Many emotional and mental conditions—including depression, anxiety, adjustment disorder, panic disorder and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—affect our overall sense of emotional wellness and impact our emotional health. These conditions have been shown to respond to not only pharmaceutical interventions but also to more social therapies which are often referred to as psychosocial therapies.
Typically, the purpose of psychosocial therapies is to improve the client’s quality of life and lessen symptoms of the targeted disorder. There are several different types, or modes, of psychosocial therapy. A skilled clinician will select from one or more of these modes to craft a treatment plan that is best suited for the condition and the client’s personal needs.
Following is a list of some of the more common types of psychosocial therapies.
Psychodynamic Therapy is based on the hypothesis that a person is depressed because of unresolved, generally unconscious conflicts, often stemming from childhood. The goal of this type of therapy is for the client to understand and cope better with these feelings by talking about the experiences. This therapy may be administered over a broad range of time varying from weeks to months to years depending on need and circumstances.
Interpersonal Therapy focuses on the behaviors and interactions a depressed client has with family and friends. The primary goal of this approach is to improve communication skills and increase self-esteem during a short period of time usually lasting three to four months. This approach traditionally produces good results for depression caused by mourning, relationship conflicts, major life events, and social isolation.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a general term for a classification of similar therapies including: Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Rational Behavior Therapy, Rational Living Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, and Dialectic Behavior Therapy. CBT is based on the Cognitive Model of Emotional Response which holds that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors. The benefit of this approach is that we can change the way we think and ultimately feel better even if the external influences do not change. Simply put, CBT helps people change the negative styles of thinking and behaving.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR resolves symptoms resulting from disturbing and unresolved life experiences. It uses a structured approach to address past, present, and future aspects of disturbing memories. The therapy resolves the trauma-related disorders resulting from exposure to a traumatic or distressing event, such as rape or military combat. EMDR may be used for various problems thought it is primarily for disorders stemming from distressing life experiences.
Rogerian Therapy involves showing empathy and an unconditionally positive regard toward a client. Based on these elements, the therapist creates a supportive, non-judgmental environment in which the client is encouraged to reach their full potential. Person-Centered Therapy (PCT) helps a person achieve personal growth and/or come to terms with a specific event or problem they are having. PCT is based on the principle of talk-therapy with a non-directive approach. In Client-Centered Therapy the therapist’s role is mainly to act as a facilitator and to provide a comfortable environment without driving or directing therapeutic outcomes.