Three Common Types of Psychotherapy: Brief Review




Do you at times feel overwhelmed by the demands, stresses, expectations, and roles you have to accommodate in your life? If your answer is yes, then savor in the fact that you are not alone.

Based on the data of National Institute of Mental Health, more than 25 percent of adults in American experience anxiety, depression or another mental disorder in a given year while others need assistance in coping with a severe illness, reducing weight, or halting the use of substances such as drugs and alcohol. The rest of the population might be struggling with relationship troubles, a death of a loved one, job loss, stress or other issues. Whatever issues it may be, it can become debilitating when left untreated.




According to American Psychiatric Association, psychotherapy or talk therapy is a method to help an individual with a wide range of mental illnesses and emotional difficulties as well. “Good psychotherapy is an amazing tool because a skilled therapist can help you discover and learn things that will help you lead a happier, healthier life.”  Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC said. Psychotherapy can aid in elimination and control of troublesome symptoms for a person to function efficiently and increase well-being and healing. Psychotherapy is a collaborative treatment founded on the relationship between the patient and psychologist. It provides a supportive environment grounded in dialogue which permits openness in communication with someone who is neutral, objective and nonjudgmental. Both the psychologist and the client will work for hand in hand to identify and transform thoughts and behavior patterns that are hindering the person from achieving his best self. The end of goal of psychotherapy is the ability to independently handle problems and conflicts presently experience and challenges in the future with new skills learned during the therapy.

Due to the numerous misconceptions about this therapy, many are hesitant in seeking help through psychotherapy.  Sal Raichbach, PsyD once said, “Sadly, only a small percentage of people actively seek professional help for their mental health problems.” Other than the stigma surrounding it, people also need to overcome their nervousness in trying something new; however, the benefits of the psychotherapy are worthwhile. Psychotherapy is not exclusive to those who are mentally ill. It is for everybody.  Experts shared some signs exhibit by an individual who will warrant a therapy: The overwhelming and prolonged feeling of sadness and helplessness, long-term unresolved problems despite efforts and help, difficulty in concentrating in daily activities and excessive worry, uneasiness that something horrible will happen and destructive habits.




Psychotherapists, psychiatrists and other mental health professions utilize several types of therapy depending on the patient’s disorder, circumstances and preference. For optimal results, many therapists combine elements from different approaches to tailor fit to the clients’ need.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) aids the individual in identifying and changing thinking and behavior patterns that are detrimental or ineffective and replacing them with actual thoughts and functional behaviors. It can direct a person to focus on present issues and how to solve them. CBT is usually used in treating depression, anxiety, trauma-related disorders and eating disorders.

Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is categorized as a short-term treatment. It helps a person to understand the underlying interpersonal problems such as changes in social roles, conflicts with loved ones, and issues with socialization. It can aid individuals to learn healthy methods in expressing emotions and improvement in communication. This is often used for depression.

Psychodynamic therapy is grounded from the idea that childhood experiences influence behavior and mental health. The patient and therapist work to make improvements in self-awareness and changes in old patterns. “Psychodynamic therapy is often used in the treatment of mental health conditions, including, depression, eating disorders and anxiety disorders” explains Hannah Goodman, LMHC.