When most people think of therapy, a myriad of different thoughts and possibly a variety of emotions are likely to occur.
Some find the thought of therapy scary, while others look at it as a new journey. No matter how you feel about it, you may have a lot of questions about therapy, including exactly what it is, where to start or find a therapist, what to expect and what options are available to you. The decision to seek therapy for your mental well-being is an important one. With so many different options and information to know, it can be a lot to take in and process.
Typical therapy for mental health usually talks about therapy. Often therapy is one on one with you and a trained, licensed therapy; however, there are several types of therapy, a number of different types of therapists, and many therapeutic orientations and approaches, some of which go beyond traditional talk therapy.
All of this information is available in The Couch Experience: AGuide to Good Therapy, available in December of 2020. To get you started on your therapy journey now, below are types of therapy you may want to consider when selecting the best option for you.
1. Individual Therapy
As mentioned above, individual therapy is what most people envision when they think of therapy. It is one on one therapy with you and your therapist in which you explore concerns and receive support as you desire. The length of time varies but is often about an hour-long, give or take a few minutes, and takes place at a frequency decided by you and your therapist. More often than not, this is the type of therapy most look for or select.
2. Couples Therapy
This form of therapy is exactly what it sounds like, therapy for couples. Couples can be at any stage of their relationship, dating, married, divorcing or breaking up, etc. Couples therapy focuses on strengthening or improving the relationship.
3. Group Therapy
Often a more affordable option, group therapy occurs with one or two therapists and multiple other patients. All group members are experiencing similar concerns. A benefit of group therapy is that you are not alone in your experience. You can also learn from the experiences of others in the group. However, while all measures are taken to ensure and commit to confidentiality, it cannot be ensured with group therapy. Group therapy maybe about an hour in length or may go as long as about 90 minutes. A pre-screening may also be conducted to determine the goodness of fit. Frequency is how often the group meets, and the number of weeks is often pre-determined before the group starts.
4. Family Therapy
Family therapy is therapy in which all or part of a family unit attends therapy. In these therapy sessions, family issues and dynamics are explored and addressed. In family therapy, the work of positive change depends on the progress of all, not simply one, member of the family. Sessions typically occur once per week but may occur more frequently depending on the needs of the family and the severity of the family dynamics. Most sessions occur for about an hour, but like a group, therapy can go longer about ninety minutes.
While this form of therapy has been around for more than ten years, it is now gaining in popularity. With the covid-19 pandemic came the need to provide therapy in a way that allows both patients and therapists to practice social distancing and remain safe without disrupting or discontinuing mental health services. More of a mode of therapy than a type of therapy, teletherapy usually involves meeting with a therapist via video online. However, the term teletherapy is used broadly and may include other forms of non-face to face therapy (i.e., via phone, etc.). Each type of therapy listed above, individual, couples, group, and family, can all take place via teletherapy if face to face is not an option or is not preferred. Not all concerns are appropriate for teletherapy. Therefore, an initial face to face session with your therapist may be required before determining if teletherapy is appropriate.
Hopefully, this article helped you gain some insight into the different types of therapy available. While there is certainly more to know about therapy to make an informed decision and determine the best fit for your needs, this information is presented as a start to get you on the path in the right direction. That way, you will have one less thing holding you back from getting mental health support. Individual therapy is only one option.
Perhaps one of the other types of therapy, couples, family, or group, maybe more beneficial in the resolution of concerns.
Furthermore, you will want to determine if therapy via telehealth or face to face means is best for you. You need not feel overwhelmed or feel alone in this process.
Your therapist, in collaboration with you, can assist in determining what’s best. All the best in your pursuit of happy health!