What are the different types of psychotherapy?
Most psychotherapists these days shy clear of labels and many combine various approaches. However, there are five "modalities" of psychotherapy within the Irish Council for Psychotherapy.
1. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy
Once the exclusive preserve of psychiatrists, this method has developed light years with the times, while still having its origins in Freud and Jung, focusing on memories of childhood experiences. Six organisations represent psychoanalytic psychotherapy in Ireland. Psychotherapy ireland.com/disciplines/ psychoanalytic-therapy/
2. Constructivist Psychotherapy
Every individual over time creates a story about themselves, the world around them and how they came to be who they are. This story allows them to anticipate or map out in their head how things will turn out. These maps can be unhelpful, especially if the person anticipates things turning out badly, so constructivism helps the client move towards a more informed and less negative view. See irishconstructivists.org.
3. Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy
Integrative therapists use a variety of accredited psychotherapy practises so that they have the flexibility to employ what might help the client most. The phrase "humanist psychotherapy" is what appeals to many people, as it is based on the individual's inherent drive towards development and growth, with the view that every human being has a capacity for fulfilment. See iahip.org.
4. Couple and Family Therapy
With a reputation as the last stop before divorce, this approach when used earlier in the relationship can remind you why you fell in love and improve communication. It sees each individual as part of a system in which negative interactions with others can exacerbate an individual's problems. For example, in a dysfunctional family system a particular family member may be "scapegoated" as the only individual with a problem – the depressive mother, the alcoholic father, the out-of-control teenager. Couple and family therapy takes a broader view of problems and seeks to improve relationships, while also taking account of the internal issues of each individual. Relationships Ireland offers couple and family therapy at low cost.
5. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
This is an active, problem-solving approach that can help alleviate depression and anxiety. The therapist and client share a journey towards understanding the relationship between the client's feelings and behaviour. Changing thinking patterns can help sufferers of panic attacks, generalised anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic depression, who often respond well with CBT. The number of sessions required depends on the needs of the client and the extent to which they need to explore, with the therapist, the reasons for their distress. Make sure that your CBT professional has the full accreditation required, which you can find out by consulting the Irish Council for Psychotherapy, Psychological Society of Ireland or National Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapists (NACBT).