Are you considering therapy, but feel overwhelmed by the multitude of options available? Curious about the number of different talk therapy options that are out there?
Many therapists offer counselling and psychotherapy and from the outside it can all seem pretty similar: sessions that last about 50 minutes to an hour, a space that is private and confidential, and designed to help improve your mental health.
However, with so many different types of therapy, it can be challenging to know which one is right for you. This comprehensive list is designed to help you navigate the complex world of therapeutic approaches and, possibly, find the perfect fit for your unique needs.
How many types of therapy and counselling are there?
The short answer: a lot.
However, that number can vary between a couple to over four hundred, depending on who you ask.
Back in 1994, some researchers suggested that if you accounted for the different types of therapy, and then the different possible ways it would be offered (duration of the session, the frequency of sessions, and so on) that number would be around 400 (source). It’s likely that number is much higher now!
What are the different types of therapy?
Here’s a list of over 60 different types (or modalities) of therapy that are offered.
Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP)
Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) focuses on creating secure and empathetic relationships between the therapist and the patient. AEDP aims to help individuals process and heal from traumatic experiences by allowing them to become more aware of their emotions and to express them in a safe environment. AEDP was developed in the 1980s by Dr. Diana Fosha. The therapy involves working to identify and process emotions in real-time, developing a more in-depth understanding of one’s self and experiences.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT is a psychotherapy that aims to help individuals develop psychological flexibility by accepting experiences and committing to values-based actions. It is seen as a helpful approach for problems such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and substance abuse. It is usually structured in six to eight sessions, and can be done individually or in groups. In short, ACT encourages individuals to accept experiences and commit to values-based actions for a more fulfilling life.
In the UK, the BABCP is the main professional body representing ACT therapists.
Addiction therapy is a type of treatment that is designed to help individuals who are struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol. The therapy aims to help individuals overcome their addiction by addressing the underlying causes of their addiction and providing them with the necessary tools and skills to manage their cravings and avoid relapse. Addiction therapy isn’t based on a single therapeutic modality. In fact, there are many types of addiction therapy available, including cognitive-behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing, and group therapy.
Adlerian therapy, developed by Alfred Adler, is a humanistic and holistic approach that focuses on the individual as a whole. It emphasises understanding a person’s unique perspective and life experiences to help them overcome negative patterns of thinking and behaviour. The therapist works collaboratively with the client to set goals and develop strategies for achieving them.
Learn more about Adlerian therapy at the Adlerian Society UK.
Affirmative therapy is a compassionate approach that supports the well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals. Therapists aim to empower clients and develop coping skills, recognizing their strengths and resilience. This approach can also benefit other marginalized groups, such as people of colour and those with disabilities. By validating the client’s experiences, promoting self-compassion, and addressing unique challenges related to identity, affirmative therapy provides a safe and inclusive space for marginalized individuals.
Anger therapy (anger management)
Anger therapy, also known as anger ‘management’, is a type of psychotherapy that helps individuals understand and manage their anger. The therapy aims to help individuals develop coping mechanisms to deal with anger-related issues and reduce the negative impact of anger on their daily lives. The therapy involves identifying the root cause of anger, exploring triggers, and developing effective communication skills to express anger in a healthy way. Anger therapy is beneficial for individuals who struggle with controlling their anger and experience anger-related issues in their personal and professional lives.
Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a type of therapy that involves the use of animals to assist in the treatment of various physical and mental health conditions. AAT can be used in a variety of settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and rehabilitation centres. The animals used in AAT are typically dogs, cats, horses, and other domesticated animals that have been trained and certified for this purpose. AAT has been shown to be effective in the rehabilitation of certain mental illnesses.
The international association of animal therapists (IAAT)website contains more information about this approach.
Art therapy provides a way for individuals to express themselves and communicate their feelings and experiences in a non-verbal manner. Through art-making, individuals can gain insight into their inner selves, develop coping skills, and process difficult experiences.
Learn more about Art Therapy from the British Association of Art Therapists.
Attachment-based therapy focuses on the relationship between an individual and their primary caregiver. It emphasises the importance of early childhood experiences and their impact on emotional and behavioural development. The therapy is grounded in attachment theory, which explains that the quality of attachment between a child and caregiver plays a crucial role in shaping the child’s sense of self, relationships, and overall well-being. Attachment-based therapy aims to help individuals establish secure attachments and develop healthy interpersonal relationships by addressing past attachment experiences, regulating emotions, and promoting authenticity and vulnerability in relationships.
The Bowlby Centre is considered to be the UK’s leading organisation for attachment-based therapy.
Bibliotherapy uses books and other reading materials to help individuals cope with mental health issues, emotional problems, and other personal challenges. The premise behind bibliotherapy is that reading can have a therapeutic effect by providing insight, comfort, and inspiration. It is often used with other forms of therapy to help individuals gain a more in-depth understanding of their thoughts and feelings. Bibliotherapy may involve reading self-help books, memoirs, fiction, and poetry, among other types of literature.
The Liverpool John Moores University website contains helpful information about Bibliotherapy, along with recommended reading lists.
Biofeedback is a type of therapy that uses electronic monitoring devices to measure and provide information about a person’s physiological processes. This information can help individuals learn to control and regulate their bodily functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. Biofeedback therapy is frequently used for stress-related conditions, such as anxiety, headaches, and chronic pain. It is thought that by learning to control their physiological responses, individuals can improve their overall health and well-being.
Learn more from the Biofeedback Federation of Europe.
Brief therapy focuses on identifying and resolving a specific problem or issue within a short period of time. Unlike many other forms of therapy, which can last for months or even years, brief therapy typically involves only a few sessions. The goal is to help the client gain insight into their issue, develop coping strategies, and make positive changes in their life.
Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)
Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) is a type of short-term therapy that combines ideas from cognitive and psychodynamic therapies. It is based on the idea that our past experiences and relationships can affect the way we think and behave in the present. The aim of CAT is to help individuals understand how these experiences have shaped their current patterns of thinking and behaviour, and to help them develop new, more adaptive ways of coping. CAT typically involves a structured approach, with a set number of sessions, and focuses on developing a shared understanding between the therapist and client.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helps people improve their mental health and well-being by changing negative thoughts and behaviours. During sessions, negative thought patterns and behaviours are identified and replaced with positive ones. It is a popular choice of treatment in the UK because it has a significant evidence base.
Learn more about CBT from Anxiety UK.
Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) was developed by Paul Gilbert to help individuals develop inner compassion and kindness towards themselves and others, especially those who struggle with self-criticism, shame, and self-doubt. CFT cultivates a compassionate mindset through various techniques and exercises, which can help to reduce negative emotions such as anxiety and depression, and increase positive ones like joy and contentment. CFT helps individuals recognize, accept and manage their emotions in a compassionate way, using guided meditations and visualization exercises.
The Compassionate Mind Foundation is the home of Compassion Focused Therapy.
Culturally Sensitive therapy
Culturally Sensitive Therapy recognizes that individuals come from diverse cultural backgrounds and have different beliefs, values, and experiences that affect their mental health. Culturally sensitive therapists are trained to be aware of their biases and to understand the unique cultural experiences of their clients.
Based in London, Nafsiyat is considered one of the leading organisations offering culturally sensitive therapy in the UK.
Dance therapy promotes emotional, and mental well-being through the use of dance and movement. It is a form of expressive therapy that enables individuals to explore their thoughts and feelings through movement.
The Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK is the professional organisation for Dance Movement Psychotherapists working in the UK.
Depth psychology is a therapeutic approach that focuses on the unconscious mind and its impact on human behaviour. Initially founded by Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud in the early 20th century, it has since expanded to include other theories and practices. The key aim of depth psychology is to explore the unconscious elements of the psyche, including dreams, fantasies, and emotions, to achieve a more complete understanding of the self and facilitate personal growth. It places a strong emphasis on self-reflection and introspection as a means of attaining psychological well-being.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) that was originally developed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder. DBT aims to help people manage their emotions and behaviours by teaching them skills to improve their interpersonal relationships, regulate their emotions, tolerate distress, and increase mindfulness.
Dramatherapy combines theatre and therapy to provide psychological treatment to clients. Dramatherapists work with a wide array of issues, ranging from autism to mental illness. They use techniques including drama, music, movement, and art to facilitate psychological, emotional, and social changes.
Dramatherapists can be found in many settings, such as schools, mental health care, general health social care, prisons and in the voluntary sector. They work with clients using a variety of verbal and non-verbal techniques, with embodiment and movement being important aspects of the practice. The therapy does not necessarily rely on spoken language alone, and is used to help individuals, groups, and organizations experiencing significant difficulties. Many dramatherapists are also independent artists and researchers with a unique focus.
Dreamwork involves exploring the content of dreams to gain insight and understanding about oneself. Within this approach, dreams are considered to be a reflection of the unconscious mind and can provide valuable information about a person’s thoughts, emotions, and experiences. The process of dreamwork involves analysing the symbols, images, and themes presented in a dream to uncover hidden meanings and messages.
Eclectic therapy draws from a variety of different theoretical approaches and techniques to create a customised approach for the individual. The goal of eclectic therapy is to create a treatment plan that is tailored to the unique needs of the individual, rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all approach.
Ecological therapy, also known as ecotherapy, focuses on the relationship between humans and the natural world. It is based on the belief that spending time in nature can have a positive impact on mental health and overall well-being. The therapy involves outdoor activities, such as hiking or gardening. Ecological therapy is an alternative approach to traditional talk therapy and puts emphasis on the importance of connecting with nature to improve mental health.
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a short-term, structured therapy approach that focuses on improving emotional bonding between partners. It was developed in the 1980s by Dr. Sue Johnson, who observed that couples often struggled with negative patterns of interaction that left them feeling disconnected and dissatisfied in their relationships. EFT is based on the idea that emotions are central to our experiences in relationships and that by addressing and regulating emotions, couples can create a more secure and satisfying bond. EFT aims to help partners identify and change negative patterns in their interactions, develop more effective communication skills, and build a stronger emotional connection.
Encounter groups, also known as T-groups, are where participants explore their feelings and interpersonal relationships. The goal is to promote personal growth and self-awareness through open and honest communication in a safe and supportive environment. Participants share their thoughts, emotions, and experiences with the group, with the facilitator guiding or observing. While not suitable for everyone, encounter groups can be a powerful tool for personal growth and self-awareness.
Equine-assisted therapy (EAT) involves horses to help individuals improve their well-being. The therapy involves various activities such as grooming, feeding, and riding horses, which help individuals develop social skills, communication, and trust.
Existential therapy focuses on exploring the meaning of human existence and the human experience. It is based on the belief that individuals must create their own meaning in life and take responsibility for their choices and actions. Existential therapists work with clients to help them confront the anxiety and uncertainty that arises from the existential paradox of being alive and free, yet finite and mortal. The goal of existential therapy is to help clients develop a more profound understanding of themselves and their place in the world, and to live more fully and authentically in the present moment.
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is a type of cognitive-behavioural therapy commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). ERP involves gradual exposure to feared situations or objects, while preventing the individual from engaging in compulsive behaviours or rituals that typically reduce anxiety. By repeatedly exposing the individual to their fears and preventing them from engaging in compulsive behaviours, ERP helps them to learn that their anxiety will naturally decrease over time without performing any rituals or avoidance behaviours. ERP can be challenging, but it has been shown to be highly effective in reducing anxiety and improving overall quality of life.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) is used to support people who have experienced traumatic events. EMDR therapy involves a series of sessions where the individual is asked to recall the traumatic event while following a therapist’s finger or hand movements with their eyes. The theory behind EMDR is that these eye movements help the individual process and reframe the traumatic memory in a more positive way. EMDR has been found to be effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Family Constellations takes place over a single session and aims to uncover unrecognized family dynamics that span multiple generations and to resolve the negative effects of those dynamics. This is done by encouraging the subject, through representatives, to confront and accept the factual reality of the past.
Family systems therapy
Family systems therapy focuses on addressing the interactions and dynamics within a family to improve communication, resolve conflicts, and promote healthy relationships. The therapy is centred on the understanding that problems within a family are not necessarily caused by a single individual, but rather by the interactions and relationships among family members. Family systems therapy aims to identify and address these patterns of communication and behaviour to promote positive change within the family unit.
Family therapy, also known as systemic therapy, focuses on the relationships between family members and how their interactions impact the individual members and the family unit as a whole. The goal of family therapy is to help family members improve communication, resolve conflicts, and strengthen their relationships. It can be especially helpful in addressing issues such as relational difficulties, parenting difficulties, and behavioural concerns in children. Family therapy sessions may include all family members or only those directly involved in the issue being addressed.
Feminist therapy focuses on women’s and gender issues within the context of the social and cultural forces that contribute to their experiences. The therapy is based on the belief that women and men should have equal rights and opportunities, and that the personal is political. Feminist therapists work to empower their clients by helping them to recognize and challenge the oppressive societal norms and values that may be contributing to their mental health struggles. They also focus on helping clients to develop a stronger sense of self and to build supportive relationships with others.
Freudian psychotherapy, also known as psychoanalytic therapy, was developed by Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. This approach is based on the belief that our unconscious mind influences our behaviour and emotions. According to Freud, our unconscious mind is filled with repressed thoughts and experiences that we are not aware of, but that affect our behaviour and emotions. Through psychoanalytic therapy, an analyst (not “therapist”) helps the patient (not “client”) explore their unconscious mind to gain insight into their behaviour, emotions, and relationships.
Gender, sex, and relationship diverse therapy (GSRD)
GSRD therapy is designed to cater to the needs of individuals who identify as gender diverse, sex diverse, or relationship diverse, including, but not limited to, those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. The main objective of GSRD therapy is to create a safe and supportive environment where individuals can explore and express their identities and experiences without fear of being discriminated against or judged. GSRD therapists are trained to understand the unique challenges faced by such individuals and provide culturally sensitive care that is customized to each person’s needs.
Gestalt therapy is a humanistic and holistic approach to psychotherapy developed in the 1940s by Fritz Perls and his wife, Laura Perls. It emphasizes personal responsibility, present-moment awareness, and the integration of the mind and body. The goal of Gestalt therapy is to help individuals gain awareness of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours in the present moment, and to work through unresolved issues from the past. This is achieved through a variety of techniques, including role-playing, guided imagery, and body awareness exercises.
Grief therapy, or bereavement therapy, aims to help individuals cope with the loss of a loved one or other types of grief, such as the loss of a job, a divorce, or a major life change. The goal is to help individuals work through their emotions, come to terms with their loss, and learn healthy coping mechanisms. Overall, grief therapy can be a valuable tool to help individuals feel less alone in their grief and ultimately move forward in their lives.
Group therapy involves one or more therapists working with several people at the same time. It provides a supportive environment for individuals to share their experiences, emotions, and concerns with others who are going through similar challenges. The goal of group therapy is to provide a safe space for individuals to learn about themselves, develop new coping skills, and build relationships with others.
Human Givens therapy
Human Givens therapy is based on the premise that humans are born with a set of emotional needs that must be met for them to lead fulfilling lives. These needs include security, a sense of control, intimacy, attention, achievement, and connection to a wider community. Human Givens therapy aims to help individuals identify and meet these needs to improve their mental well-being.
Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis to create a state of focused attention and increased suggestibility, during which positive suggestions and guided imagery are used to help individuals overcome a variety of problems. During a hypnotherapy session, the therapist induces a trance-like state in the individual, with the aim of allowing them to access their subconscious mind and explore the inner workings of their psyche.
Imago relationship therapy
Imago Relationship Therapy aims to help individuals in a relationship better understand their partner’s needs and work through any conflicts they may be experiencing. Developed by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt, Imago therapy is based on the idea that individuals are drawn to partners who have both positive and negative traits similar to those of their primary caregivers. The therapy involves communication exercises and techniques that promote empathy and understanding between partners.
Integrative therapy is a form of psychotherapy that combines different therapeutic approaches to provide a tailored and holistic treatment to individuals. It draws on various theories and techniques from different schools of psychology, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy, humanistic therapy, and psychodynamic therapy. This approach aims to address the unique needs of the individual by incorporating different therapeutic techniques that work best for their particular situation. Integrative therapy is widely practised in the UK and is often used to treat a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and trauma.
Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP)
Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) is a type of brief psychotherapy that focuses on the unconscious emotional experiences of an individual that are causing them emotional distress. The therapy aims to help the individual identify and resolve unconscious emotional conflicts and defense mechanisms that interfere with their ability to experience and express emotions in a healthy way. ISTDP is an evidence-based therapy that typically involves weekly sessions for a period of three to six months.
Intercultural therapy acknowledges and incorporates the cultural backgrounds of individuals in the therapy process. The therapy recognises that culture and ethnicity can play a significant role in shaping an individual’s beliefs, values, and behaviours, and that these factors can impact mental health and wellbeing. Intercultural therapy aims to create a safe and non-judgmental space where individuals can explore their cultural identities and how it affects their experiences and relationships.
Internal family systems therapy
Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy focuses on helping individuals understand and manage their internal “parts” or sub-personalities. These parts are believed to exist within everyone and can represent different emotions, beliefs, and behaviours.
IFS therapy seeks to help individuals recognize and work with these parts in a healthy way, promoting self-awareness and self-compassion. Through the therapy process, individuals are encouraged to identify their “parts” and understand how they interact with one another. The therapy aims to create a more integrated and harmonious sense of self, allowing individuals to navigate their emotions and behaviours more effectively. IFS therapy is becoming increasingly popular in the UK and is used to address a variety of mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, and trauma.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is a time-limited, evidence-based therapy that focuses on improving an individual’s interpersonal relationships and social functioning. This therapy is based on the idea that a person’s relationships with others play a significant role in shaping their emotions and behaviours. IPT aims to help individuals identify and address problems in their relationships that may be contributing to their mental health difficulties. The therapy typically involves a structured approach, where the individual and therapist work together to set treatment goals, monitor progress, and identify any obstacles to progress.
Journal therapy is a type of therapeutic writing that involves keeping a journal or diary as a means of exploring one’s thoughts, emotions, and experiences. This therapy is based on the idea that writing can be a powerful tool for self-exploration, personal growth, and healing. Through the process of journaling, individuals can gain insight into their feelings and behaviours, identify patterns and triggers, and develop coping strategies for managing their emotions. Journal therapy can be used with other forms of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy or psychodynamic therapy, or as a standalone approach.
Jungian therapy draws on the theories and concepts developed by psychiatrist Carl Jung. This therapy is based on the idea that the unconscious mind contains a wealth of information and wisdom that can help individuals to better understand themselves and their experiences. Jungian therapy seeks to explore and integrate the unconscious through various techniques, such as dream analysis, active imagination, and creative expression. The therapy aims to help individuals identify and work through unconscious conflicts and patterns, promoting self-awareness and personal growth.
Logotherapy is a type of psychotherapy that is based on the idea that people have a natural drive to find meaning and purpose in their lives. This therapy was developed by Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, who believed that individuals can find meaning in their suffering and that this can help them to overcome mental health challenges. Logotherapy seeks to help individuals identify their core values and beliefs and to find purpose and meaning in their lives. This can involve exploring existential questions, such as the meaning of life and death, and helping individuals to develop a sense of responsibility and agency in their lives.
Marriage counselling is a type of therapy that is designed to help married couples improve their communication and resolve conflicts in their relationship. This therapy aims to create a safe and non-judgmental space where couples can explore their thoughts and feelings, identify patterns of behaviour that may be contributing to their problems, and develop strategies for improving their relationship.
Mentalisation-based therapy (MBT) is a type of psychotherapy that is based on the idea that some individuals have difficulty understanding their own thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, as well as those of others. This can lead to problems in interpersonal relationships and mental health difficulties. MBT aims to help individuals develop their mentalisation abilities, which refers to the capacity to understand and interpret one’s own and others’ mental states, emotions, and behaviours.
Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MCBT)
Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MCBT) is a type of therapy that combines the principles of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) with mindfulness techniques. This therapy aims to help individuals develop a more mindful and non-judgmental approach to their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. MCBT involves learning mindfulness skills, such as meditation and breathing exercises, to help individuals become more aware of their thoughts and feelings. This awareness can help them to better understand and manage their mental health difficulties. The therapy also involves CBT techniques, such as identifying and challenging negative thought patterns and developing coping strategies.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a type of therapy that is designed to help people manage stress and improve their overall wellbeing. This therapy involves developing mindfulness skills, such as meditation and breathing exercises, to help individuals become more aware of their thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. Through regular practice, individuals can develop a greater sense of calm and relaxation, even in the midst of stressful situations. MBSR aims to help individuals develop a non-judgmental and compassionate attitude towards themselves, which can lead to increased self-awareness and self-acceptance. The therapy can be practised in a group or individual setting and typically involves eight weekly sessions, each lasting two to three hours.
Motivational interviewing (MI) is designed to help people resolve ambivalence and increase motivation towards positive behaviour change. This therapy involves a collaborative and non-judgmental approach, where the therapist works with the individual to explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours related to change. MI aims to help individuals identify their own reasons for change and develop a plan of action that is consistent with their values and goals. The therapy can involve techniques such as reflective listening, open-ended questions, and exploring the pros and cons of change.
Multicultural therapy acknowledges and respects the diversity of individuals and incorporates cultural factors into the therapeutic process. This therapy recognises that cultural background can play a significant role in shaping an individual’s beliefs, values, and behaviours, and can impact mental health and wellbeing. Multicultural therapy aims to create a safe and supportive space where individuals can explore their cultural identities and experiences, as well as the ways in which their culture intersects with other aspects of their identity.
Music therapy uses, unsurprisingly, music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. This therapy is based on the idea that music has therapeutic properties that can help individuals to express themselves, reduce stress, and promote healing. Music therapy can involve a range of techniques, such as listening to music, singing, playing instruments, improvisation, and songwriting.
Narrative therapy views individuals as storytellers and their experiences as stories that shape their identity and behaviours. This therapy aims to help individuals re-author their stories in a more positive and empowering way, allowing them to overcome the negative effects of their past experiences. Narrative therapy involves exploring the stories that individuals tell themselves and others about their lives, and how these stories may be limiting or reinforcing negative beliefs and behaviours. The therapy can involve techniques such as externalisation, where the individual separates themselves from their problem or issue, and re-authoring, where the individual creates a new, more positive story about their experiences.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming therapy (NLP)
Neuro-Linguistic Programming therapy (NLP) focuses on the relationship between language, behaviour, and the neurological processes of the brain. This approach aims to help individuals change their patterns of thinking and behaviour by understanding how they process information and how they can use language to achieve their goals. NLP involves a range of techniques, such as visualisation, goal setting, and reframing negative beliefs.
Neurofeedback is a type of therapy that aims to train individuals to control their brainwaves and improve their mental health and cognitive functioning. This therapy involves using an EEG (electroencephalogram) to measure brain activity and provide real-time feedback to the individual. The feedback is often provided through a computer game or visual display, and encourages the individual to modify their brain activity towards more optimal patterns.
Object relations psychotherapy
Object Relations Psychotherapy is a type of psychoanalytic therapy that focuses on the relationships individuals form with others in their early life and how these relationships shape their sense of self and their patterns of relating to others. This therapy is based on the idea that individuals develop internalized representations, or “objects,” of their early relationships with primary caregivers, and that these objects continue to influence their interpersonal relationships throughout their lives. Object Relations Psychotherapy aims to help individuals explore and work through these internalized representations and to develop more fulfilling and healthy relationships.
Though not strictly a therapy, Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a type of communication approach that aims to promote compassionate and effective communication. This approach is based on the idea that everyone has the capacity for compassion, and that conflict and misunderstanding arise when individuals are unable to express their needs and feelings clearly. NVC involves developing communication skills that help individuals to express themselves more authentically and empathetically, and to listen to others with greater understanding and compassion. The approach involves a four-step process of observing, feeling, needs, and requests. By following this process, individuals can communicate their needs and feelings without blaming or criticizing others, and can work towards finding mutually satisfactory solutions.
Person-centred therapy is a type of humanistic therapy that is based on the belief that individuals can fulfil their potential and make positive changes in their lives. This therapy aims to create a safe and supportive environment where the individual can explore their thoughts, feelings, and experiences without fear of judgement or criticism. Person-centred therapy involves a non-directive approach, where the therapist works to understand the individual’s perspective and to reflect their thoughts and feelings back to them in a way that promotes self-awareness and self-acceptance. The therapy can involve techniques such as active listening, empathy, and unconditional positive regard. Person-centred therapy is widely practised in the UK.
Play therapy is a type of therapy that uses play and creative expression to help children and young people express themselves and work through emotional and behavioural issues. This therapy recognises that play is a natural way for children to communicate and learn, and that it can be used as a therapeutic tool to help them explore their thoughts and feelings. Play therapy involves a range of techniques, such as using toys, puppets, and art materials to encourage self-expression and creativity. The therapist provides a safe and supportive environment where the child can play and explore their emotions without fear of judgement or criticism.
Pluralistic therapy acknowledges that we all have unique needs, preferences, and goals, and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to therapy. This therapy aims to create a collaborative and flexible approach that draws on a range of therapeutic approaches and techniques to meet the individual’s specific needs. Pluralistic therapy involves working with the individual to identify their goals and preferences and to develop a personalised treatment plan that incorporates a range of therapeutic modalities, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and mindfulness-based therapy. The therapy can involve techniques such as goal-setting, feedback, and self-monitoring to track progress and adapt the treatment plan as needed.
Positive psychology is a type of psychology that focuses on the positive aspects of human experience, such as happiness, well-being, and personal growth. This approach is based on the belief that individuals can cultivate positive emotions, thoughts, and behaviours, and that doing so can improve mental health and overall quality of life. Positive psychology involves a range of techniques, such as mindfulness, gratitude, and positive self-talk, to promote positive thinking and behaviour. The therapy can also involve developing personal strengths and values, setting goals and cultivating positive relationships.
Postpartum therapy is a type of therapy that is designed to support people who are experiencing emotional and psychological distress following childbirth. This therapy recognises that pregnancy and childbirth can be a significant and challenging transition in a person’s life, and that many people may experience feelings of anxiety, depression, and overwhelm during this time. Postpartum therapy involves a range of techniques, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, and mindfulness-based therapy, to help women manage their symptoms and improve their overall well-being.
Prolonged exposure therapy
Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy is a type of therapy that is designed to help individuals who have experienced trauma or traumatic events. This therapy is based on the idea that individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may avoid memories, feelings, or situations that remind them of the trauma, which can lead to increased anxiety and distress. PE therapy aims to help individuals confront and process their traumatic memories and to reduce avoidance behaviours. The therapy involves a range of techniques, such as imaginal exposure and in-vivo exposure, where individuals are gradually exposed to their traumatic memories and to situations that they have been avoiding. Through exposure, individuals can learn to tolerate their emotional reactions, challenge their negative beliefs about the trauma, and develop coping strategies to manage their symptoms.
Psychoanalytic therapy is based on the theories and practices of psychoanalysis, which was developed by Sigmund Freud. This therapy aims to help individuals gain insight into their unconscious thoughts and feelings, which may be causing distress or negative patterns of behaviour. Psychoanalytic therapy involves exploring the individual’s past experiences, relationships, and conflicts to understand their current psychological state. The therapy can involve techniques such as free association, dream analysis, and transference, where the individual’s feelings towards the therapist are examined. Sessions take place over years, with typically four sessions per week.
Psychodynamic therapy is based on the theories of psychoanalysis, but is typically less intensive than traditional psychoanalytic therapy. This therapy aims to help individuals gain insight into their unconscious thoughts and feelings, and how these may be impacting their behaviour and relationships. Psychodynamic therapy involves exploring the individual’s past experiences, relationships, and conflicts, as well as their current thoughts and feelings, to understand their current psychological state. However, unlike psychoanalytic therapy, psychodynamic therapy typically occurs once or twice a week and may have a more focused approach to specific problems. The therapy can involve techniques such as free association, dream analysis, and exploring patterns of transference and countertransference in the therapeutic relationship.
Psychosexual therapy aims to address sexual difficulties and concerns that individuals may be experiencing. This therapy recognises that sexual problems can be a significant source of stress and can impact a person’s overall well-being and relationships. The therapy can involve providing education and support around sexual anatomy, function, and pleasure, as well as exploring the emotional and psychological factors that may be impacting an individual’s sexual functioning. The therapy can also involve developing practical strategies and exercises to improve sexual functioning and enjoyment. Psychosexual therapy can be helpful for individuals dealing with a range of sexual concerns, including performance anxiety, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and low libido. The therapy can also be useful for individuals experiencing relationship difficulties related to sexual concerns.
Psychosynthesis is based on the idea that individuals have a higher self, or spiritual aspect, that can guide them towards personal growth and well-being. Psychosynthesis involves a range of techniques, such as meditation, visualization, and creative expression, to help individuals explore their inner selves and connect with their higher consciousness.
Relational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)
Relational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) is based on the principles of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and the theory that individuals can change their emotional responses by changing their thoughts and beliefs. REBT focuses on identifying and challenging irrational beliefs and negative thought patterns that can lead to emotional distress and maladaptive behaviour. The therapy aims to help individuals develop rational beliefs and coping strategies to manage difficult emotions and situations. REBT is a collaborative and action-oriented therapy that involves identifying and testing irrational beliefs, and developing practical skills to challenge and replace them with more rational and helpful ones.
Relational therapy focuses on the relationship between the therapist and the individual as a key component of the therapeutic process. This therapy recognises that the quality of the therapeutic relationship can have a significant impact on the individual’s ability to explore and address their emotional and psychological concerns. Relational therapy involves creating a safe and supportive environment where the individual can explore their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in the context of their relationships with others. The therapy can involve techniques such as active listening, empathy, and reflection to help the individual gain new insights and perspectives on their interpersonal relationships. Through this exploration, individuals can develop greater self-awareness and understanding of their relational patterns, and can work towards making positive changes in their relationships.
Sandplay therapy is a type of therapy that uses a tray filled with sand, a sand tray, and a variety of miniature figurines to help individuals express and explore their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. This therapy recognises that the act of creating and manipulating sand images can be a powerful and non-verbal way for individuals to communicate and work through emotional and psychological issues. Sandplay therapy involves creating scenes and narratives with the figurines in the sand tray, which can provide a visual representation of the individual’s internal world.
Schema therapy is based on the principles of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and the idea that early life experiences can create negative patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that can persist into adulthood. This therapy aims to help individuals identify and change these negative patterns, or “schemas”, through a combination of cognitive, behavioural, and experiential techniques.
Schema therapy involves identifying specific negative schemas, such as abandonment or mistrust, and exploring their origins and effects on the individual’s life. The therapy can involve techniques such as cognitive restructuring, behavioural experiments, and imagery rescripting to challenge and modify negative schemas and their associated beliefs and behaviours.
Sex and relationships therapy
Sex and relationships focuses on helping individuals,couples and partners with their sexual and relationship issues. Sex and relationships therapy can help with a wide range of issues such as low libido, sexual dysfunction, infidelity, communication problems, and conflicts in the relationship. The therapist will work with clients to identify and address the underlying causes of their issues and provide them with strategies and tools to improve their sexual and emotional connection with their partner.
Solution-focused brief therapy
This therapy is based on the idea that individuals have the ability to solve their own problems, and that the therapist’s role is to help facilitate this process by asking questions and providing guidance. SFBT involves identifying specific goals and exploring the individual’s vision of a preferred future. The therapy can involve techniques such as scaling questions, miracle questions, and exception-seeking questions to help the individual identify and build on their existing resources and strengths. SFBT is typically a short-term therapy, consisting of 5–10 sessions, and is focused on achieving specific, measurable outcomes.
Systemic therapy focuses on the individual in the context of our relationships and social systems. This therapy recognises that the individual’s mental and emotional well-being is influenced by their relationships and interactions with others, and that changes in one part of the system can affect other parts. Systemic therapy involves exploring the individual’s relationships with their family, friends, and community, and how these relationships impact their behaviour and emotions. The therapy can involve techniques such as genograms, circular questioning, and family sculpting to help individuals and families understand their relational patterns and develop new strategies for communication and problem-solving.
Transactional analysis (TA)
Transactional analysis (TA) focuses on analysing and understanding the individual’s patterns of communication and interactions with others. This therapy recognises that individuals develop ways of relating to others, based on their early life experiences and interactions with significant others. TA aims to help individuals recognise and change negative patterns of communication and behaviour, and to develop more effective ways of relating to others. TA involves exploring the individual’s ego states, which are different parts of their personality, such as the parent, adult, and child states. The therapy can involve techniques such as transactional analysis games, contracting, and exploring life scripts to help individuals understand their patterns of communication and behaviour.
Transference focused psychotherapy
Transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP) is a type of therapy that is based on the principles of psychoanalytic therapy, and focuses on the individual’s patterns of transference and countertransference in their relationships. This therapy recognises that individuals may have unresolved emotional conflicts related to early life experiences, which can manifest in their current relationships and interactions with others. TFP aims to help individuals recognise and resolve these emotional conflicts, and to develop more adaptive ways of relating to others. TFP involves exploring the individual’s transference, which is the unconscious projection of past emotional experiences onto the therapist, and the therapist’s countertransference, which is the therapist’s emotional reaction to the individual’s transference. The therapy can involve techniques such as interpretation, clarification, and empathy to help individuals understand and manage their emotional conflicts and improve their relationships with others.
Transpersonal therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on the spiritual and transcendent aspects of the human experience. This therapy recognises that individuals have a unique relationship with the divine, and that exploring this relationship can be a powerful way to promote healing and personal growth. Transpersonal therapy involves exploring the individual’s spirituality, values, and beliefs, and how these factors influence their emotional and psychological well-being. The therapy can involve techniques such as meditation, visualisation, and mindfulness to help individuals connect with their spiritual selves and develop a deeper understanding of their place in the world. preferences.
Writing therapy uses writing as a tool for self-exploration and emotional healing. This therapy recognises that the act of writing can help individuals gain clarity and insight into their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Writing therapy involves creating a safe and supportive environment where the individual can freely express their thoughts and emotions on paper. The therapy can involve prompts, exercises, and guided meditations to help individuals explore their inner selves and connect with their emotions.
Which Type of Therapy is Best?
If you managed to get through this list, you must be wondering which one of these approaches is the best!
According to research, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to therapy, and the best type for an individual depends on their specific needs, preferences, and circumstances.
What’s more, studies have shown that the therapeutic relationship, also known as the alliance between the therapist and client, is a crucial factor in determining the success of therapy. In fact, the quality of this relationship is often more important than the specific type of therapy being used.
A meta-analysis found that different types of therapy have similar levels of effectiveness for most psychological problems, and the factors that contribute to positive outcomes are shared across various approaches. These factors include empathy, warmth, and the therapist’s ability to establish a strong therapeutic alliance with the client. Consequently, try to focus on finding a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and trust, as this relationship can significantly impact the outcome of your therapy.
Keep in mind that it might take some time and experimentation to find the right fit, and sometimes you need to trust the signs that things aren’t going right with your therapist. Don’t hesitate to explore different therapists and therapeutic approaches until you find the one that resonates with you.