With so many counselling modalities and approaches these days, it can be confusing to know which one to choose. In this comprehensive guide, we will be discussing the different therapeutic modalities that counselling can be delivered through, as well as the benefits that they offer.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioural therapy is a form of counselling that focuses on changing the way a person thinks and behaves. CBT is based on the idea that thoughts and behaviours are linked. If you can change the way a person thinks about a problem, you can often change the way they behave towards it. CBT has been proven to be effective by numerous research studies for treatment of anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, and more.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of counselling that is often used to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder. DBT is a time-limited, skills-based intervention that emphasizes the role of emotion in human behaviour. DBT comprises four core modules: mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal skills, and self-regulation. DBT is considered to be a highly effective treatment for borderline personality disorder and has been found to improve symptoms such as suicidal thoughts, co-occurring mental disorders, and overall quality of life.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a psychotherapy technique that has been found to be particularly effective for treating a wide range of psychiatric conditions, including PTSD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder (MDD), and OCD. EMDR was developed in the 1980s by Dr. Francine Shapiro, and it is based on the theory that traumatic memories can be processed and healed through the use of rhythmic eye movements. The therapist will help the client to focus on a particular memory or traumatic event, while also using gentle touch and soothing voices to help the client feel relaxed and safe.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a form of counselling that was developed in the early 2000s by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. MBCT is based on the principle that our thoughts and emotions are closely linked. This is why it is important to focus on how our thoughts and emotions are impacting our physical and mental health.
MBCT involves a combination of mindfulness training and cognitive therapy. Mindfulness training is a technique that helps you to be more aware of your thoughts and emotions. Cognitive therapy is a form of counselling that helps you to change your thoughts and beliefs that are contributing to your mental health issues.
Expressive therapy is the practice of using imagery, storytelling, dance, music, drama, poetry, movement, horticulture, drawing and painting to express difficult emotions in a safe place without limits and rules. This modality is suitable for clients who struggle to express themselves verbally and find it useful to express themselves in creative expressions during counselling sessions in order to process overwhelming emotions resulting from traumatic experiences.
Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a therapeutic intervention which employs the use of animals such as horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, and etc. The use of animals in sessions creates a sense of comfort or safety for clients and it helps to open up conversations. Therapists often use animal-related analogies to explain psychological responses such as fight, flight, or freeze to help clients to be more compassionate to themselves and others. Studies have also shown that animals are able to help with loneliness, depression, and interacting with animals is said to help with building of social skills for children and teenagers.
There are many different types of counselling modalities that can be used in a therapy session. However, there are other factors that guarantee the effectiveness of therapy sessions such as the quality of the therapeutic relationship between you and your therapist, level of openness and readiness to share vulnerable information, duration and frequency of the therapy sessions, etc.