Common types of therapy

Most therapists don’t limit themselves to one specific type of therapy, instead blending different types in order to best fit the situation at hand. This can offer many powerful tools for the therapist to use. However, therapists often have a general orientation that guides them.

  • Individual therapy. Individual therapy explores negative thoughts and feelings, as well as the harmful or self-destructive behaviours that might accompany them. Individual therapy may delve into the underlying causes of current problems (such as unhealthy relationship patterns or a traumatic experience from your past), but the primary focus is on making positive changes in the here and now.
  • Couples therapy (relationship counselling). Couples therapy involves the two people in a committed relationship. People go to couples therapy to learn how to work through their differences, communicate better and problem-solve challenges in the relationship.
  • Family therapy. Family therapy involves treating more than one member of the family at the same time to help the family resolve conflicts and improve interaction. It is often based on the premise that families are a system. If one role in the family changes all are affected and need to change their behaviours as well.
  • Group therapy. Group therapy is facilitated by a professional therapist, and involves a group of peers working on the same problem, such as anxiety, depression or substance abuse, for example. Group therapy can be a valuable place to practice social dynamics in a safe environment and get inspiration and ideas from peers who are struggling with the same issues.
  • Trauma Counselling. Trauma Counselling helps you to identify and come to terms with feelings and emotions you may experience during or after a traumatic event. These emotions will vary from individual to individual. There are many trauma counselling models and they all have the same primary objectives: To help you get your life back on track and to move you from survival mode to being able to live in the present.