What Are the Different Types of Psychological Therapy?

Lumara Lee

There are many different types of psychological therapy available to help people deal with difficult emotional issues. Some popular types of psychological therapy are emotional freedom technique (EFT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychoanalysis, and group therapy. Each of these techniques uses a different approach, but all work toward the same goal of easing psychological distress.

Psychological therapy might help someone deal with emotional sensitivity issues.
Psychological therapy might help someone deal with emotional sensitivity issues.

EFT is a type of psychological therapy that utilizes acupressure. This technique, which was developed in the latter part of the 20th century, consists of tapping different acupuncture points on the body to find relief for depression, insomnia, stress, eating disorders, and a variety of emotional problems. EFT is based on the theory that tapping the right acupuncture points can release blocked emotions stored in the body to effect psychological healing in the same way that acupuncture can remove energy blockages to restore physical health. Some experts refute the validity of this technique, yet thousands of people who have done it report that it helped them. EFT is so easy that just about anyone can do it, and there are certified EFT practitioners available to help those who require professional help.

Group therapy is a common form of psychological therapy that is less costly than other therapies.
Group therapy is a common form of psychological therapy that is less costly than other therapies.

CBT is a psychological therapy that helps people improve unwanted behaviors by changing the thought processes behind them. For example, a person who is unhappy or stressed might frequently turn to food for comfort, causing obesity and health problems. A CBT therapist will talk to the person to determine the reasons behind the negative emotions and help the client see things from a different perspective. The therapist and client will also work together to develop a plan that will replace the emotional eating with a more productive outlet. Changing the behavior that feeds the unwanted emotions with food can help the person lose weight and improve health and well-being.

Some people might turn to food for comfort, which can lead to unhealthy eating habits.
Some people might turn to food for comfort, which can lead to unhealthy eating habits.

Psychoanalysis is the form of psychological therapy commonly known as talk therapy. This therapy is based on the concept that unconscious thoughts and unresolved issues can influence behavior and emotions. The therapist works closely with the client to receive insights and find the origin of those thoughts. This type of psychological therapy is lengthy, often taking years.

Psychological therapy may incorporate different art forms.
Psychological therapy may incorporate different art forms.

Group therapy is a common form of psychological therapy that is less costly than other therapies since one or more therapists work with a small group of people. Individual participation is encouraged. Participants learn from one another while a trained counselor steers the conversation along a constructive path. Group therapy is often used in conjunction with other therapies such as medication and individual counseling.

Psychological therapy can help people overcome eating disorders.
Psychological therapy can help people overcome eating disorders.
Freud articulated the psychoanalytic theory that the human mind is divided into three discrete parts: the id, the ego and the superego.
Freud articulated the psychoanalytic theory that the human mind is divided into three discrete parts: the id, the ego and the superego.
Support group meetings may be part of a psychological therapy program.
Support group meetings may be part of a psychological therapy program.
Psychological therapy may be used to help struggling couples.
Psychological therapy may be used to help struggling couples.

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Discussion Comments

burcinc

A new type of psychological therapy is virtual reality therapy. In this therapy, doctors use virtual reality simulations to desensitize individuals to fears, traumas and phobias. It is often used with post-traumatic stress disorder and it seems to be fairly effective as a treatment. Not many people know about this therapy, but I suspect that it will increase in popularity as more people benefit. I think it might be a great alternative therapy for people who have not benefited from more traditional psychological therapies.

bear78

@donasmrs-- You should talk to your doctor or psychologist/psychiatrist about this right away. I agree that psychotherapy should be used in addition to medications. Like you said, medications can ease symptoms for a while but if the underlying issues are not resolved, there won't be permanent improvement. After quitting the medications, your problems will come back.

I think that talk therapy is a great place to start. Just keep in mind that with any psychological therapy, you might feel worse in the beginning. Facing issues and discovering subconscious problems can make one feel more depressed in the beginning of therapy. But if you stick with it, things will improve. This is really the only way to deal with underlying causes of psychological problems.

donasmrs

I really want to try a psychological therapy method like the ones mentioned here. I have been dealing with depression since many years but have only been treated with medications. The medications help with mood, negative thoughts and anxiety but I don't feel that my problems are being resolved this way.

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