First of all, two modes of therapy are being practised right now: Online and offline. Offline or in-person therapy has existed for a long time where one can visit the space where the therapist practices and attends the session. But since the COVID-19 pandemic, online therapy has also gained a very wide acceptance. One can opt for Audio/ Video sessions depending on their preference through different online platforms. Chat-based counselling has also been gaining popularity nowadays.
Let’s first understand why there are multiple therapeutic models and how they all have different approaches toward one particular concern.
Therapy is an interpersonal and transactional process. It means that the other person’s willingness and participation are equally valuable to see improvements and positive results. Every individual is unique. Therefore everyone views the world and approaches it with different lenses. It would be unfair to have only one approach that caters to all these unique perspectives. That’s why each therapeutic model uses a different lens and a different set of tools.
Here’s a list of different forms of therapy that are practised.
Talk therapy can be called an umbrella term for all the therapeutic modalities that essentially focus on communicating and vocalising your concerns. The therapist can then use different techniques like Socratic questioning, challenging irrational thoughts, etc to help the client reach the stem of the issue. This process involves a lot of reflective work. It requires the client to actively engage in communication and think and analyse. Talk therapy is one of the most commonly used forms of therapy. If you are someone who likes to engage in conversations and are willing to be patient and trust the process, then talk therapy could be really helpful for you. It could also involve the therapist giving certain homework or exercises/ activities to complete before you fix up another session. This is helpful in order to analyse and bring about small changes in your daily routine and assess to what extent they’re helping you with your concerns.
Here are some of the most common types of talk therapy:
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
CBT has gained worldwide popularity and it continues to be commonly practised in India as well. In CBT, a therapist helps the client in identifying their cognitive errors and replaces them with a more rational cognitive style. In this type of therapy, a therapist might use worksheets, give weekly exercises or homework, and may also form goals along with the client. This approach is quite direct in nature and might challenge some of your thoughts and beliefs.
Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)
Like CBT, REBT also uses a directive approach. It focuses on irrational beliefs/thoughts that an individual is holding on to and helps them in converting into rational ones. This approach is helpful for not only people dealing with mental health concerns but also for the general population in improving their day-to-day communication and living a better life. A lot of corporate organisations and Institutions also conduct seminars and workshops that introduce employees to this approach so that they can manage work more effectively.
As the name suggests, Behavioural Therapy helps people in identifying behaviours that aren’t helpful and constructive and replaces them with more helpful and constructive ones. This kind of therapy focuses more on aligning actions/ behaviours with your desired goals. For e.g, if X’s goal is to quit alcohol, a behaviour therapist will identify behaviours that are interfering with X’s goals and come up with the ones that can help X achieve their goal. Behaviour Therapy also involves using worksheets and engaging in homework or behavioural exercises.
Trauma-informed Therapy is a little different than other modalities of talk therapy. Whenever any individual goes through a traumatic experience, it also affects the individual’s nervous system along with their emotional environment. Therefore Trauma Informed Therapy also focuses on identifying and restoring the nervous system imbalance. Along with talk therapy, it also uses grounding exercises, deep relaxation, and other means to help regulate the body and mind. When someone goes through a traumatic experience, it is possible that they may feel very unsafe and insecure due to their past experiences. A Trauma-Informed Therapist is someone who is able to provide unconditional positive regard and ensure safety at all times to the client. This establishes the first and foremost important step in the process.
Art therapy involves a wide range of modalities in it. It involves using various forms of art to address and understand the issue at hand. It uses art as its main medium for expression and interpretation. It could involve Music Therapy, Dance Movement Therapy, etc. Art Based Therapies could work really well with children as well as adults who prefer talking less. It is also a great modality to engage with the community and address large-scale issues. It is also found to be helpful in working on resolving deeper issues and improving interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships.