Common Therapies Within Counseling

EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a relatively new form of therapy that is specifically designed to help people who have post-traumatic stress disorder and related issues. EMDR can help the client cope with trauma and abuse by lessening the intensity of their traumatic memories and the distressing symptoms that they can cause. EMDR therapists often use exercises like having the client follow the trail of a pointer with their eyes to distract the brain from becoming too overwhelmed.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that usually focuses on the relationship between thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Specifically, CBT usually suggests that thoughts can create emotions, and then those emotions can drive behavior. This type of therapy often works by identifying and correcting the negative thoughts that influence certain emotions, so they do not trigger undesirable or harmful behaviors toward the self or others.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, can be similar to cognitive behavioral therapy, but it normally focuses on the way that emotions can be connected to thoughts and behavior rather than the way thoughts can influence emotions. This type of therapy can also incorporate the concepts of acceptance and mindfulness to help clients let go of things they cannot control, accept things that are unpleasant or upsetting, and learn how to live peacefully with themselves and their environment.

Client-Centered Therapy

Client-centered therapy, also known as person-centered therapy, is a form of humanistic therapy that typically rejects the notion of the therapist being in control of the session. This perspective can allow the client to take the reins during therapy sessions. The therapist may act as a guide, helping the client understand their inner struggles and feelings. In this form of therapy, the therapist usually takes a non-directive approach and allows the client to explore themselves freely without interruption. Client-centered therapy often values acceptance and empathy, encouraging the client to freely express their thoughts, emotions, and desires without challenge or redirection from the therapist.

Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt therapy is another form of humanistic therapy in which the therapist usually expresses unconditional acceptance and empathy while keeping the client focused on the present. The goals of this type of therapy are generally self-awareness and acceptance of the client’s reality. Like client-centered therapy, the therapist may act as a guide, not a leader. The client can grow in their own way, on their own time, without interruption or influence from the therapist.

Existential Therapy

Existential therapy typically focuses on philosophical and existential themes, rather than technique or evidence-based practices, like the previously mentioned therapies. With this type of therapy, the client and the therapist may focus on the internal and spiritual challenges that the client faces to achieve existential, emotional, and psychological understanding. The goal of existential therapy is generally insight, not resolution. With insight, a client can gain an understanding of themself and how they fit into the world.

More Solutions

While you are working with a Counselor to improve your well-being and mental health, here are a few integrated therapies you can do independently to care for yourself between sessions. These therapies have been shown to enhance the positive effects of Counseling.

  • Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation: The calming effects of these (and other) ancient activities ease anxiety, stress and tension within the body and mind, supporting counseling with a clear head and a calm mind.
  • Personal Care: Self-care helps relieve the daily stressors and supports mind, body and spirit. It creates a space for healing and change to take root. The best way to ensure you will practice self-care is to set aside time for yourself each day. You can use this time to take a bubble bath, a nap, read a good book, or engage in other activities that fulfill you. The activity doesn’t matter, as long as you find it relaxing.
  • Talk a walk. Exercise may not only be good for boosting metabolism; it can also have great mental health benefits. Getting thirty minutes of physical activity a day releases endorphins, easing stress while supporting a healthy body and mind.