There are many types of therapy available nowadays, and it’s worth doing some research into the various approaches that might work for you. Our article on the different schools of thought when it comes to therapy can be a good starting point.
The differences to look for include:
- if an approach goes deeply into your past to find the roots of your issues, or focuses more on just the present and the future
- if a therapy is or isn’t client-led (meaning you decide what you want to talk about each week over being guided to talk about certain things)
- if a therapy looks at your life in general, or if it instead focuses on one thing in particular, such as your relationships or how to control your thoughts and reactions
- how much emphasis the approach places on the client-therapist relationship
- if a therapy is long or short-term (read our article on explaining this difference here).
Some examples of therapy types are highlighted below:
- Therapies that go in-depth and into the past include psychodynamic therapy, psychoanalytical therapy, transpersonal therapy, and Jungian therapy.
- Humanistic therapies, such as person-centred therapy, are client-led. This means you can choose if you want to talk about the past or not.
- Therapies with a particular emphasis on the client-therapist relationship include schema therapy and dynamic interpersonal therapy (DIT).
- Therapies that focuses mostly on the present and future are cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), solution focused brief therapy (SFBT), and also acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).
- If you want to look at how you relate to others, therapies with this focus are cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) and dynamic interpersonal therapy (DIT).
- Dialectical therapy focuses on gaining control of your emotional responses and is designed to help those with borderline personality disorder.
- Existential therapy helps you look at what brings meaning to your life and how you can create your life to best suit your values. If you want to also bring in a sense of spirituality, transpersonal therapy might be for you.
And if you are really overwhelmed with all the approaches and can’t decide, an integrative therapist can be an idea. An integrative therapist will use tools from various approaches to best suit your issues.