Treatment Modalities

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychology that treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Unlike traditional Freudian psychoanalysis, which probes childhood wounds to get at the root causes of conflict, CBT focuses on solutions, encouraging patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behavior.

How It Works:

Change Your Thinking: The tools deployed in CBT—which include learning to identify and dispute unrealistic or unhelpful thoughts and developing problem-solving skills—have been used to treat a broad range of mental health challenges. CBT is now considered among the most efficacious forms of talk therapy, especially when clients incorporate strategies into their daily life. This effort to gain insight into one’s cognitive and behavioral processes and modify them in a constructive way often involves ongoing practice, but is favored by many clients as it can require fewer therapy sessions than do some modalities.

 

“Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, LLC, www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/cognitive-behavioral-therapy.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

"Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) provides clients with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. DBT specifically focuses on providing therapeutic skills in four key areas. First, mindfulness focuses on improving an individual's ability to accept and be present in the current moment. Second, distress tolerance is geared toward increasing a person’s tolerance of negative emotion, rather than trying to escape from it. Third, emotion regulation covers strategies to manage and change intense emotions that are causing problems in a person’s life. Fourth, interpersonal effectiveness consists of techniques that allow a person to communicate with others in a way that is assertive, maintains self-respect, and strengthens relationships."

How It Works:

"As its name suggests, DBT is influenced by the philosophical perspective of dialectics: balancing opposites. The therapist consistently works with the individual to find ways to hold two seemingly opposite perspectives at once, promoting balance and avoiding black and white—the all-or-nothing styles of thinking. In service of this balance, DBT promotes a both-and rather than an either-or outlook. The dialectic at the heart of DBT is acceptance and change."

 

"Individual therapy sessions consist of one-on-one contact with a trained therapist, ensuring that all therapeutic needs are being addressed. The individual therapist will help the patient stay motivated, apply the DBT skills within daily life, and address obstacles that might arise over the course of treatment."

 

"Dialectical Behavior Therapy." Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/dialectical-behavior-therapy.

Person-Centered Therapy

What Is Person-Centered Therapy?

"Person-centered therapy uses a non-authoritative approach that allows clients to take more of a lead in discussions so that, in the process, they will discover their own solutions. The therapist acts as a compassionate facilitator, listening without judgment and acknowledging the client’s experience without moving the conversation in another direction. The therapist is there to encourage and support the client and to guide the therapeutic process without interrupting or interfering with the client’s process of self-discovery."

How It Works:

"Person-centered therapy, also known as Rogerian therapy, originated in the work of the American psychologist, Carol Rogers, who believed that everyone is different and, therefore, everyone’s view of his or her own world, and ability to manage it, should be trusted. Rogers believed that all of us have the power to find the best solutions for ourselves and make appropriate changes in our lives. Person-centered therapy was a movement away from the therapist’s traditional role—as an expert and leader—toward a process that allows clients to use their own understanding of their experiences as a platform for healing."

 

"Anyone who would be better off gaining more self-confidence, a stronger sense of identity, and the ability to build healthy interpersonal relationships and to trust his or her own decisions could benefit from person-centered therapy. This approach, alone or in combination with other types of therapy, can also be helpful for those who suffer from grief, depression, anxiety, stress, abuse, or other mental health conditions. Person-centered therapists work with both individuals and groups. Since the client must do a lot of the work in person-centered therapy, those who are more motivated are likely to be more successful."

 

"Person-Centered Therapy." Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/person-centered-therapy.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

What Is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy?

"Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a modified form of cognitive therapy that incorporates mindfulness practices such as meditation and breathing exercises. Using these tools, MBCT therapists teach clients how to break away from negative thought patterns that can cause a downward spiral into a depressed state so they will be able to fight off depression before it takes hold."

How It Works:

"MBCT was developed for people with recurring episodes of depression or unhappiness, to prevent relapse. It has been proven effective in patients with major depressive disorder who have experienced at least three episodes of depression. Mindfulness-based relapse prevention may also be helpful for treating generalized anxiety disorders and addictions.

Sometimes normal sadness is a powerful trigger for someone who has recovered from a depressive state to relapse into another bout of depression. Rather than try to avoid or eliminate sadness or other negative emotions, one learns to change their relationship with these emotions by practicing meditation and other mindfulness exercises. These activities rebalance neural networks, allowing the client to move away from automatic negative responses toward an understanding that there are other ways to respond to situations. By developing a routine meditation practice, clients can use the technique whenever they start to feel overwhelmed by negative emotions. When sadness occurs and starts to bring up the usual negative associations that trigger relapse of depression, the client is equipped with tools that will help them replace negative thought patterns with positive."

 

"Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy." Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/mindfulness-based-cognitive-therapy.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

What Is Solution-Focused Brief Therapy?

"Unlike traditional forms of therapy that take time to analyze problems, pathology and past life events, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) concentrates on finding solutions in the present time and exploring one’s hope for the future to find quicker resolution of one’s problems. This method takes the approach that you know what you need to do to improve your own life and, with the appropriate coaching and questioning, are capable of finding the best solutions."

How It Works:

"SFBT can stand alone as a therapeutic intervention, or it can be used along with other therapy styles and treatments. It is used to treat people of all ages and a variety of issues, including child behavioral problems, family dysfunction, domestic or child abuse, addiction, and relationship problems."

"Goal-setting is at the foundation of SFBT; one of the first steps is to identify and clarify your goals. The therapist will begin by questioning what you hope to get out of working with the therapist and how, specifically, your life would change when steps were taken to resolve problems. By answering these types of questions, you can begin to identify solutions and come up with a plan for change. One of the key questions the therapist asks is called the miracle question: “If a miracle occurred while you were asleep tonight, what changes would you notice in your life tomorrow?” This opens up your mind to creative thinking and, again, to setting goals and developing a clear plan that will lead to life-changing solutions."

 

"Solution-Focused Brief Therapy." Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/solution-focused-brief-therapy.

Strength-Based Therapy

What Is Strength-Based Therapy?

"Strength-based therapy is a type of positive psychotherapy and counseling that focuses more on your internal strengths and resourcefulness, and less on weaknesses, failures, and shortcomings. This focus sets up a positive mindset that helps you build on you best qualities, find your strengths, improve resilience and change worldview to one that is more positive. A positive attitude, in turn, can help your expectations of yourself and others become more reasonable."

How It Works:

"Anyone with poor self-esteem, or who has emotional issues resulting from an abusive relationship with a parent or partner, can benefit from strength-based therapy. This includes people with serious mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, etc., who can use strength-based therapy to build confidence and reduce the stress of living with such a condition. Strength-based therapy can be used as an intervention for individuals of all ages, couples and families."

"Strength-based therapy is talk therapy that guides you toward a retelling of your personal history of traumas, stressors, and pain with more emphasis on yourself as a survivor than as a victim, and more emphasis on your strengths and survival skills than on your weakness. The goal is for you to recognize that you already have the skills and strength to survive and can use those same strengths to deal with tough situations in other areas of your life."

 

"Strength-Based Therapy." Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/strength-based-therapy.

Family Systems Therapy

What Is Family Systems Therapy?

"Family systems therapy is a form of psychotherapy that helps individuals resolve their problems in the context of their family units, where many issues are likely to begin. Each family member works together with the others to better understand their group dynamic and how their individual actions affect each other and the family unit as a whole. One of the most important premises of family systems therapy is that what happens to one member of a family happens to everyone in the family."

How It Works:

"Many psychological issues begin early in life and stem from relationships within the family of origin, or the family one grows up in, even though these issues often surface later on in life. Families in conflict, as well as couples and individuals with issues and concerns related to their families of origin, can benefit from family systems therapy. This treatment approach can be helpful for such mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, personality disorders, addiction, and food-related disorders. Family systems therapy has also been shown to help individuals and family members better control and cope with physical disabilities and disorders."

 

"During family systems therapy, the family works individually and together to resolve a problem that directly affects one or more family members. Each family member has the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings about how they are affected. Together, the family works to help the individual in distress and to help relieve the strain on the family. Family members explore their individual roles within the family, learn how to switch roles, if necessary, and learn ways to support and help each other with the goal of restoring family relationships and rebuilding a healthy family system."

"Family Systems Therapy." Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/family-systems-therapy.