--Original published at Kaity Takes on Psychology
I have to admit – I have been to therapy before. It is no longer a big deal, after all, many of my friends and family have been there, too. Since my visits, I can honestly say I have learned a lot about coping strategies and have felt more confident about myself. The textbook lists a series of psychotherapy methods – psychodynamic, humanistic, behavioral, and cognitive.
Each method has it’s own perks, but I believe the best approach is cognitive therapy. We often think negatively of ourselves for things we cannot control. Believing, for example, you are unhappy and unintelligent for failing a test seems within reason for stressed or depressed students. However, cognitive therapists seek to change our mindset about these problems by helping a client “restructure their thinking in stressful situations” (Page 580). I have been able to gain more confidence and control over myself by changing my thought processes during times of great stress and anxiety, so I think the cognitive method is the one I like best.
My second choice for therapy methods is psychodynamic therapy, because oftentimes our biggest problems are rooted in the past and continuously hold us back from being happy. Many people credit their childhood as the time where they began to feel certain negative thoughts about themselves, and psychodynamic therapists aim to uncover why their clients are struggling. I think this is a very good way to help alleviate the levels of stress an individual carries around, and can even lead to acceptance and personal growth.
Behavioral therapy seems like a good fit for individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and generalized anxiety disorder. Through methods such as classical conditioning, exposure therapy, counterconditioning, and systematic desensitization; individuals are able to feel more comfortable going through their daily lives. Learned behaviors can be swapped out for more constructive behaviors through behavioral therapy.
Finally, the humanistic approach of psychotherapy. In my opinion, all of these methods can work depending on the client and their needs for certain forms of therapy. I believe the humanistic approach (shout out to Carl Rogers) would be most helpful on clients with newer stress. Therapists promote growth in the client rather than trying to assess the individual’s past trauma. The humanistic approach tries to assist individuals by, much like psychodynamic therapy, use insight therapies to help their clients
In conclusion, I believe all patients of therapists should look into the different forms of therapy, because not every approach will work for everyone. We all seek some type of reassurance and help when we look into attending therapy, but it is our own responsibility to find what works best for us