One in five adults suffers 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 that 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 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? Everyone is different and may require a unique approach to their mental health. Therapy isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of deal. Different approaches work for different kinds of people, which is why it’s important to know about the options available to you.
Here are 7 types of therapy that you should consider when seeking help to overcome your mental illness and regain control of your life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most popular form of therapy, especially for people who are just getting started with therapy sessions. CBT is an evidence-based practice that focuses on the way you think (cognition), the way you act (behavior), and the way you feel (emotion).
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 judgment. The individual is to then 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 in both adults and in children. 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. 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 research has been done on the benefits of mindfulness activities, like meditation. Mindfulness is the act of staying present in the moment. It teaches people to not dwell on the past or worry about the future.
Oftentimes, people feel 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 mindfulness-based therapy helps us retrain our brain and start living in the present.
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 have 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 helpful to people with anxiety, substance abuse disorder, 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 other people about possible solutions. It’s a great way to build a bigger support system and get a 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, individuals 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 emotions to 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.
Emotion-focused therapy is helpful in treating depression, eating disorders, interpersonal problems, relationship problems, and helps people face childhood traumas.
Family or Couple’s Therapy
Family and couple’s 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.
Family therapy is great if parents are having issues with children and the dynamics of the family need to be discussed and altered. The therapist may meet with the child and the parents separately, and then all together 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 couple’s 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.
Which Type of Therapy Is Right for You?
Finding the right type of therapy goes beyond conducting research online. You need to start attending therapy sessions to find which approach is effective. Most importantly, don’t give up if something isn’t working for you. Try out a different approach or visit a different therapist. It will take time, but when you figure out an approach that works, it’ll be worth it.