistic therapy addresses a person’s nature and personality rather than their behaviours. This holistic approach emphasises the whole person, focusing on their positive behaviours and ability to grow and learn throughout their life, helping them heal and understand themselves better through self-exploration. People with depression, anxiety, panic disorders and low self-esteem can benefit from humanistic therapy.
TA can help people with a variety of problems and has many applications outside of mental illness counselling, such as education, parenting, coaching and even in the corporate world. Because of its structure and framework, nearly every situation involving a lack of understanding or conflict between people can benefit from TA. It is particularly useful in resolving conflicts between couples or in a family.
Transactional therapy is an integrative or holistic form of psychotherapy which incorporates elements of many other psychotherapeutic philosophies.