If you’re thinking about therapy, you aren’t alone. A lot of people need, or simply just want, the help and support of a professional. Therapy is more than just chit-chat about your feelings. Psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists offer perspective and an objective point of view. They use techniques that have been studied and refined for hundreds of years. They do so in a variety of settings. These settings can be first and most easily categorized into individual versus group settings.
Do I Need Any Therapy at All?
Before you decide between individual therapy, group therapy or both, you may wonder if you even need therapy at all. If you are considering it, why not go for it? The American Psychological Association (APA) reports: “An estimated 59 million people have received mental health treatment in the past two years, and that 80 percent of them have found it effective.”1 If you’re looking for professional help, you aren’t alone. You aren’t alone, and you’re likely to benefit from it.
So is therapy for everyone? Yes! However it’s even more useful and important if you struggle with mental health or substance use concerns. If you know you have depression, anxiety, PTSD or addiction, you know therapy is right for you. But you don’t have to have a diagnosis before you seek help. In fact therapy can offer a diagnosis or simply offer help pinpointing where and why things feel wrong. In fact, you can benefit from therapy if you experience any of the following:
- Feelings of helplessness or sadness
- Troubles that stick around despite your best efforts to overcome them
- Trouble focusing on or completing work or daily life tasks
- Excessive worry or constant stress
- Poor behavior choices impacting your life or the lives of those around you2
There is no wrong reason to go to therapy, no problem too small or too big. If something in life just doesn’t feel right, start exploring your options and reach out for help. It can’t hurt, and it’s more likely than not to help.
Types of Therapy
Therapy can be broken down into two large categories. Individual therapy involves one-on-one sessions with a professional. Group therapy involves talking with others who share similar concerns and can offer experience, insight and advice. Group therapy should still be supervised and guided by a professional. There are even more specific types of therapy within each of these broad categories. Choosing the right therapy may take a little time and trial and error, but even this exploration benefits you! It helps you learn more about yourself and more about what does and doesn’t work for you.
Types of Individual Therapy
If you choose individual therapy, you may choose one of the more popular and commonly used types of psychotherapy. These include the following:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
- Psychodynamic therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on the thoughts behind your feelings and actions. WebMD3 explains that in CBT, “Your therapist will help you learn ways to react to things and challenge your preconceptions.”3 You will work on changing your underlying thoughts patterns to make positive changes in your overall life.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is related to CBT. It emphasizes practicing coping skills. It teaches concepts such as mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance.
Interpersonal therapy focuses on the distress or discomfort you may feel when interacting with others. Interpersonal therapy helps you resolve negative emotions and manage social and emotional triggers.
Psychodynamic therapy offers help in recognizing and dealing with relationships or other social forces. It offers a safe way to roleplay and practice skills.
Types of Group Therapy
Group therapy lets you connect with others who know what you’re going through. Like individual therapy, group therapy takes a variety of shapes and uses a variety of methods. You may find you benefit from one of the following:
- Self-help groups
- Interpersonal group psychotherapy
- Modified dynamic group therapy
Self-help groups are not guided by professionals. They offer great supplemental, social support and can be an excellent choice to use alongside individual or other forms of group therapy.
Interpersonal group psychotherapy uses the same techniques as the individual version. It helps people set goals to reach, and celebrate, together.
Modified dynamic group therapy (MDGT) helps individuals recognize they are not alone as they practice managing their actions and interactions. It offers a boost in self-esteem and in responsibility and accountability.
Which Type of Therapy Is Right for Me?
You have options when it comes to managing your mental health, finding addiction recovery or simply feeling more in control of your thoughts and your life. Don’t be afraid to ask for professional advice choosing the right therapy. Don’t be afraid to simply jump in and see what works. Call Black Bear Lodge, and ask us for information, advice or simply how to begin. We can help you become a part of our integrated treatment program, or we can direct you to the individual or group resources that will best support your unique recovery journey.
1 Chamberlin, J. “Survey Says: More Americans Are Seeking Mental Health Treatment.” American Psychological Association. Jul. 2004. Accessed 12 Nov. 2017.
2 “Understanding Psychotherapy and How It Works.” American Psychological Association. Accessed 12 Nov. 2017.
3 Goldberg, Joseph. “Psychotherapy for depression.” 13 Oct. 2017. Accessed 12 Nov. 2017.