What is talking therapy?
A form of therapy that involves talking through issues, challenges, obstacles, or opportunities for change with a relevant practitioner.
Some common misconceptions:
- Therapy is for “crazy” people or weak people who can’t deal with shit on their own
- You need to have a mental illness to go to therapy
- All therapists do is ask “and how does that make you feel?” and sink back into their leather armchair with their pipe…
Who needs therapy/why would you go to therapy?!
- Anyone could benefit from therapy!
- It can be beneficial to talk things through with someone trained, and completely unbiased and uninvolved in your life
- People with mental problems or mental illness may need more in-depth or more regular therapy, and different therapy can benefit different people
Who would you go to?
- Counsellors – work in a wide range of fields. Counselling normally focuses on a specific issue and tends to be more short-term work, from 6 sessions to 6 months.
- Psychologists – focuses on pinpointing symptoms and reduction of mental illness. Can be longer term
- Psychotherapists – have undergone personal psychotherapy themselves, working in depth with people. Psychologists, psychiatrists and counsellors can each, via different pathways, train to be psychotherapists
- Life coaches – work in a wide range of fields, help clients maximize their potential. The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.Coaches are not trained in counselling or psychotherapy skills – this means they are not trained to work with the ‘why’ of their client’s behaviour, rather, they are trained to work with the ‘how’ to get better
- Social workers – advocate for social change. Ideally with a holistic view of health and well-being, a social worker’s primary focus is on the social determinants of health.
- Psychiatrists – able to prescribe medications, which psychologists can’t do. Psychiatrists can sometimes also admit people to hospital, which psychologists can’t do
What are the main therapies?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Short-term therapy focused on changing how you relate to your thoughts and how those thoughts affect your behavior
- Effective for bipolar affective disorder and high prevalence disorders including anxiety disorder, panic attacks, and depression
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
- A comprehensive type of cognitive behavior therapy. It is based on teaching problem-solving techniques and acceptance strategies
- Good for issues such as self-harm, eating disorders, destructive thought patterns, borderline personality disorder
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
- Treats the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other traumas
- Good for trauma or deeply stressful events that are causing extreme anxiety
Acceptance commitment therapy
- Employs mindfulness to help patients see and understand their negative thoughts, allowing them to gain some distance and alter how they react to those thoughts
- Good for most people
- What most people think of when they hear the term “talk therapy”
- Has been controversial
- Can be very useful for bringing unconscious problems to the surface to be dissected and resolved
- Good for if you have anxiety or self-esteem issues you want to explore further
- Might be for you if you’re generally alright, but are struggling with your past and how it may be affecting your future. Psychodynamic therapy can be used to treat any number of issues, and may be woven into other techniques
- An integrative therapy which includes elements of the above
- Schemas are deep unconditional beliefs about ourselves, our environment, and others
- Works on coping styles, modes, and basic emotional needs, conducting a dialogue between the “schema side” and the “healthy side”
Different types of arrangements
- Therapy for certain life events medical issues, childbirth, divorce, death, trauma
- Online vs in-person
How can you find providers?
- Ask your GP! For more info, check out season 4 episode 6 of INAIYH
- Local support groups may be able to help you find a provider
- Google around – what do you want help with? What technique sounds good to you? Who does this in your local area?
Can too much talking be a bad thing?
- We discuss the dangers of implanting memories through talking therapy in season 5 episode 2
- Bad therapists could do you harm! There are no formal processes in place for evaluating psychotherapists and counselors
- Even a good therapist could be a bad for for you