What Are Some Common Types of Therapy?

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What Are Some Common Types of Therapy?

Jennifer Nelson

Written by Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer is a contributing health writer who has been researching and writing health content with PlushCare for 3 years. She is passionate about bringing accessible healthcare and mental health services to people everywhere.

January 28, 2021 / Read Time 4 minutes

Common Types of Therapy

If you’re exploring the idea of going to therapy for the first time, it can feel overwhelming. What can you expect when you go to therapy? That depends a lot on which type of therapy you do. 

There are many different kinds of therapy, and each will provide you with a different treatment experience.

Let’s look at some of the most common types of therapy to help you decide which one might be right for you and give you an idea of what to expect when you go to therapy for the first time.

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What Are the Most Popular Types of Therapy?

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular types of therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, also known as CBT, is one of the most common types of therapy available. That may be because it combines tackling thoughts and behaviors for a more all-around approach to treating mental illness or dealing with life’s struggles.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical behavioral therapy, DBT for short, is a subtype of CBT. It focuses on emotional regulation and acceptance. Mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing and meditation are important parts of DBT that aren’t as common in other types of therapy.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy focuses on examining thought patterns, emotions, and relationships. It involves exploring the connection between your actions and your subconscious mind. This type of therapy tends to be a longer process than other talk therapies like CBT and DBT.

Behavioral Therapy

This type of therapy is focused and action-oriented. Behavioral therapy focuses on how to change behavioral reactions and patterns that cause distress. There are several subtypes of behavioral therapy, including aversion therapy, exposure therapy, and flooding.

Interpersonal Therapy

For people struggling with their relationships with others, interpersonal therapy helps people evaluate their social interactions and recognize negative patterns that may be affecting how they relate to others. The goal is to improve a person’s interpersonal skills.

What Are the Most Effective Types of Therapy?

Different types of therapy are more effective for different people, situations, and mental illnesses. As a result, it’s impossible to call one type of therapy more effective than any other.

All the therapies above have shown to be effective for treating a variety of mental health disorders. 

What Type of Therapy Is Used for Anxiety?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common therapy for anxiety disorders and anxiety treatment

It has been shown to be effective in treating:

  • Panic disorder

  • Social anxiety disorder

  • Phobias

  • Generalized anxiety disorder

  • And more...

The cognitive part of the therapy involves learning about how negative thoughts contribute to anxiety. The behavioral part looks at how you react and behave in situations that trigger anxiety. 

By focusing on both thoughts and behaviors your mindset and actions can be improved making it very effective.

What Is the Most Common Type of Therapy?

The most common type of therapy right now may be cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). 

As mentioned above, CBT explores the relationship between a person’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It often focuses on identifying negative thoughts and replacing them with healthier ones.

CBT is usually a short-term form of therapy, lasting a few months. Homework is often given to work on between appointments to put skills into practice outside each session. 

What Are the 3 Types of Therapy?

There are actually many more than just three different types of psychotherapy available. 

Each kind of therapy works best for different situations, mental illnesses, and people, so many approaches are needed to help everyone who may be struggling. 

Three popular types of therapy are:

  • Cognitive behavior therapy

  • Psychodynamic Therapy

  • Dialectical behavioral therapy

How Many Types of Therapy Are There?

There are at least 50 types and subtypes of therapy available. Most therapists specialize in only a few types of therapy, so be sure to find one who offers the type of therapy you are looking for.

It’s also common for therapists to offer a combination of many different types of therapy to create a custom treatment approach for each individual. 

Which Therapy Is Right for Me? 

The right therapy for you will be determined by what issues you need help with and many other factors. The best way to find out which type of therapy is right for you is to talk to a reliable online doctor or mental health professional.

They will work with you to create a treatment plan based on measurable mental health goals.

Can I Get Therapy Online?

Yes, you can get therapy online.

With PlushCare’s online therapy program, you can connect with a top online therapist from the comfort of your home. Our therapists practice an array of therapies and will cater your treatment plan to your needs. 

Online therapy is more affordable and convenient than traditional therapy and studies have shown it’s just as effective as in-person therapy for mild to moderate anxiety and depression. Many people find doing therapy at home makes them more comfortable and helps them open up to the therapist.

If you’re ready, schedule an online therapy appointment, or download PlushCare’s free mobile app.


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