When I talk to potential clients during meet and greets, a question I get often is which therapy they should be looking for based on their reasons for seeking counselling. Often this question can be difficult to know without time to do a proper assessment of what is going on in their life which can take anywhere from 1-3 50-minute sessions.
However, I do think this question is important to explore. Let’s face it, therapy in a private practice setting is not inexpensive and clients want to feel that they are making progress with the money, time, energy, and effort they are investing into the process.
In my practice, I identify as an integrative therapist which really just means I have trainings in different therapy modalities that have become my toolbox that I draw upon with each client. I do an assessment of a clients situation and in collaboration develop a plan for treatment about which therapy modality I think might work. In collaboration we decide if that one will work for them. Although I may start with one modality, as we progress in the therapeutic journey, I may draw on other methods to provide support as needed.
There are many different therapy types, Psychology Today recognizes over 70 different methods that therapists draw on in their practice. Below I will describe the three main approaches I use in my practice and some of the life situations they are generally used for.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is widely used by therapists as a short-term method of psychotherapy. According to CAMH CBT helps people to develop skills and strategies for becoming and staying healthy. The root of this therapy method is connecting our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours to understand what is happening in our daily lives. It can be used to treat a host of presenting problems, but is most often used when people are experiencing symptoms of depression and/or anxiety.
How do I know if CBT is right for me?
CBT can be useful depending on what you are looking for. Typically, CBT focuses on the here and now, what is happening in the present day. If you are looking to do work based on processing past experiences, this therapy modality likely is not the best approach. If you are looking to change unhealthy thought patterns, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and strategies to employ in daily living it may be worth giving this a try. Be mindful that an important component is homework in between sessions for improvement.
Supportive Psychotherapy and Counselling
Supportive psychotherapy is a type of talk therapy that give clients the time and space in session to vent and discuss problems. By leaving an environment that is open and non-judgemental the therapist is prioritizing creating a safe therapeutic alliance and relationship. This is why supportive therapy is so important because the relationship between therapist and client is the key indicator of success.
How do I know supportive psychotherapy is right for me?
Supportive therapy has evidence that it can help to reduce anxiety, create positive interactions, enhance self-esteem, and strengthen healthy coping mechanisms. The less structured environment allows for creativity and authenticity to be yourself. This approach can help you to talk about the challenges you are having and to get insights, feedback, and advice in handling the situations and developing a healthy sense of self. Learn more.
Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)
EFT is a therapeutic approach based on the premise that emotions are key to identity. Emotions can be a strong guide for individual choice and decision making. EFT sees emotions as a guide for how to live in healthy and meaningful ways.
EFT sessions focus on two key skills:
- Arriving at one’s emotions through increased awareness and acceptance.
- Learning to transform emotions and better use the information they provide to avoid negative or harmful behaviours or other effects of certain emotions.
How do I know EFT is the right therapy for me?
There is evident to support EFT’s effectiveness for individuals with depression, trauma (particularly related to early life experiences), couples conflict/distress, and interpersonal problems, including unresolved feelings toward past significant others and complicated grief.
Reaching out for help
With many therapists and different approaches that each use in their practice, it can be difficult to know what to go for when you are looking for support. Know that when you reach out you will be met with empathy and compassion. For more information on picking the right therapist for you, click here.
If you would like to know more about my practice and to see if we would be a good fit to work together, please visit my booking page to slot yourself in for a free meet and greet.