This is the second of four blog posts, summarizing major therapeutic styles. Some therapeutic styles are based upon and incorporate other styles. (See post dated June 19, 2018 for more information.)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) – A cognitive behavioral therapy, the focus is on building skills in the following four areas: mindfulness and present moment awareness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. Therapy generally consists of individual and group therapy led by a trained DBT therapist. It was developed to help those struggling with personality disorders. However, it has also been found helpful in treating bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) – EMDR was developed to help clients deal with the negative emotions associated with trauma. It focuses on the distressing emotions and symptoms from a traumatic event(s) rather than the traumatic event(s) itself. The therapist guides the client through a desensitization process, by using eye movements or tapping. This helps clients to reprocess emotions and reframe the way they react to the memories. The goal of EMDR is to process through past experiences and reorganize the emotional response. EMDR needs to be conducted by a trained EMDR therapist. It’s important to feel comfortable with and trust the therapist.
Family Systems Therapy – The main premise of this therapy is that whatever happens with one family member affects all family members. In this therapy, family members work together to explore family interactions and understand the family dynamic. Each family member has time to discuss his/her perspective. Individuals will explore their role in the family and discover ways to interact differently when needed. Family Systems Therapy is helpful for families and couples in conflict. It has also been shown effective for families dealing with physical and/or mental disabilities.
Gottman Method – This method is used in couples therapy. An assessment of the relationship is given, first together and then individually. Couples complete questionnaires which result in comprehensive feedback on their relationship. The interventions are aimed at building and strengthening the relationship by looking at: friendship, conflict management, and creating shared meaning. The focus is on changing negative patterns with positive exchanges to increase closeness, intimacy, respect, and affection.
Marriage and Family Therapy – Like Family Systems Therapy, Marriage and Family Therapy focuses on the family and how the individuals in the family affect the family unit as a whole. Sessions may be divided between individual therapy and family/couples counseling. It is used with a wide range of problems including childhood behavioral challenges, eldercare issues, family/marital conflict, grief, sexual dysfunction, substance abuse, stress, and living with a family member who experiences chronic illness, mental health issues, and/or substance abuse. Sessions are generally solution-focused and goal-oriented.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy – This therapy is based on cognitive approaches. It integrates breathing techniques and present moment awareness practices to detach from negative emotions; thereby reducing and/or stopping anxiety/depressive symptoms. It has also been found helpful for those dealing with chronic illness or substance abuse.