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The Right Therapy for You

Lacy J. Taylor, MA, LPC, ATR, Southwest Behavioral Services at Southwest Health

If you’ve been thinking about starting therapy, you’ve probably done some online searching to answer a few of your questions before taking the next step to make an appointment with a therapist. It can be overwhelming when you’re already not feeling your best.

Here’s what you can expect in therapy, you’ll work one-on-one with a trained mental health professional, no matter what type of therapy you do. What you do and talk about during each appointment depends on you and your therapist.  Below are a few different types of therapy you may try with a mental health professional.

Art Therapy helps promote insight, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, and engage the body, mind, and spirit in a way that verbal articulation alone cannot achieve.

Behavioral Therapy is a focused, action-oriented approach. According to behavioral therapy theory, behaviors are developed from things learned previously. Behavioral therapy focuses on changing reactions and patterns that cause distress. This treatment may help address anxiety, substance use disorder, ADHD, and OCD.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a short-term approach similar to behavioral therapy but addresses unhelpful thought patterns or disturbing thoughts. The theory behind CBT is that certain feelings or beliefs about yourself or situations can lead to distress.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a structured therapy that encourages focus on the trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing eye movements, which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotion associated with the trauma memories.

Mindfulness-Based Approach incorporates mindfulness practices such as meditation and breathing exercises.

Person-Centered Therapy aims to find similarities between the patient’s ideal self and self-concept.

Skills-Based Therapy provides patients with a toolkit of adaptive skills to moderate and manage previously difficult situations.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is a short-term, goal-focused therapeutic approach that incorporates positive psychology principles and practices and helps clients change by constructing solutions rather than focusing on problems.

So now that you know a few of the different types of mental health services, how do you decide what’s best for you? Remember that you don’t have to get it perfect the first time you try. It’s normal to try one approach, find that it doesn’t work for you, and try a different type. Your therapist may try combining techniques from the list above and beyond.

As you contact potential therapists, keep a few things in mind:

  • What issues do you want to address?
  • Are there any specific traits you’d like in a therapist?
  • Where will therapy fit into your schedule? Do you need a therapist who can see you on a specific day of the week? Or someone who has nighttime sessions?

Remember, changing therapists or therapy types is OK if one isn’t working for you. Keep trying until you find someone who feels right for you. Therapists often use a variety of types of therapy when seeing a client. The providers at Southwest Health’s Southwest Behavioral Services (SBS) take an integrative approach. SBS combines CBT, art therapy, EMDR, person-centered, solution-focused, skills-based, and mindfulness-based approaches. It all depends on the client’s needs at the time.

If you need mental health assistance and want to set up an appointment with any providers at Southwest Behavioral Services, call them at 608-348-3656.

Southwest Behavioral Services is not a crisis facility. If you or someone you love is having a mental health crisis, do not hesitate to reach out to the 24-hour Mental Health Crisis Line: Grant & Iowa Counties (800) 362 5717, Lafayette County (800) 552 6642, or call 911. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273- TALK (8255) or text HOPELINE to 741741.

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