Types of Therapy

Articles on therapies and modalities that can be used in both clinical or positive psychology centered coaching or therapy sessions.

Lego Therapy: How Play Can Heal People (+ Resources)

Lego Therapy

Connecting with others is more than just a pleasure; it’s a core human need. However, for an estimated 1 in 160 children worldwide with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the skills that help us connect and collaborate may not come so easily (World Health Organization, 2021). Lego Therapy is a powerful […]

What Is Cognitive Therapy? 10 Types & Research Findings

Cognitive Therapy

The links connecting our thoughts together define our attitudes, emotions, and behaviors. Examining and understanding these links provides an extremely promising target for therapeutic intervention. In this article, you’ll learn about Cognitive Therapy, one of the most foundational and widely used approaches for achieving this. Before you continue, we thought […]

What Is Nature and Ecotherapy & How Does It Work?

Nature Therapy

There is much wisdom and healing to be found in nature if we’re willing to connect with it. Caring for animals, taking a stroll in a park, watching a sunset, or simply noticing the feeling of grass beneath your feet are all simple ways we can honor our connection with […]

Creative Arts Therapies Explained: 18 Best Courses and Ideas

Creative Arts Therapies

Using creative arts to facilitate healing is not a new practice. In ancient Greece and Rome, participation in theater acts was “prescribed” for individuals with depression or anxiety. Likewise, tribal communities around the globe have been using dance, music, and painting in healing for millennia (Degges-White, 2011). If you’re interested […]

Animal Therapy Explained: 4 Best Courses & Certifications

Animal Therapy

The relationship between humans and animals is dynamic and varied. Many people consider their pets to be family members, and research shows that the human–animal bond is a therapeutically powerful relationship. There are several medical and psychological benefits to interacting with animals, regardless of whether it is our own pet […]

Training in Schema Therapy: 14 Courses and Online Options

Training in Schema Therapy

Our childhood experiences pave the way for enduring patterns and themes that can shape our relationships, coping styles, and ultimately, the direction of our lives. If our needs in childhood are not sufficiently met – maybe we experience a lack of nurturing, autonomy, or social connection – we may develop […]

Different Types of Therapy: Choosing the Right Treatment

Types o f Therapy

The importance of mental health is becoming a widely accepted aspect of human development and wellbeing. According to the National Association of Mental Illness (2021), 20.6% of US adults experienced mental health issues in 2019. Also in 2019, 19.2% of adults in the United States received some form of mental […]

What Is Systems Therapy? 7 Theories & Techniques Explained

Systems Therapy

Family therapy often involves identifying ways to stop family members from using existing unhelpful solutions so that new ones might emerge (Watson, 2012). We often become stuck in the same place, repeating our mistakes and unable to break free. The Systems Therapy approach explores the elements of the family system, […]

What Is Circular Questioning in Family Therapy? 20 Examples

Circular questioning

Our mindset often becomes fixed regarding our family relationships, environment, and the obstacles in our way. Circular questioning can bring clarity and offers a valuable shift in our perspective (Rogers & Cooper, 2020). Placing ourselves in the shoes of other family members by imagining what they think and feel can […]

Building a Healthy Therapeutic Relationship: Step-by-Step Guide

Therapeutic relationship

A solid therapeutic relationship is vital for clients to get the most out of therapy and remain in treatment (DeAngelis, 2019). It’s as powerful, if not more so, than the treatment chosen by the therapist (DeAngelis, 2019). Because we can use the quality of the therapeutic relationship to predict clinical […]

17 Schema Therapy Books for Improving Your Therapeutic Skills

Schema therapy books

Therapists often turn to Schema Therapy (ST) when patients with psychological problems fail to respond to Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (Young, Klosko, & Weishaar, 2006). ST is an integrative therapeutic model initially developed to treat complex problems such as personality disorders, targeting maladaptive psychological patterns formed during childhood (Jacob & Arntz, 2013). […]

Termination in Therapy: The Art of Gently Letting Clients Go

Termination in Therapy

Successfully ending the relationship between therapist and client – known as termination – is a crucial aspect of psychotherapy (Joyce, Piper, Ogrodniczuk, & Klein, 2007). It may form part of a well-formed plan, indicating the next phase in the psychotherapy process, or it may occur hastily without careful consideration (Barnett, […]

Is Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Effective? 6 Research Findings

Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

If any therapeutic approach were to raise an eyebrow or two, it would probably be psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. Therapy in itself can be intense, challenging, and unpredictable, so could adding hallucinogenic drugs into the mix really help the process? The short answer is yes, quite possibly. Unfortunately, the U.S. Controlled Substances […]

Your Ultimate Interpersonal Therapy Toolkit

Interpersonal therapy toolkit

Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) began in the late 1960s with a research experiment to understand pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy's efficacy in treating depression (Markowitz & Weissman, 2012). The authors of the study, Gerald Klerman and Myrna Weissman, found that major depression was a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric illness greatly influenced by a […]

How to Engage and Motivate Clients in Therapy

Engaging with clients

Have you ever given thought to how to achieve outcomes in therapy? Longstanding research in community and hospital settings (Paul, 1967; Kiresuk & Sherman, 1968) has examined the factors that are important to achieving positive outcomes, including: The client–therapist relationship Clients’ motivation to attend Clients embracing change and countering resistance […]

What Is ACT? The Hexaflex Model and Principles Explained

ACT Model

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a third-wave Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that can be a breath of fresh air for coaches and therapists. Third-wave CBT therapies incorporate mindfulness as their distinguishing factor. ACT is a therapy modality that allows therapists to include the client’s values into the clinical or coaching […]

Naikan Therapy: Applying the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection

Naikan Therapy

In their early teens, my eldest daughter and her friends would leave Post-it notes for people to find in the town nearby. On each was written a thank-you or a message of encouragement. “You are appreciated.” “Thank you for all that you do.” I would imagine the unknown recipient’s smile […]

What Is Schema Therapy? Your Ultimate Guide [2020 Update]

Schema Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is widely practiced and immensely successful at treating a broad range of psychological issues. However, while helping many in distress, it may have its limits. What do we do when CBT is unsuccessful in helping our clients? Schema Therapy may be the answer. It was designed to […]

Does Hypnotherapy Really Work? 10+ Scientific Findings

Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis is a deep state of relaxation, focus, and increased suggestibility. Yet, it is not exceptional. We regularly find ourselves lost in thought, adrift in music, and immersed in work. The difference is that during hypnotherapy, a therapist guides the client to the new mental state. Once there, the professional […]

Hakomi Therapy: A Somatic and Mindfulness Approach to Care

Hakomi Therapy

As therapists, we spend a great deal of time listening intently to our clients to understand their needs and the problems they face. But what if we are missing a great deal of what they are communicating? Hakomi therapy uses mindfulness and an awareness of the body to uncover what […]

Gestalt Therapy Explained: History, Definition and Examples

Have you ever heard 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. It […]

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 feedback, 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 […]

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, process, and quality of the therapeutic relationship. The goals for therapy are as varied as the […]

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: Do They Ring True?

Quotes from leaders in psychology reinforce 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 was […]

Carl Rogers’ Actualizing Tendency and Person-Centered Therapy

Psychotherapist and humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers began his career working with children. Later, as his work shifted to include working with adults and teaching, he began articulating his therapeutic approach. As he increased his skills and experience, a solid approach surfaced: Client-Centered Therapy (later called Person-Centered Therapy.) In 1942, he […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

How To Become a Therapist: Requirements, Degrees & Experience

If you want to become a therapist but are not sure where to start, you have come to the right place. While there are several different types of therapists, psychologists, and counselors (distinctions which we will address in this article), the path to each profession is similar. Every one of […]

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 […]