One in five adults suffer from mental illness in the United States. This statistic is shocking because oftentimes when you are feeling depressed or anxious, you feel alone in your struggle. But the reality is there are millions of other people in this country who are going through similar struggles.
Yet for some reason, there is still a negative connotation attached to mental illness. Many people are afraid to talk about mental illness as openly as they talk about physical illness. This is a huge problem in this country because many people are suffering in silence with no relief in sight.
Luckily, more and more people are speaking out on the topic of mental health, and younger generations feel more comfortable acknowledging their mental illness and seeking help. But what kind of help is out there for people? Everyone is different and may require a unique approach to their mental health. Therapy isn’t a one size fits all type deal. Different approaches work for different kind of people, which is why it’s important to know about the options available to you.
Here are 8 different types of therapy that you can consider when seeking help to overcome your mental illness and regain control of your life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most popular form of therapy, especially for people who are just getting started in therapy sessions. CBT is an evidence-based therapy that focuses on the way you think (cognition), the way you act (behavior), and the way you feel (emotion).
CBT can be used for children as well as adults. The thought process surrounding CBT is that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all connected. So if we can start to gain control over our thoughts and our emotions towards our thoughts, we can change our behavior and overall mental state.
CBT teaches individuals to take note of negative thought patterns and to let them go without judgement. The individual is to them replace these negative thought patterns with positive thoughts and behaviors. It is a struggle to make this change in the beginning, but over time we can change the way our brain functions and our behaviors will be quick to follow.
CBT takes time to implement and take effect, but it is proven to be effective in treating depression and anxiety. People will learn to face their fears and change the way they feel about fearful situations moving forward.
Interpersonal therapy is another popular form of therapy that focuses on treating depression in the short term. Oftentimes, interpersonal therapy will be used in conjunction with CBT so the individual can get short-term and long-term help in overcoming mental illness.
The idea behind interpersonal therapy is to talk about things that are happening in life that are causing you stress, emotional turmoil, and other negative emotions and how you react to these situations. For example, if you recently went through a divorce or someone close to you passed away, interpersonal therapy would focus on these experiences and how you can change your perspective to one that is more healthy and helpful to your wellbeing.
Mindfulness-based therapy has become increasingly popular as more and more research has been done on the benefits of mindfulness activities like meditation. Mindfulness is the act of staying present in the moment. Mindfulness teaches people to not dwell on the past or worry about the future.
Oftentimes, people feel almost drawn to dwell on painful and hurtful thoughts. Negative thinking patterns become a routine occurrence and extremely difficult to break free of. Have you ever found yourself unable to stop thinking or obsessing over something that is causing you pain? Why do we dwell on things that are only causing us pain and worry? We have trained our minds to do this, and the mindfulness-based therapy helps us retrain our brain and start living in the presence.
This form of therapy is helpful in overcoming depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and stress. It takes time to implement, but mindfulness and meditation is something you can practice on your own for years to come, without the help of a therapist to assist you along the way.
Psychodynamic therapy focuses on how the events and traumatic experiences of our childhood has affected our development and current wellbeing. The idea is that we all have subconscious ties to painful feelings about others and about ourselves, that have been with us since childhood. And until we can get to the root of those feelings, we won’t truly be able to overcome our mental illness.
Psychodynamic therapy aims to uncover these subconscious feelings and bring them to the surface, so we can deal with them straight on and overcome them once and for all. Psychodynamic therapy is effective in treating depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.
Group therapy is a great additional source of support for individuals who are also in another one-on-one therapy practice. Group therapy is especially helpful to people with anxiety, substance abuse, and depression because it allows them to hear from other people with similar struggles, so they can see they’re not alone in their battle.
Group therapy allows individuals to share different challenges they are facing and hear from several different people on possible solutions. It’s a great way to build a bigger support system and get new perspective on overcoming mental illness.
Emotion-focused therapy focuses (obviously) on our emotions and how we handle them. This type of therapy puts emphasis on our past relationships and how they still affect us today. The idea is that a lot of people’s pain is caused by the inability to deal with difficult emotions, or people not getting their emotional needs met.
Emotion-focused therapy helps people uncover long-hidden emotions that people have tried to push to the side while they pretend to be okay. While in therapy, people will finally face these emotions and fully process them in a healthy way, so they can move forward without that burden. Therapists will help individuals work with their negative emotion to learn and seek information for why they feel and behave the way they do. People will start to understand why they have these emotions, and how they can work with them in a positive way in the future, instead of simply suppressing them and looking the other way.
Emotion-focused therapy is helpful in treating depression, eating disorders, interpersonal problems, relationship problems, and helps people face childhood traumas.
Family and couples’ therapy focuses on the wellbeing and dynamic of a family or relationship by providing therapy as a group. If you are having serious marital problems, going to marriage therapy is a great way to help improve communication, understanding your spouse, meeting each other’s emotional and physical needs, and facing issues that you both have otherwise avoided. You will learn different tactics to overcome marital challenges in a healthier way that will lead to a positive outcome instead of a terrible fight.
Family therapy is great if parents are having issues with children and the dynamics of the family need to be discussed and altered so that everyone can function in a positive way. The therapist may meet with the child and the parents separately, and then altogether as a group to discuss some of the issues and how they can be resolved moving forward. This is a great way to work as a team to help your children overcome behavioral or emotional issues that they may be dealing with.
Family and couples’ therapy puts an emphasis on communication and understanding between each person involved. By using more effective and positive communication tactics, you can reduce the severity of conflicts or prevent them altogether.
The most unique form of therapy on this list that many people probably haven’t even heard of is past life regression therapy. However, even though it’s not as mainstream as some other, more traditional forms of therapy, many people swear by it.
Past life regression therapy uses the technique of hypnosis to recover memories from the individual’s past life experiences. This form of therapy has been used both for spiritual and psychotherapeutic purposes. The therapy consists of the practitioner asking the individual questions while they are under hypnosis to uncover truths about their previous lives, with the goal being to uncover underlying issues that may have carried over into this current life.
Obviously, this form of therapy is reserved for people with an open mind about past lives and reincarnation. So, for people who do not believe in these ideas, this probably isn’t the therapy for you. But for everyone else, it may seem unconventional, but it could really help you overcome your mental illness once and for all.