Types of Psychology
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that is based on the premise that the way an individual thinks and feels affects the way that he or she behaves. CBT aims to help clients resolves present-day challenges like depression or anxiety, relationship problems, anger issues, stress, or other common concerns that negatively affect mental health and quality of life. The goal of treatment is to help clients identify, challenge, and change maladaptive thinking and behavioural patterns in order to change their responses to difficult situations.
When it is used:
CBT is appropriate for children, adolescents, and adults and for individuals, families, and couples. A large body of research has found it to be either highly or moderately effect in the treatment of depression, generalised anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, general stress, anger issues, panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, eating disorders, martial difficulties, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and childhood anxiety and depressive disorders.
How it works:
CBT integrates behavioural theories and cognitive theories to conclude that the way people perceive a situation determines their reaction more than the actual reality of the situation does. When a person is distressed or discouraged, his or her view of an experience may not be realistic. Changing the way clients think and see the world can change their responses to circumstances.
CBT often targets cognitive distortions, or irrational patterns of thought that can negatively affect behaviour. Common cognitive distortions include all-or-nothing thinking (seeing everything in black-and-white terms and ignoring nuance), catastrophising (always assuming the worst will happen), and personalisation (believing that the individual is responsible for everything that happens around them, whether good or bad).
If you would like to read more about cognitive behavioural therapy, please click the following link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/therapy-types/cognitive-behavioral-therapy
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy
Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) provides clients with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. DBT specifically focuses on providing therapeutic skills in four key areas. First, mindfulness focuses on improving an individual’s ability to accept and be present in the current moment. Second, distress tolerance is geared toward increasing a person’s tolerance of negative emotion, rather than trying to escape from it. Third, emotional regulation covers strategies to manage, and change intense emotions that are causing problems in a person’s life. Fourth, interpersonal effectiveness consists of techniques that allow a person to communicate with others in a way that is assertive, maintains self-respect, and strengthens relationships.
When it is used:
DBT was originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder. However, research shows that DBT has also been used successfully to treat people experiencing depression, bulimia, binge-eating, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic-stress disorder, and substance abuse. DBT skills are thought to have the capability of helping those who wish to improve their ability to regulate emotions, tolerate distress and negative emotion, be mindful and present in the given moment, and communicate and interact effectively with others.
How it Works
DBT is a form of therapy that is frequently used with individuals that are experiencing borderline personality disorder to identify and combat intense negative emotions and relationship conflict. It is also used with individuals that are experiencing extreme negative emotions in the absence of borderline personality disorder.
DBT is influenced by the philosophical perspective of dialectics: balancing opposites. The therapist consistently works with the individual to find ways to hold two seemingly opposite perspectives at once, promoting balance and avoiding black and white, the all or nothing styles of thinking. In service of this balance, DBT promotes a both-and rather than an either-or outlook.
If you would like to read more about dialectical behavioural therapy, please click the following link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/therapy-types/dialectical-behavior-therapy
Attachment & Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an action-oriented approach to psychotherapy that stems from traditional behaviour therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy. Clients learn to stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with their inner emotions and, instead, accept that these deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations that should not prevent them from moving forward in their lives. With this understanding, clients begin to accept their hardships and commit to making necessary changes in their behaviour, regardless of what is going on in their lives and how they feel about it.
“We as a culture seem to be dedicated to the idea that negative human emotions need to be fixed, managed, or changed – not experienced as a part of a whole life. We are treating our own lives as problems to be solved as if we can sort through our experiences for the ones we like and throw out the rest,” Hayes writes in a psychology today post. “Acceptance, mindfulness and values are key psychological tools needed for that transformative shift.”
When it is Used:
ACT can help treat many mental and physical conditions. These include:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Eating disorders
- Substance use disorders
- Workplace stress
- Chronic pain
How it Works:
The theory behind ACT is that it is counterproductive to try to control painful emotions or psychological experiences; suppression of these feelings ultimately leads to more distress. ACT adopts the view that there are valid alternatives to trying to change the way you think, and these include mindful behaviour, attention to personal values, and commitment to action. By taking steps to change their behaviour while, at the same time learning to accept their psychological experiences, clients can eventually change their attitudes and emotional states.
If you would like to read more about attachment and commitment therapy, please click the following link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/therapy-types/acceptance-and-commitment-therapy
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) is a psychotherapy developed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. EMDR focuses on processing adverse memories from traumatic life experiences by accessing emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and physical sensations that occurred at the time of the event. EMDR therapy uses a hand motion technique that is employed by the therapist to direct the clients eye movements, accessing the traumatic memory network, and creating new associations between the traumatic memory and more adaptive information. The adoption of adaptive information in the memory network allows clients to identify previously unprocessed information, eliminate emotional distress and develop insight to their mental wellbeing.
When it’s Used
EMDR is conditionally recommended for the treatment of clients presenting with post-traumatic stress disorder, however, clients with anxiety, phobias and eating disorders have also benefited from EMDR treatment. Research has suggested that EMDR has been an effective therapy for single-trauma, and multiple-trauma victims, including combat veterans and survivors of sexual assault.
How it Works
EMDR is an eight-phase treatment that aims to fully process past traumatic experiences and replace negative thoughts and feelings of an event with positive and empowering cognitions that will encourage healthy behaviours and social interactions. Therapy involves attention to three periods of time: past, present, and future. Focussing on past disturbing experiences, current situations that cause distress, and developing skills to handle stressful situations in the future. The eight phases of EMDR therapy discuss the client’s history and plan of treatment, preparation, assessment of negative feelings, desensitisation to the negative feelings using eye movements, adoption of positive replacements, body scanning to assess if the client can access traumatic memories without adverse feelings, session debrief and re-evaluation.
If you would like to read more about EMDR, please click the following link:
Schema therapy is an integrative approach that combines elements of cognitive behavioural therapy, psychoanalysis, attachment theory, emotion-focused therapy, and other related approaches. In schema therapy, maladaptive patterns of thinking that influence unhealthy behaviours and relationships, known as schemas, are targeted. Schemas are often developed in childhood, typically for those whose emotional and physical needs were not met. In adulthood, maladaptive schemas can contribute to problematic coping methods and behaviours, in turn, negatively affecting relationships and emotional well-being.
When it’s Used
This therapy has been used to treat eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns that have appeared unresponsive to other forms of treatment. Schema therapy is also useful in the treatment of personality disorders, in particular borderline personality disorder. Schema therapy is primarily used to treat adults; however, few psychologists are exploring its effectiveness for treating children and adolescents.
How it Works
Schema therapy relies on a strong therapeutic relationship in which the client feels comfortable and emotionally safe. Schema therapy emphasises empathic confrontation, in which the therapist responds to the client’s schemas and behaviours, no matter how maladaptive, with empathy and understanding, while encouraging the client to see the need for change and offering the tools to do so.
Schema therapist also engage in what’s called ‘limited reparenting,’ in which they attempt to meet some of the client’s emotional needs that went unmet in childhood. A client who only rarely received emotional support from their caregivers, for example, may benefit from a therapist offering unconditional compassion and validation, while a client who experienced neglect or abandonment may benefit from a therapist who offers consistency and stability. Though the phrase ‘reparenting’ suggests that a therapist will take on a parental role, a good schema therapist will make sure they are doing so in a ‘limited’ way – that is, ethically and while adhering to specific boundaries.
If you would like to read more about schema therapy, please click the following link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/therapy-types/schema-therapy
Psychodynamic psychotherapy focuses on unconscious mental and emotional processes to increase client self-awareness and understand the influence of experience on present behaviour. Psychodynamic therapy enables individuals to explore unresolved conflicts and emotions that arise from past dysfunctional relationships to alleviate symptoms. Employing this approach in therapy is associated with increased feelings of self-worth and improved capacity for developing and maintaining relationships.
When It’s Used
The psychodynamic approach is effective for a wide range of psychological disorders, primarily depression, anxiety, panic- and stress-related disorder, eating disorders and individuals who have interpersonal relationship concerns. This therapy is appropriate for children, adolescents and adults.
How It Works
Psychodynamic therapy draws client focus on recognising, understanding and overcoming negative and repressed emotions to improve interpersonal relationships. Clients learn to understand how repressed emotions effect decision making, and how they are often associated with social difficulties. This understanding enables clients to learn to analyse and resolve current difficulties and change their behaviour to create healthy sense of self and improve relationships.
If you would like to read more about psychodynamic therapy, please click the following link:
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