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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Rivera

Exploring Therapy Approaches: Finding Your Path to Healing

Updated: Sep 28, 2023


Navigating the therapy world can be like stepping into a vast forest, with numerous trails leading to a desired place. Each type of therapy is like a different path through this wilderness, offering a unique experience and insight. This article shines a light on three main therapeutic pathways to help you choose the one that resonates with you!



The Three Main Approaches

In the landscape of therapy, three main therapeutic approaches serve as a map as a way to help:


1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Picture a well-marked, structured route paved with evidence-based stones. CBT is one of the most popular forms of psychotherapy, widely recommended by the NHS and backed by NICE guidelines. CBT addresses issues like anxiety, depression, addiction, and bipolar disorder. CBT focuses on the idea that what you think and do affects the way you feel!


CBT therapists are like guides, teaching you to navigate the forest of your mind. They help you manage moods, cope with stress, and communicate effectively. The goal? Transform self-defeating thought patterns and behaviours. CBT is efficient, often yielding results in as few as 12 sessions. However, it's not everyone's cup of herbal tea. Some may prefer to delve into the depths of their feelings, which leads us to our next trail.


2. Humanistic Therapy

Imagine wandering off the structured, paved path. While putting the map away, you follow your instincts into a serene clearing, sitting under the dappled sunlight, contemplating your holistic well-being; this resonates with humanistic therapy, where you, as a whole person, lead the way. Physical health, emotions, relationships, spiritual beliefs, and overall well-being intertwine. Your therapist is your companion who can bring various humanistic insights to deepen and enrich your experience.


Humanistic therapists believe every individual has an innate desire for growth and self-actualisation. It's like nurturing the forest itself, allowing it to flourish. Various humanistic therapies, such as person-centred, Gestalt, and Emotion Focused Therapy, focus on different aspects of your experience and can also incorporate an experiential approach which involves activities like role-play, gestalt empty chair, props, music, or art to process negative emotions. By participating in these activities, individuals can access feelings that may otherwise be hidden or not easily communicated. For instance, person-centred therapy emphasises the therapeutic relationship, while Gestalt therapy delves into the present moment. Existential therapy explores the profound questions of life and death. Each type of humanistic therapy is like a unique trail, creating different experiences to suit different needs.


Finding a therapist who specialises in a style that resonates with you is essential. Humanistic therapy often requires at least 16 sessions, but it's a journey tailor-made for each traveller.


3. Psychodynamic Therapy

Venture deeper into the forest, where shadows conceal ancient secrets. Here, psychodynamic therapy unveils the unconscious processes and conflicts that guide your behaviour. It's like exploring the hidden roots of the forest's trees, revealing how they influence the trees' growth and stability.


Psychodynamic therapy helps with anxiety, depression, emotional difficulties, and unresolved issues that have lingered like unsolved riddles. The goal? To become more aware of your inner experiences, equipping you to make healthier, more satisfying choices. Depending on your needs, this journey often extends over several months to years.


Therapists in this terrain are like curious explorers, asking questions and encouraging you to share your experiences. They help you decipher the cryptic language of your subconscious.


Choosing Your Pathway: Therapist Delivery Styles

As you explore various therapeutic trails, you'll encounter different therapist delivery styles:

  • Specialised Therapists: Some therapists are experts in a specific approach, specialising in a single approach such as CBT.

  • Eclectic Therapists: Use a broader knowledge, and they combine or tailor approaches to meet your individual needs.

  • Integrative Therapists: Integrative therapists use a holistic approach, employing a range of theories, tools, and techniques.


My Delivery Style:

I am a therapist with broad knowledge of CBT, Humanistic and Psychodynamic. However, my values, interests, and varied techniques lean towards a holistic approach. Considering the delivery styles above, I sit between an Eclectic and Integrative therapeutic style of practice!


Seeking the Right Pathway for You

In your quest for healing, the National Health Service (NHS) primarily offers CBT, valued for its efficiency and cost-effectiveness. However, if you're exploring private therapy, the trail of options widens considerably.


Our journey through this therapeutic landscape...

Hopefully, this article has provided a metaphoric glimpse into the diverse paths available.

If you are still trying to decide the right trail, reputable directory websites like The Counselling Directory and Psychology Today can serve as valuable compasses.

Many therapists offer free consultations, allowing you to find a match that is the right guide for your unique journey.

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