Therapy is a word that can be used to mean different things depending on who you ask and what context the word is used in. In traditional psychology, therapy refers to treating mental disorders and other problems with the help of a psychologist (or psychiatrist).
There are many types of therapies, and most people have an idea about some of them based on what they saw in movies or heard from friends. However, they may not truly grasp how it works and how helpful it can be to severe problems.
As such, this article will introduce different forms of therapy and their costs and benefits. In the end, we will also come up with some guidelines that might help you decide which type of therapy would suit you best.
Definition: Psychodynamic therapy focuses on how an individual’s past and unconscious beliefs and emotions affect their behavior and cause problems in their daily lives. Historical psychodynamic therapy (HPT) and modern psychodynamic or analytic psychotherapy (MPT) can be further broken down.
The difference between these two is the focus. HPT deals with childhood issues such as trauma, attachment, development of a sense of self, etc.
In contrast, MPT deals mainly with more recent events such as work-related stressors, interpersonal issues at home or workplace, grief from losing someone close to us, etc., but does not ignore the influence of early life experiences.
How it Works: The therapist and patient will typically meet once a week for 50 minutes. The therapist will ask the patient to talk about anything that comes to mind and probe into their thoughts, feelings, and memories related to their current problems.
They will also encourage the patient to reflect on their dreams, containing clues about unconscious beliefs and desires. The therapist will then help the patient understand these unconscious thoughts and feelings and how they might affect their current behavior.
Costs: The average cost of psychodynamic therapy is $75-$150 per session. However, many therapists offer sliding scale fees, making it more affordable.
Benefits: Psychodynamic therapy effectively treats many mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, etc. It can also help improve relationships, increase self-awareness, and help people cope with difficult life experiences.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Definition: CBT combines cognitive and behavioral therapies, which focuses on how our thoughts (cognitions), emotions, and behaviors interact with each other. It is based on the idea that negative thoughts and feelings can lead to problematic behaviors and vice versa.
How it Works: The therapist will work with the patient to identify the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors causing them problems. They will then help the patient challenge and change these thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
This may involve identifying distorted thinking patterns, restructuring beliefs, challenging automatic thoughts, etc. CBT typically lasts for 16-20 sessions.
Costs: The average cost of CBT is $75-$150 per session. Many therapists offer sliding scale fees, making this type of therapy more affordable.
Benefits: CBT is an effective treatment for many mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, grief, stress, etc. It can also be helpful for those who are dealing with insomnia, anger issues, or substance abuse problems.
Definition: Humanistic therapy encourages patients to look at their feelings and behaviors to learn how they affect their thoughts and actions.
People may seek out humanistic therapy if they are interested in exploring existential questions about life or discovering who they are. Humanistic therapy typically lasts between 50-60 sessions.
How it Works: The therapist will encourage the patient to talk about their feelings and thoughts and any problems that they are currently experiencing. The therapist will then help the patient explore these issues and find new ways of coping with them.
This type of therapy often involves working on personal goals and better understanding oneself.
Costs: The average cost of humanistic therapy is $75-$120 per session. Many therapists offer sliding scale fees, making this type of therapy more affordable.
Benefits: Humanistic therapy helps treat many mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. It can also prove helpful in assisting people in dealing with low self-esteem, loss, and existential dilemmas they may face in life.
Make a Choice
Psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and humanistic therapy are effective treatments for various mental health problems. So, how do you decide which one is right for you?
One way to decide is to think about what you want to get out of therapy. For example, if you are interested in exploring your feelings and thoughts, psychodynamic therapy may be a good fit for you. If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, cognitive behavioral therapy may be the best option. Moreover, humanistic therapy can benefit those interested in exploring existential questions about life.
It’s important to remember that there is no “one size fits all” answer when choosing a type of therapy. You may need to try out more than one type of therapy before finding the best option for you.
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There are many different types of therapy available, each with its unique benefits and drawbacks. It can be difficult to decide which kind of therapy is right for you, but it’s important to remember that you should always speak with your doctor first before making decisions of this sort.