Therapy is a powerful tool for mental health, and it presents many benefits. People choose to seek therapy for a variety of reasons, whether it’s for coping with trauma, dealing with major life changes, managing an addiction, or even if it’s just a form of preventative care. What many people may not realize is that there are several different forms of therapy, and one type doesn’t perfectly fit all cases.
#1: Art Therapy
Art therapy is a type of therapy that uses the creative process (drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpting, etc.) as a form of therapeutic expression. Art therapists are trained to find the nonverbal messages hidden within the clients’ works of art. Art as therapy has been a very effective tool in helping individuals dealing with mental health issues. It’s a stress reliever and it can help reduce feelings of anxiety for adults, adolescents, and children. You don’t have to be an artist to benefit from art therapy; you just have to be willing to make art.
#2: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Also known as CBT, cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the more popular types of therapy. This type of therapy may not be as effective for people who have had past trauma, as these techniques focus more on the present time, but it still works in some cases. One of the main focuses is on changing destructive thought patterns in order to enhance the patient’s life.
#3: Eclectic Therapy
Eclectic therapy is a type of therapy where the therapist integrates different techniques that best suit the client. This means that each therapy session can be completely different from the next one, down to the tools and techniques used. The first few sessions may seem unstructured, as the therapist will be using different types of therapies to determine which will best suit the client at the time. This could also mean that in each session, the therapist may use a different therapeutic approach. Eclectic therapy is a good form of therapy for victims of sexual abuse, especially from religious organizations or those they trusted and were especially close to.
#4: Existential Therapy
This therapeutic practice focuses on the client, rather than the client’s symptoms. Existential therapy is usually used with substance abuse victims because it allows them to increase self-awareness and make more self-directed choices. The main focus of existential therapy is life experiences such as relationships, creativity, spirituality, and individualization, but also an acknowledgment of anxiety and other hardships as being a natural part of the human experience.
#5: Expressive Arts Therapy
Through expressive arts therapy, the process of healing and creativity are combined as an approach to bettering the clients’ lives. This can combine traditional art forms such as music and art, but also dance, poetry, and theatre. Expressive arts therapy uses a combination of several art forms instead of focusing on just one discipline. This type of therapy works very well for children experiencing behavioral problems.
#6: Music Therapy
Similar to art therapy, music is an expressive outlet that helps children, adolescents, and adults express feelings. Music therapy involves creating music as well as listening to music to improve mental health. This method of therapy is most commonly used for victims of trauma, anxiety, and depression, and it is also highly effective for Alzheimer’s, dementia, and TBI (traumatic brain injury) patients.
#7: Play Therapy
Play therapy is typically used for children ages 3 to 12 years of age, but it can also be used for adults. This type of therapy works great with children diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder), anxiety, autism, or those dealing with anger or grief. The goal of play therapy is to help children learn to communicate better and express their feelings in a healthy way.
There are several other types of therapy and even different types of group therapy that involve families and couples. It’s good to understand the different types of therapy to make the best choice on which type will benefit you the most.