For those struggling with a mental health disorder or trying to overcome a drug or alcohol addiction, some form of therapy will almost always end up being part of their treatment. Therapy is meant to help an individual deal with emotions, trauma and problems in a safe and understanding environment so that these issues will not continue to distress them later on.
However, one type of therapy won’t always work for everyone. The area of therapy has continued to expand and change as time has passed, continuously adding to a listen of different forms of group, individual and alternative therapy that a person may use to help them work through their issues.
The most well-known form of therapy is verbal therapy. This is the kind of therapy you would normally see in movies or on TV where a person goes to see a therapist and talks about their life and what is bothering them. This method is rooted in psychoanalysis and the goal is to help the client gain insight and relief by talking about their problems. This traditional form of therapy, created by Sigmund Freud, has helped to influence other therapy approaches as well as including cognitive-behavioral therapy and group therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy tends to focus on the belief that irrational thinking or skewed perceptions cause dysfunctions. The cognitive-behavioral therapist works with their client to change these negative thoughts patterns and problematic behavior so that their thoughts perceptions and behaviors are more productive and positive. This form of therapy works well in helping those with depression or anxiety.
Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy and will include two or more individuals who work with a trained therapist or counselor. Group therapy allows individuals to share their experiences with others, learn from the experiences of others and offer advice based on their experiences. Group therapy can often be not only less expensive than individual therapy but can also be more effective. This form of therapy provides an environment in which those with a mental illness or addiction who previously felt isolated because of their problem can find support from others who have dealt or are dealing with the same issues and also have a safe place to deal with their issues and practice new behaviors.
This form of therapy, also known as Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is based on the idea that a person has the skills needed to change their lives and needs help identifying and strengthening those skills. SFBT focuses on finding solutions rather than focusing on the symptoms a person is dealing with. The goal of SFBT is to focus on a view of the future that the client hopes to achieve and to create a series of steps that will help them achieve it.
EMDR therapy, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, therapy is an intensive form of psychotherapy meant to help a person deal with and process trauma and is very effective in helping those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EMDR focuses on identifying and processing negative or traumatic memories which may be causing the clients problems. When accessing these memories the client focuses on an external stimulus such as eye movement, taps or tones which can help to form new insights and emotions. EMDR is based on two main ideas: that eye movements improve the efficiency of therapeutic treatment by creating psychological and neurological transformations, and that eye movement is a physiological form of internal desensitization.
Equine therapy utilizes horses as a way to become more self-aware and work on emotional healing. Working off of the natural bond between animals and human beings, this form of therapy benefits the patient by eliciting nurturing emotions, decreasing stress levels, reducing anger and hostility, improving social interactions, decreasing a person’s heart rate, and improving self-esteem patience and trust. The key factor in equine therapy is that a patient can see their emotions mirrored in the horse, sometimes without even realizing that this was something that they were feeling in the first place which allows them a better understanding of the self.
Expressive arts therapies
Expressive arts therapy can include multiple different methods such as drama, music, writing, dance, movement and/or painting (art). These forms of therapy can be used along with traditional verbal therapy or it can be used independently. This allows clients to explore their responses to pictures, sounds and new forms of expression so that they can find new ways to describe and express what they are dealing with which may not have been available to them in words beforehand. Expressive arts therapy focuses on the areas of expression, imagination, active participation and mind-body connection so as to provide the client with new ways to find meaning, clarity and healing.
For some people, this may be one of the hardest forms of therapy to endure. Family therapy focuses on helping family members improve communication and resolve conflicts which may act as triggers for an issue or are caused by an issue. Additionally, it can help family members understand the struggles of a loved one with a mental disorder or resolve issues arising from a loved one who struggles with addiction. In most cases this will not only improve communication and work to resolve these problems, but it will also help family members set the necessary boundaries and support systems that are beneficial to all parties.
There are multiple other forms of therapy that are available to the individual, many of which can help with a specific issue. Therapy is a helpful and oftentimes necessary part of treatment for those trying to overcome an addiction or deal with a mental or behavioral health disorder. Knowing about the different forms of therapy and how they can benefit you can be a useful tool in knowing where to start looking for therapeutic help.
Sovereign Health Group offers all of the mentioned therapy options during treatment. If you’d like to learn more, call 888-530-4614.