Types of Therapy
You might be thinking about counselling, perhaps because you are struggling to cope with a change in your life or because something is upsetting and preventing you from moving on. Alternatively, your behaviour might be concerning you; perhaps it’s getting in the way of your relationships with others. Whatever the motivation, some people will find it difficult to take the next step and contact a professional counsellor. Others might find the jargon used in therapy to be confusing and unhelpful. If so, this short introduction to the most common types of therapy used in counselling might be useful.
Counselling sessions available from £35.00. Please call 07824 385338 or Contact me to find out more and make an appointment.
What is talking therapy?
Counselling is practised by a qualified and trained therapist and is usually seen as a standalone and distinctive form of therapy. Counselling is also the name commonly given to several talking therapies. Although there are many approaches used by counsellors, from a client’s point of view all talking therapies share one thing in common – you talk about your issues and concerns with the therapist. This is traditionally carried out in a one-to-one setting, in the safe space of a therapy room. It can also be done by phone, by video (using Skype or Zoom for example), or by other online methods including chat and email. Some people may find the technology a barrier to open communication, but it has the benefit of being carried out at a suitable time. It also removes the need for you to travel to a therapy room. In addition, some counsellors offer home visits, using a suitable space at the client’s home. It depends on the type of therapy offered in addition to the needs, individual circumstances, and expectations of the client.
Although the setting is important in helping you to feel comfortable and more able to talk about your feelings and emotions, the type of therapy offered is also key. But what types of therapy are available?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT has a record of working successfully in tackling several issues including anxiety and phobias. Although other medical conditions may also be a factor, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can also help people suffering with depression and panic attacks. A discussion with your GP may be the best starting point if you are concerned about these, to rule out any underlying physical factors. CBT concentrates on identifying solutions to problems rather than dwelling on their causes, and this can be helpful for people trying to cope with obsessive behaviour and compulsive behaviour. Finally, CBT allows you to change behaviour by making you think differently about problems and issues.
Types of Therapy – Person-centred or client-centred
Person- or client-centred therapy focuses on reducing negative responses and emotions, and gives you the tools to move forward with issues in your own way. It works well if you are motivated to build greater self-confidence or relationships with others. To support this, the counsellor provides empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard in order to create the right conditions for change. Rather than the therapist identifying a path and providing solutions, you will start to find your own solutions to the problems you face.
Client- or person-centred therapy has proved effective for people trying to cope with grief and loss, anxiety, stress and depression. If you are looking for a counsellor who offers person-centred therapy, it is important that you feel comfortable with them. They are more likely to provide the right conditions and show greater empathy, which in turn will encourage you to talk more openly. After all, the success of this type of therapy relies on you doing more of the talking as part of the discovery process.
The term integrative therapy is used more to describe a movement within psychotherapy rather than to define a type of therapy itself. It was developed from the standpoint that a single therapy type may not always produce the best result. Typically, an integrative approach in counselling will be formed from other proven models such as person-centred, psychodynamic counselling and CBT.
From the therapist’s point of view integrative therapy provides flexibility when working with you. There is no pre-defined formula for how to blend different techniques and counsellors can use disciplines from a range of models to find a treatment that is effective. Integrative therapists also don’t have to self-identify as having one type of approach. Used with adults and children, integrative therapy has proved to be effective for conditions including anxiety and depression.
The humanistic approach to counselling has been successful in treating low self-esteem and general low mood as well as anxiety, panic disorder and depression. Like integrative therapy it is often a combination of approaches, using techniques such as transactional analysis, person-centred, existential therapy and gestalt counselling. Humanistic therapy enable clients to see how their character and psychological makeup can be used to tackle issues. As such, humanistic therapy is more about self-development in the moment and not so much an exploration of thoughts, events and feelings from the past.
Humanistic therapy is ‘non-directive’ and relies on the skill of the therapist to encourage you to gain an self-awareness. It allows you to concentrate on your personal potential and positive choices. Like other talking therapies, the humanistic approach requires the counsellor to create a non-judgemental and safe space in which you can self-identify and build mental and emotional strength. Associated with the work of Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, humanistic therapy is considered one of the newer approaches and has been practised for around fifty years.
Are you thinking about counselling?
If you are looking for counselling in Walsall, Wolverhampton, or the surrounding areas of the West Midlands then please get in touch. You can use the form via the Contact Me page or call 07824 385338. There is no obligation to book a session, but we can discuss whether therapy is right for you. If you decide to go ahead with counselling, we will begin working together on the issues or problems you are facing. As a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, any contact will be treated in line with the BACP’s ethical framework and in the strictest confidence.