Types of Counselling Therapies with Inspire Learning
When deciding on an appropriate counsellor or therapist, it can be useful to understand the different therapies I may use. While all can be effective, you may find one approach more appealing than another, or find that some approaches are better for a certain area of counselling than others. There is no fix-all approach, it will depend on you, your situation and the therapist.
You may not find the right approach for you straight away, and that’s OK. Take your time, contact me to discuss further.
Psychological therapies generally fall into the following categories:
- Behavioural therapies, which focus on cognitions and behaviours.
- Psychoanalytical and psychodynamic therapies, which focus on the unconscious relationship patterns that evolved from childhood, phobias, workalholic.
- Humanistic therapies, which focus on self-development in the ‘here and now’.
- Arts therapies, which use creative arts within the therapeutic process.
- Couples counselling, which looks to resolve issues experienced by couples.
I use a combination of therapies to individualise treatment for each person or child.
Adlerian therapy and humanistic approach
I use the Adlerian therapy which is also known as individual psychology. As a counsellor I believe our experiences in early life, particularly within our families, affect the way we see the world and react to events. Even if we are not aware of them, the logic and goals we develop as children still govern our behaviour when we are adults. Humanistic type of therapy is a positive and encouraging approach that can help individuals, couples and families. It works well for anxiety and anti-social behaviours. This approach focuses on the individual as a whole. It encourages people to think about their feelings and take responsibility for their thoughts and actions. The emphasis is on self-development and achieving your highest potential rather than on problematic behaviour.
Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy which uses the creative process of making art to explore and communicate issues, feelings and emotions which may be too difficult or distressing to express in words. It can also be used to relieve stress, improve your mental wellbeing and increase self-awareness or cope and I use this therapy mainly with children.
Behavioural therapy is based on the belief that your unwanted or unhealthy behaviours are a learned response to your past experiences. They focus on current problems and aim to help you learn new, more positive behaviours without having to analyse the past. Behavioural therapy often works well for compulsive and obsessive behaviours, fears, phobias and addictions.
Sometimes all a client needs is Brief therapy
Brief therapy is a short-term therapy which focuses on finding solutions and making positive changes rather than focusing on the past causes of problems. As a therapist I would encourage you to look at what you do well, set goals and work out how to achieve them. This type of therapy can be effective in just three or four sessions.
For more deep seated behaviour/mental/social or emotional difficulties I would suggest Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
CBT aims to help you change the way you think (cognitive) and what you do (behaviour). Rather than looking at past causes, it focuses on current problems and practical solutions to help you feel better now. The way we think about situations affects the way we feel and behave. If we view a situation negatively, we may experience negative emotions and feelings which lead us to behave in an unhelpful way. As a therapist I will help you identify and challenge any negative thinking so you can deal with situations better and behave in a more positive way. CBT can be helpful for depression, anxiety, stress, phobias, obsessions, eating disorders and managing long term conditions.
Family therapy as a holistic therapy for all the family
This type of therapy looks at a family system, and the relationships between people, rather than the individuals. It allows family members to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely, helping them understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs and build on their strengths. It can help with many issues that affect the family unit, helping people make useful changes in their relationships and their lives.
Primarily used with children, this uses play as a communication tool to help them express their feelings and deal with emotional problems. It can be used to diagnose the reasons for difficult behaviour, to allow children to work through their anxieties or as a relearning and desensitisation therapy.
As a therapist I will encourage you to talk about your experiences and use techniques such as free association or dream analysis to identify repressed feelings or conflicts that are affecting you now. Bringing these to the front of your mind allows any negative feelings to be dealt with.This can be a lengthy and intensive process and is often used by clients suffering high levels of distress.
I will aim to build an accepting and trusting relationship, encouraging you to talk about your childhood relationships with your parents and other significant people. It also uses similar techniques to psychotherapy, including free association, interpretation and especially transference, where feelings you experienced in previous significant relationships are projected onto the therapist.
Relationship therapy encourages the parties in a relationship to recognise repeating patterns of distress and to understand and manage troublesome differences that they are experiencing. The relationship involved may be between members of a family, a couple, or even work colleagues.
Transactional analysis is a comprehensive approach which incorporates aspects of humanistic, cognitive-behavioural and psychodynamic therapy. It categorises the human personality into three states – Parent, Adult and Child – which can help you understand how you interact with others. As a Therapists I will also look at how your beliefs and the way you interpret the world around you can create recurrent and problematic patterns of behaviour, and will work with you to help you to change.