Behavioral therapy can help clients to understand how changes in behavior can lead to changes in how they feel. It focuses on increasing the person's engagement in positive or socially reinforcing activities. The approach assesses what the client is doing, and then tries to increase the chance of having positive experiences. The goal is for desirable behavior responses to replace undesirable ones. Behavioral therapy can help people whose emotional distress stems from behaviors that they engage in.
Cognitive therapy starts with the idea that what we think shapes how we feel. Depression, for example, may stem from having thoughts or beliefs that are not based on evidence, such as "I am useless," or "Everything goes wrong because of me." Changing these beliefs can change a person's view of events, and their emotional state. Cognitive therapy looks at current thinking and communication patterns, rather than the past. The therapist works with the client to confront and challenge inappropriate thoughts by encouraging different ways of viewing a situation.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) pairs cognitive with behavioral therapy, to address both thoughts and behaviors.
This approach focuses on interpersonal relationships. Depression, for instance, may stem from a person's relationship with others. Learning skills for improving communication patterns may help the client to manage the depression. First, the therapist may help the client to identify relevant emotions, and where these are coming from. Then they can help them to express the emotions in a healthier way. For example, someone who responds to feeling neglected by getting angry may trigger a negative reaction in a loved one. Learning to express the hurt and anxiety calmly can increase the chances of the other person reacting positively. The client learns to modify their approach to interpersonal problems, understand them, and manage them more constructively. People who might benefit from this type of therapy include individuals who are eager to please others at their own expense, or who find that they have volatile interpersonal relationships.
Family therapy looks at symptoms in the family context. Some conditions require the treatment of the family unit. An example is when a client has depression because of marital problems. Cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, and especially interpersonal therapy may help. Identifying family patterns that contribute to behavior disorder or mental illness can help family members to break negative habits and patterns. Often, family therapy focuses on improving communication within the family. Participants learn new ways of listening and how to ask and respond to questions openly rather than defensively. Family therapy generally involves discussion and problem-solving sessions with the client and the family, as a group, in couples, or one-to-one.
Psychotropic medication vs. psychotherapy?
Research has shown that medication coupled with therapy has had an enduring affect in treating most psychological disorders. However, in cases with severe depression, therapy has shown to only be effective for low to moderate depression, but not severe depression. Some psychological disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder must be treated with medication in addition to therapy. Mohammad will help you in deciding which route to take with appropriate referrals.