When it comes to treating mental health issues, what are some of the most common talking therapy approaches out there?
By Team Helsa • 14th March 2020
Photo by Joshua Ness
Mental health issues are more common than you may think. 1 in 4 people worldwide will be affected by a mental health disorder at some point in their life making mental health issues one of the leading causes of ill-health and disability in the world.
Stress, anxiety, and depression are a few of the most common mental health problems that many face in their day-to-day lives. These and other mental health problems, though prevalent, are often overlooked due to the stigma surrounding mental health.
Neglect often compounds mental health issues – which can be addressed with a little guidance and help from a professional. This brings us to an important question. When it comes to
treating mental health issues, what are some of the most common talking therapy
approaches out there?
Based on the principles of the psychodynamic school of thought, founded by Sigmund Freud, psychodynamic therapy sets out to explore the power of the unconscious mind and the impact of past experiences on the present. The main goal of psychodynamic therapy is to enhance
and support a client’s self-awareness and enable them to resolve current issues through an examination and understanding of past experiences and relationships.
When it comes to treating behavioural issues, cognitive behavioural therapy, commonly known as CBT is one of the most widely used therapeutic methods. As the name implies, the therapy focuses on treating maladaptive and dysfunctional behaviour and thinking patterns. Unlike psychodynamic therapy, the main focus is on treating the maladaptive pattern, as opposed to focusing on the person or their past experiences.
Person-centred therapy again focuses on the individual. The main themes are empathy, care, and guidance, and the counsellor’s role is to help the client in finding their own direction. The approach is centred around helping the clients manage aspects of the human condition including self-awareness, attitudes, thoughts, and behaviours with the goal to help them find meaning and purpose in their life.
A different approach from person-centred therapy is systemic therapy, which sees the persons not on an individual level but rather in relation to their relationship with the people around them including their family, friends, co-workers, and groups. This type of therapy focuses on group dynamics and how they could be affecting, influencing or triggering certain maladaptive behaviours with the aim of addressing those behaviors by addressing interactional patterns.
Interpersonal therapy focuses on helping the client deal with interpersonal issues as well as equip them witInterpersonal therapy focuses on helping the client deal with interpersonal issues and equipping them with mental tools to successfully deal with future issues. The therapy looks at issues concerning personal relationships and major life events. Interpersonal therapy is usually time-limited and is most suited for people with clearly identifiable issues that need to be addressed. h mental tools to successfully deal with future issues. The therapy looks at issues concerning personal relationships and major life events.
Relational therapy is best for individuals who are experiencing problems in their personal (intimate, family, and social) or professional relationships. The core idea behind this therapeutic approach is that having strained relationships can impact the individual negatively and satisfying interpersonal relationships add positively to a person’s well-being.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR is a psychotherapeutic treatment meant to reduce the negative associations with a traumatic event. Similar in principle to hypnotherapy, EMDR is useful for treating effects of trauma, PTSD and in some cases extreme anxiety. EMDR uses a client’s rhythmic eye movements to dampen the power of past, traumatic events.
Hypnotherapy is performed by a trained hypnotherapist where the individual is guided into a state of extreme relaxation and deep concentration to achieve a heightened state of awareness. During this trance-like period, the client is highly susceptible to positive suggestions and the therapy is used to treat issues like depression, anxiety and stress.
It’s hard to say without knowing the exact context of your situation and circumstances. There is no 'one size fits all' therapy, because each individual is unique and so are their perspective solutions.
Many therapists use an integrated approach – combining multiple approaches based on specific needs and preferences. Sometimes one approach is enough, but oftentimes therapists and counsellors use multiple approaches to help the client.
Use helsa match to find a professional therapist to discuss issue and treatment option.