Therapies

Gestalt Therapy Explained: History, Definition and Examples

Have you ever heard of the terms “closure” or “unfinished business”? These terms have become part of the cultural lexicon, yet few know that their roots come from gestalt therapy. Gestalt therapy is an influential and popular form of therapy that has had an impact on global culture and society. […]

Your Ultimate EMDR Therapy Guide (incl. Techniques and Training Options)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a short-term type of exposure therapy used primarily in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and phobias. EMDR essentially rewires your brain to remove the negative emotional charge of a traumatic event so that you can remember the details of the event […]

Exposure Therapy: How Confronting Fears Can Help Clients Heal

You have an important meeting with your boss today to discuss your job performance. You tend to get good ratings, but meetings with the boss make you nervous. As the meeting approaches, you decide to take several deep breaths before going in. This helps relieve your anxiety. Once the meeting […]

15 Art Therapy Activities, Exercises & Ideas for Children and Adults

When was the last time you picked up a paintbrush or a coloring pencil? Maybe it’s been a while, but what about the last time you doodled on your notebook during a meeting? For many of us, when we think of art, we tend to think it’s not for us. […]

33 Counseling Mistakes Therapists Should Avoid and How to Prevent Them

Counseling has been used to guide individuals toward new insights and coping mechanisms since the beginning of the 20th century. With its widespread use, it is imperative that counseling is performed based on research-supported methods that promote positive client adjustment. Researchers have identified some key behaviors that should be avoided […]

Therapy Questions Every Therapist Should Be Asking

Healing conversations are an art form in peril of being lost to our busy lives. The ultimate goal of talk therapy is to enable the process of psychological and emotional healing along the continuum from the problematic toward a sense of greater mental wellbeing. Although we often come to therapy […]

Classic Therapy Questions Therapists Tend To Ask

Talk therapy is all about healing conversations with a goal in mind. We partner with our clients and focus, not only on the content of what we talk about, but also on the person, the process, and the quality of the therapeutic relationship. The goals for therapy are as varied […]

Anxiety Therapy: Types, Techniques and Worksheets

Suffering from anxiety generally involves worry, fear, and rumination about the future. Such anticipatory anxiety makes enjoying each moment a difficult endeavor. Unfortunately, anxiety disorders represent a serious and prevalent problem for children and adults worldwide. The lifetime prevalence rate for anxiety disorders is estimated at 33.7% of the population—an […]

What is Positive Psychotherapy? (Benefits & Model)

Seeking out any type of therapy can be daunting. We often realize that we could benefit from external support slowly, and for many, taking the next step can be clouded by internal fears: What will a therapist have to say about me and my behavior? What shortcomings will they uncover […]

28 Best Therapy Quotes and Do They Ring True?

Having quotes from leaders in psychology reinforces some of the things we already know about therapy. Their perspective is helpful and backed by scientific evidence and experience. Aside from prominent psychology figures, social media is saturated with inspirational quotes. I couldn’t afford therapy, so I just watched ‘Frasier’. Season 4 […]

16 Best Therapy Books to Read for Therapists

It is not just the clients who benefit from attending therapy sessions. Most mental health professionals agree that the process of therapy itself is rewarding and a great learning experience for them. The way therapists listen to their clients and empathize with them becomes their second nature and an essential […]

23 Therapy Interventions and Techniques to Apply Today

With stress, anxiety, and depression at epidemic levels across the world, therapy has become more commonplace. Therapy is available in schools, hospitals, and even churches. Many modalities are finding preventive therapy to be helpful in preventing high-risk behaviors (Singla, 2018). In order to help spread good therapy practice, this article […]

10 Post Traumatic Growth (PTG) Worksheets & Practices

The idea of Post Traumatic Growth, or PTG, is a popular one – that survivors of traumatic events cannot only heal from their trauma, but may actually grow into a stronger, more driven, and more resilient person because of their trauma. According to the Posttraumatic Growth Research Group at the […]

Therapy for Kids and Choosing the Right Child Therapist

There is a frightening feeling that creeps up when realizing that your child needs more help than you can provide. Some parents even feel guilty, wondering if it was something they did or didn’t do that is showing up as emotional distress for a child. Guilt isn’t helpful. All that […]

15 Music Therapy Activities and Tools

Sometimes, good coffee and good music are all that we need to unwind. Music touches all aspects of our lives - physical, emotional, psychological, and behavioral. As a therapy, music is a proven way to reduce stress and to get into a mindful state of consciousness. Music therapy includes listening, […]

7 Best Solution-Focused Therapy Techniques and Worksheets (+PDF)

Traditional therapy has historically been problem-focused. It has analyzed a person’s problems from where they started and how those problems have an effect on that person’s life. Out of years of observation of family therapy sessions, the theory and applications of solution-focused therapy developed. Let’s explore the therapy, along with […]

20 Positive Psychotherapy Exercises, Sessions and Worksheets

Positive psychotherapy: the term almost seems self-contradictory. The word “psychotherapy” often evokes images of nerve-wracked patients reclining on couches, a stern therapist with furrowed brows and a notepad, and a deep uneasiness linked to the identification and analysis of every childhood trauma you have suffered, whether you remembered it before […]

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT is an evidence-based therapy that is effective in treating a wide range of disorders. DBT is a recognized form of therapy that is accepted by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). In this article, we explain what DBT […]

ACT Therapy: The Theory Behind Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a mindfully-oriented behavioral therapy that uses an eclectic and humanistic approach to help people fight their demons. It originally developed within the concept of functional contextualism in Relational Frame Theory (RFT), and slowly grew to provide wholesome benefits to individuals in all walks of […]

21 ACT Worksheets and Ways to Apply Acceptance & Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a “third-wave” cognitive behavioral intervention aimed at enhancing our psychological flexibility (Hayes et al., 2006). Rather than suppress or avoid psychological events, ACT is based on the belief that acceptance and mindfulness are more adaptive responses to the inevitabilities of life. By experiencing our […]

7 Interesting Science-Based Benefits of Psychotherapy

Historically mental illness has been ‘treated’ in a host of dangerous and sometimes horrifying ways. Around 7000 years ago trepanation was the treatment de jour. It was thought that mental illness was caused by evil spirits and could be cured by drilling small holes into the brain. While trepanation and […]

A Look at the Clinical Uses of Music Therapy

Music is a ubiquitous human endeavor that cuts across diverse cultural differences. Whether it’s actively participating in making music or just listening to our favorite songs, we have probably all felt the impact that music can have on our mood. Maybe you have a favorite ‘chill’ playlist to help you […]

What are the Benefits of Music Therapy?

Since the earliest days of humankind, music and the power of music, has been evident to us. After World War II, a new profession entered the arena - music therapy. With far-reaching benefits and in a variety of settings, the types and methods of music therapy have had a profound impact. […]

What is Music Therapy and How Does It Work?

Have you ever been going about your daily business, when all of a sudden you hear a song that takes you right back to a significant time in your life? Perhaps the music leaves you feeling calmer. Or happy. Or, let’s face it, downright sad. I am sure all of […]

Self-Therapy for Anxiety and Depression (incl Questions + PDF)

Recent years have seen self-therapy become much more of a talking point in international media. The concept refers very broadly to the idea of treating one's own emotional or psychological problems, without the help of a therapist. But what does it really mean? In this article, we look at the […]

17 Best Drama Therapy Techniques, Activities & Exercises

If you’re like most people (including me!), you were probably not familiar with the concept of drama therapy before landing on this page. That’s a real shame, and you’ll see why by the end of this piece. Drama therapy is an established and validated form of therapy that can be […]

Psychoanalysis: A Brief History of Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory

You’ve almost certainly heard of Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis, but if you’re like most people, you’re not really sure what psychoanalysis is. You might also wonder how psychoanalysis differs from other forms of talk therapy, and how the theories behind psychoanalysis and other forms of talk therapy differ. In this […]

3 Grief Counseling Therapy Techniques & Interventions

Unfortunately, grief is an inevitable, inescapable part of life. We will all lose someone we love at some point in our life—most of us at many points—and the loss can often hit us harder than we expect. If we feel really knocked off our feet or are struggling for a […]

What is Relational Frame Theory? A Psychologist Explains (+PDF)

Have you ever thought about the amazing ability of humans to create associations between words—which are really just arbitrary combinations of sounds—and objects, events, and complex ideas? Other species are able to make simple associations, but our ability surpasses theirs by leaps and bounds. We are able to extend and […]

Behavioural Activation: Behavioural Therapy For Depression Treatment

Behavioral activation (BA) is a therapeutic intervention that is often used to treat depression. Behavioral activation stems from a behavioral model of depression that conceptualizes depression as a consequence of a lack of positive reinforcement. BA is highly customizable and is a very personal treatment plan. This article will cover […]

Interactive Guided Imagery Therapy: The Therapeutic Value Of Imagination

Interactive Guided ImagerySM (IGISM) is a specific type of guided imagery (a practice relying on visualization) overseen by the Academy for Guided Imagery. Guided imagery and IGISM have been shown to be useful in treating a variety of physical and mental health issues, and have also been shown to be […]

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Life After Freud

How do we deal with trauma? We all encounter trauma of one kind or another, but we are generally adept at coping with our mini-traumas. The real challenge is learning how to address and heal from the truly traumatic experiences in life: sexual assault, witnessing extreme violence, living with domestic […]

Self-Expressive Writing Worksheets: a Collection of 11 PDF's

Here are the 11 worksheets for self-expressive writing:   The Benefits Of Writing Motivation For The Client Instructions For The Practitioner Working With Writing Therapy Fear Setting Healing From Trauma Through Writing Reflection Prompts Self-Reflective Writing Exercises Working Towards Your Ideal Self Writing About Intensely Positive Experiences Further Writing Resources […]

What is Psychotherapy: 15 Techniques and Exercises (+PDF)

Psychotherapy is a type of treatment for a variety of mental disorders that has been used in psychology for decades. This article will cover what psychotherapy is and how it can benefit people with various disorders. This article will also discuss some ways that psychotherapists can improve their own practice […]

What is Evidence-Based Therapy: 3 EBT Interventions

The push towards Evidence-Based Therapy is a movement in psychology that aims to track the efficacy of treatment plans, with the goal of providing clients with treatments that have solid evidence backing their effectiveness. This article will cover what Evidence-Based Therapy is, how it relates to the idea of evidence-based […]

Mental Health Treatment Plans: Templates, Goals & Objectives

Planning – some of us love it, some of us hate it, and some of us just don’t have any idea how to do it! Part of effective mental health treatment is the development of a treatment plan. A good mental health professional will work collaboratively with the client to construct […]

Writing Therapy: Using A Pen and Paper to Enhance Personal Growth

Have you ever been feeling low, down in the dumps, stuck in a rut, or just plain stressed out? Of course, the answer to that question will be “yes” for everyone! We all fall on hard times, and we all struggle to get back to our equilibrium. For some, getting […]

What is Solution-Focused Therapy: 3 Essential Techniques

Imagine this scenario: You work at a company that produces widgets. You're at an important business meeting, and you're there to discuss some problems your company is having with its production. At the meeting, you explain what's causing the problems: The widget-producing machine your company uses is getting old and […]

Reality Therapy: Constructing Your Future One Choice at a Time

Needs – we all have them, and we all have many different kinds of needs. Of course, sometimes what we think are needs are actually “wants;” however, depending on the philosophical perspective, the needs category may cover more than you would imagine. Let’s think of all the basic needs and […]

What is Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy? (+4 REBT Exercises, PDF)

Albert Ellis noticed a gap in therapy work and hypothesized that the thoughts people have and the way they think could be much more vital for understanding and treating clients than current therapies assumed. His work left a marked impact on the therapy world and introduced a new type of […]

What is Psychodynamic Therapy? 5 Tools & Techniques

“How does that make you feel?” This question is probably quite familiar to you. It is the question most often used in pop culture to indicate or reference therapy. It is also the hallmark of psychodynamic therapy. Ironically, this phrase that immediately calls to mind the practice of therapy is […]

50 Play Therapy Techniques, Toys and Certification Opportunities

Play therapy is a type of therapy that, as the name suggests, involves playing. It has been around for a long time, even in an academic context. Recently, play therapy has been refined and targeted to a variety of different disorders, from autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder […]

Your Ultimate Group Therapy Guide (+Activities & Topic Ideas)

It can be easy to slide into isolation when we’re feeling down, especially for those suffering from an invisible illness or problem, but this is the exact opposite of the action that is most likely to help us climb out of that pit. Loneliness and isolation tend to breed more […]

What Is Family Therapy? + 6 Techniques & Interventions

We all start this life with a family, whether that family is composed of blood relatives, adopted parents, a close-knit neighborhood, or a foster family. This family that we acquire when we are born influences every aspect of our lives, from our first moments to our last. Our family affects […]

28 Therapy Worksheets for Teens, Adults, and Couples (+PDFs)

Here at PositivePsychology.com, we’ve talked a lot about the different kinds of therapy that can help people struggling with a wide range of issues in life. We have mostly covered some of the biggest and most mainstream forms of therapy, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, […]

19 Narrative Therapy Techniques, Interventions + Worksheets [PDF]

Imagine a narrative of your "life story" in which you are the hero of your own life, rather than the victim? It is likely that the life story you tell yourself and others changes depending on who is asking, your mood, and whether you feel like you are still at […]

How Can Positive Psychology Help in The Treatment of Depression?

Positive psychology continues to grow in size, scope, and widespread public interest since its inception nearly 20 years ago, and has showed hope with aiding people who struggle with depression. Positive psychology principles and ideas can be applied to many areas of life, including education, relationships, family, the workplace, and even […]