What Kind of Therapy or Counselling?
There are dozens of different types of therapy (also referred to as therapeutic orientations or modalities). All have the same goal - bringing about an improvement in psychological health - but the means they use to achieve that goal can vary greatly. Knowing which orientation is likely to be the most suitable for you is going to be difficult if you know nothing about psychotherapy and counselling. However, don't let this worry you too much. There is evidence to demonstrate that a significant determinant in the success of therapy is the relationship between the therapist and the client/patient (often referred to as "the therapeutic relationship").
Here's a brief outline for some of the most popular therapy orientations practised in the UK:
Analytic and Psychodynamic Therapies
These very traditional therapies draw on the works of early psychotherapists such as Freud, Jung, Klein and Adler. Focus is on using therapy to bring about an understanding of the link between the client's (here called patient) early experiences and relationships and the way he or she now is in the world. Therapists who work in this way to use the therapeutic relationship to help the client explore very deep feelings he has had about himself and the people he is close to. Such therapists tend to say very little, allowing the client to explore his own thoughts. Clients may be encouraged to lie on a couch in order to better concentrate on themselves. Therapy may take place weekly, but is often more frequent - up to four times per week.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Particularly good for people who have specific problems such as depression, anxiety, panic, OCD, phobias. Its chief premise is that people are hampered by their negative thoughts and assumptions, which they lead to them making huge generalisations about the catastrophic nature of their lives. Thus for example, that spider lurking under the bed will definitely find its way into the client's ear, lay eggs, then go on to produce an inoperable brain tumour. CBT aims to help clients de-construct irrational fears and behaviours
Transactional Analysis (TA)
Helps individuals resolve their psychological issues by helping them understand the ways in which they relate to the world. Focuses on Ego states - Parent, Child Adult and works to help clients move towards free and appropriate movement between these states.
Focuses on personal growth and emotional healing through awareness of self, intellectually, emotionally and bodily. It employs a range of techniques including imagery, acting out and exaggeration.
Person-Centred Therapy (also known as Rogerian therapy)
Is non-directive, with the therapist demonstrating an unconditional positive regard for the client so as to encourage the client towards a similar acceptance of self.
Developed by Jeffrey Young for the treatment of personality disorders and chronic trauma, Schema Therapy is an integrative approach to psychotherapy, embracing elements of attachment theory, CBT and Gestalt. Its main goals are to help patients strengthen their Healthy Adult parts of self and to reduce the reliance on maladaptive coping behaviours so that they can experience their core needs and feelings and break free of dysfunctional life patterns. Schema Therapy is one of the chief modalities we use here at The Therapy Hour.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. This often happens at a far faster rate than is experienced via classical approaches to psychotherapy. The therapy uses moving lights, tapping, sounds or other forms of bilateral stimulation to unblock, reset and restore an over-stimulated limbic system in the pain. Although therapist and client will talk, it is not primarily a “talking therapy”. We employ the use of EMDR as appropriate hereat The Therapy Hour