February 1, 2023


Sonia Fekete

There are a vast amount of approaches to therapy, listed in this article are some of the most common or known practices. (This post mentions various mental disorders. If you need a refresher on some of their symptoms, check out our mental health awareness post!)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or CBT) is an approach that helps a person change their negative or dysfunctional thought patterns and thus improve potential self-destructive behavior and habits. It is helpful in treating anxiety/phobias, bipolar disorder, substance abuse disorders, OCD, insomnia, and so on.
Psychodynamic Therapy is one of the oldest methods of therapy first introduced by Sigmund Freud. While it is very well-known and its underlying concepts are taught in psychology courses around the globe, the therapy practice itself has become less popular in the modern age. It focuses on your past experiences, and subconscious thoughts. It is useful for a wide variety of mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, and other stress related complications.

Behavioral Therapy differs from CBT in that it focuses less on your negative thought patterns  and more on your reactions and behavioral patterns that cause you distress. It is an umbrella term with many subtypes, including:
• Systematic desensitization, which gradually exposes you to your phobias and instead attempts to associate it with something relaxing and positive.
• Aversion therapy, which makes you directly associate a destructive behavior with an unpleasant response, so you can quit the behavior quicker rather than waiting for the long-term negative effects to catch up to you.
• Flooding, which is the ‘opposite’ of systematic desensitization in which instead of gradually exposing you to something you fear, all of it is shown to you at once. (Not painted in a threatening light, of course—if you have an irrational fear of cats you may be presented with a friendly, fluffy cat instead of an aggressive one.)

Lastly, Humanistic Therapy is becoming a more popular approach in modern society. It believes that people will best reach their potential and feel fulfilled if they are their most true self. This approach has the client lead the conversation, with therapists merely guiding them with questions directed towards their feelings about themselves and important things affecting them. It can be helpful for people with depression, addiction, anxiety, and so on.

These therapeutic approaches are not only limited to helping those with the disorders listed, nor are they the only approved practices. There are endless therapists who all have different ways of talking through your issues or helping you find out who you feel you are. And no matter who you are, there is no shame in reaching out and talking to someone about what’s on your mind. People are here for you and want to help! And if you do feel like giving it a try, you're welcome to explore our mental health services here at Thaddeus.

Daino, J. E. (2016, September 27). Different Types of Therapy: Which is Best For You? Talkspace. https://www.talkspace.com/blog/different-types-therapy-psychotherapy-best/
Mental health. (n.d.). WebMD. Retrieved June 23, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/humanistic-psychology-and-humanistic-therapy
Psychodynamic psychotherapy brings lasting benefits through self-knowledge. (2010, January 25). Https://Www.Apa.Org. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2010/01/psychodynamic-therapy
Raypole, C. (2019, March 1). A guide to different types of therapy. Healthline Media. https://www.healthline.com/health/types-of-therapy
Therapy concepts everyone needs to know. (n.d.). NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. Retrieved June 23, 2022, from https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/April-2019/Therapy-Concepts-Everyone-Needs-to-Know

Writer: Sonia Fekete
Editor: Alanna O’Neill

Sonia has just recently joined Thaddeus as a psychology intern in the programs department. She is double majoring in Psychology and Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. Her hobbies include reading, spending time outside or with her friends, and streaming shows/movies.