Therapy: which is the right kind for you?

Therapy is for everyone. You don't have to be dealing with serious issues (who decides what is and isn't 'serious' anyway?) or be on the cusp of a big life-changing event. Therapy, at it's most basic level, helps to clear up or clear out the junk cluttering up your mind. 

Depending on your wants and needs, there are many different types of therapy available, so it's worth taking a step back to ask 'which therapy is right for me?'. While this can seem overwhelming, the variety of therapy available is in fact quite positive as we can choose the right type of therapy that will work for us. It's worth noting that the right therapy or even therapist might not be the first you encounter, but nevertheless, the right one is out there.

We've put together a list of the most common types of therapy available in the UK to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression in hopes of making things just that little bit simpler for you.

Counselling 

Many people have heard the terms counselling and (psycho)therapy together, and probably think that they are interchangeable. To be fair, counselling does fall under the 'talking therapies' umbrella, but follows a different criteria.

Counselling centres on short-term treatment and mainly focuses on behavioural patterns. It helps to identify problems and focuses on taking positive steps towards a resolution. Counselling is probably the best option for someone who has a good understanding of wellbeing and their own mental health.

In Brighton, The Women’s Centre offers free counselling. You can also find make use of the Counsellor Directory to find an individual counsellor.

Psychotherapy

So what is Psychotherapy? We’ve understood that counselling and psychotherapy are quite similar, in fact, many psychotherapists call themselves counsellors because they believe it appears less ‘scary’. Psychotherapy is actually very different to counselling as it focuses more on the emotional difficulties of a client, and tends to be more of a long-term process.

Psychotherapy will help you to look at emotional and psychological problems that have built up over a long period of time whilst continually enabling you to understand your feelings and adjust your actions accordingly.

Brighton and Hove Psychotherapy’s website has a vast amount of information and can support you in finding a psychotherapist.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a common type of talking therapy surrounding life events that helps change the way you think, feel and behave. CBT is based on the idea that some problems arise because of how you view life events, rather than because of the events themselves. CBT is a combination of cognitive therapy, which looks at how you think about situations, events and symptoms in your life,and behavioural therapy, which focuses on how you behave in response to those thoughts.

With CBT being such a popular form of therapy, there are various resources available in Brighton, namely the Brighton Therapy Centre and The Rock Clinic. You can also access CBT online via online courses such as: Living Life to the Full and The Mood Gym and e-Couch. Although you can access and complete CBT courses yourself, we advise speaking to a healthcare professional for any support or advice you may require.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

IPT is a structured, short term therapy that mainly focuses on issues revolving around relationships. Together with a therapist, you identify what aspect/s of relationships you find difficult and how to improve those relationships and, in turn, decrease the symptoms of depression.

Through IPT, people learn how to link low moods to events occurring in a relationship, how to communicate feelings and expectations of the relationship, and how to find solutions when difficult situations arise within relationships. IPT is particularly good for when you feel depression has stemmed from unhealthy relationships with others, and helps you to learn techniques and build a skill set to help you cope with events that occur in the past, present and future.

IPT is offered in Brighton at The Rock Clinic.

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

MBCT is a therapy aimed at those who suffer from recurring depression. It combines mindfulness techniques like meditation, breathing exercises and stretching with elements from CBT to help break the negative thought patterns.

MBCT teaches people to pay attention to the present moment, rather than worrying about the past or the future, and to let go of negative thoughts that can tip them over into depression. It also gives people a greater awareness of their own body, helping them to identify the signs of oncoming depression and ward off an episode before it starts.

If you’re interested in MBCT, you can access a few courses running within the Brighton area here and here.

This is by no means a comprehensive guide to therapy, but we hope you find it to be a useful resource for pursuing therapy in the Brighton area.

Written by Imogen.