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Popular Types of Therapy and How They Can Help You

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An increasing number of people around the globe are beginning to understand the benefits of therapy. Mental health is no longer a social taboo to discuss, so therapy is finally receiving the praise it deserves. 

However, many people don’t realize that there is more than one form of therapy. When people think of the word “therapy,” they imagine themselves lying on a comfy sofa describing their childhood relationship with their mother to a person in professional garb. However, this vision only provides a tiny peek into the world of therapy, which offers multiple types of treatment and other benefits.

Therapy, meanwhile, can be utilized for multiple different reasons. One such example is for histrionic personality disorder, which results in overly emotional, erratic and dramatic behavior.

If you are looking to start therapy but aren’t sure what options are available or what you can get out of it, then this article is for you. This article will introduce you to multiple popular forms of therapy so you can see a wide range of services that therapy has to offer.  

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT aims to address any thoughts or emotions that are unhelpful, problematic, or are contributing to a mental illness. Sessions are designed to find any patterns in thinking that may cause distress or problems in your life. Your therapist will focus on the thoughts that consume you in the present and help you find more helpful thoughts and emotions that will positively impact your life. 

Though you do not need to be diagnosed with a mental illness to try this form of therapy (or any type of therapy), mental health conditions are a popular reason why people try CBT. People typically seek treatment for the following conditions:  

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety
  • Eating Disorders
  • Phobias
  • Insomnia
  • Borderline Personality Disorder

Therefore, if you live with one of these illnesses and are consumed by negative or unhelpful thoughts, then CBT may be able to help. 

However, note that little work is done on exploring past events and how they affect you now. Instead, the focus is more on the present existing symptoms and making changes to improve for the future. As a result, this type of therapy is typically short-term as it has a more specific focus. 

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy is a more action-based approach with a focus on specific behaviors. The philosophy of behavioral therapy is that certain behaviors are learned from the past. Therefore, analysis of the past and its effects on the present is the core focus of this form of therapy.

Behavioral therapy has helped many people with symptoms of various disorders. Some of them include: 

  • Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • ADHD
  • OCD

Humanistic Therapy

Humanistic therapy is the most client-guided form of therapy on this list. This type of therapy focuses on exploring your worldview and how it shapes your decisions and life. 

The philosophy of humanistic therapy is that you know your experiences and needs better than anyone else, so your therapist lets you guide the session. They may add in some advice or tips along the way but do not interpret your feelings, thoughts, or experiences for you. 

The goal of humanistic therapy is to help you live your best life. Therefore, it is not focused on treating mental illnesses or disorders. However, this type of therapy can still help ease symptoms of those living with: 

  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Substance Use Disorder


Psychodynamic therapy is a long-term form of therapy that allows you to discuss anything on your mind. For example, you can talk about current challenges, goals, past experiences, or even dreams. The point of this therapy is to uncover any patterns of thoughts or behaviors that may be causing you problems or distress. 

Psychodynamic therapy can last for years, but people often continue to improve even after they have ended their sessions. It is a powerful and intensive form of therapy but has a great track record and results. 

Some common conditions that can improve with psychodynamic therapy include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Eating Disorders
  • Substance Use Disorder

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right kind of therapy can be a daunting task. However, understanding the different approaches available will help you figure out what you need from your sessions. Do you want to focus on thought patterns and emotions? Or do you want to examine your behaviors? Do you prefer something short-term, or do you hope to be in therapy for the long run? 

Everyone has different needs and expectations of their therapists. Hopefully, this article gave you a good introduction to some of the most popular types so that you can narrow down your search. 

Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.