How To Choose Between Various Types Of Therapy

Therapy is more popular than ever in the UK, where more and more people seek help with their mental health. But it can be hard, especially privately, to tell the difference between the different kinds of therapy and to understand what kind of therapist or counselor you need.

No one therapy works for everyone. Not only are there a lot of different styles, but the best way to do something can depend on the problem that is brought up. There are so many ways to help people that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

But research demonstrates that how you get along with your therapist is more important than their style regarding how well therapy works. Even so, the way a therapist works can have a big effect on the relationship.

What kinds of therapy are common?


Person-centered therapy, also called client-centered therapy, is a humanistic approach based on the idea that everyone has the ability and desire to grow and change if the right conditions are created. Instead of leading the therapy, the counselor gives the client unconditional positive regard, empathy, and consistency to help them work through a problem or bad feelings.

In person-centered counseling, the client, not the counselor, is in charge. You know best what’s happened to you and what’s important to you, so that’s where the focus is. The counselor doesn’t judge you at all and helps you become more self-aware and accept yourself so you can figure things out on your own.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is a kind of therapy that is widely available in the NHS. It tries to help you change the way you think, the cognitive part, and how you act. Instead of looking at the causes of problems in the past, it focuses on problems that are happening now and how to solve them. It looks at how you think and act and helps you develop other options and ways to feel better.

You will look at what happened in certain situations, how that made you feel, and how that, in turn, affects how you act. It can help you figure out what emotions and feelings led you to act in a certain way, and it can give you other ways to deal with things more positively.

Dialectical behavior therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), similar to CBT in some ways, focuses on being aware, accepting uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, and controlling your emotions. CBT is more about recognizing, questioning, and changing the thoughts and actions that come from your feelings. DBT may help you learn how to deal with hard feelings and situations.

Psychodynamic therapy

Psychodynamic therapy has roots in how Sigmund Freud did psychoanalysis in the 1890s. At the time, Freud looked into the effects of things in early childhood, the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind, repressed fears, and ways to protect yourself.

Psychodynamic counseling looks at what’s going on below the level of your conscious mind. It looks at what you did in the past and how it affects how you act now. You could talk more about your early life and how you got along with important people like your parents and caregivers.

A transactional analysis

In transactional analysis, there are parts of humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, and psychodynamic therapy. The transactional analysis looks at the parent, adult, and child parts of your personality. This helps you figure out how you interact with other people.

You look at what you believe and how you make sense of the world around you. You also look at how this shapes your habits and patterns of behavior. The counselor will help you understand and change these things by working with you.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

The American psychologist Francine Shapiro developed EMDR in the 1980s to treat PTSD. Its goal is to get rid of the symptoms that come from trauma. Instead of focusing on behavior, this newer therapy looks at memory and how traumatic events are processed and stored.

During EMDR therapy, you briefly think about traumatic or upsetting events while the therapist guides your eye movements. It is thought to be like the mental state we get into during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep when we can make new connections between things.

Integration therapy

Integrative counselors don’t use just one method; instead, they use different techniques and methods based on what the client needs. Integrative therapy considers the client’s mental, physical, and emotional needs. The thought behind this type of therapy is that there are many ways to help a client.

A Gestalt therapy

Another humanistic approach is Gestalt therapy, which comes from Germany. Holistic means looking at the client as a whole instead of breaking them into parts. It is more interested in the person’s current life and problems than in what they did in the past.

Therapists help people pay attention to their current thoughts, feelings, and actions to understand better how they relate to other people and situations. Gestalt therapy also looks at how we see and understand the world and our lives.