It is also easy to be overwhelmed when making your choice due to the sheer number of options available.

Two of the most common, effective and popular forms of therapy are cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychotherapy. Even within these two options, there are choices that you’ll need to make that will make it difficult to establish which option is best for you.

This is because therapy is a very personalised, individual experience, and for your long-term benefit it is essential to understand the benefits of each kind of treatment.


What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is difficult to define tightly as it is a wide field that contains a range of more specific therapies. Indeed, cognitive behavioural therapy itself is a kind of psychotherapy.

To simplify, psychotherapy is a talking therapy that is used to treat an array of emotional and mental disorders. The goal of psychotherapy is to help someone heal from psychological and emotional damage and to regain control of their life.

Psychotherapy takes place via multiple sessions over time – for example once a week, though this varies depending on the patient’s condition and some people may need a small number of sessions to discuss a specific issue, whereas other people may need to attend sessions for months or perhaps even years to work with more complicated issues.

There are many kinds of problems and disorders that are treated by psychotherapy, including social anxieties, depression and addiction.

A therapist will use different techniques to help them – everyone is different, every condition is different, and there’s no set way that psychotherapy must be performed. Finding a therapist that you strike a chord with is important for successful treatment.


Types of psychotherapy

Interpersonal therapy is exactly as it reads – it focuses upon interpersonal skills and relationships. During this kind of psychotherapy, a client would work on fixing or improving damaged relationships and learning how to have better skills moving forwards.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DCT) has evolved over time. It started life only being used for patients who were suicidal as a result of borderline personality disorder. However, it is now used to treat a wide range of mental illnesses though it is still primarily targeted towards those who suffer with borderline personality disorder.

Mentalisation-based therapy (MBT) is also used to treat borderline personality disorder and has resulted in long-term effectiveness. In this treatment, patients engage in mentalising – this allows someone to separate their feelings and thoughts from the people around them.

Supportive psychotherapy helps a patient to remove or lessen unwanted mental symptoms whilst simultaneously enhancing social skills and self-esteem. In the course of a session, you can expect to study your emotional responses and social patterns.

Psychodynamic therapy is based on numerous theories and psychoanalytic principles that highlight an understanding of emotional conflict and underscore self-actualisation. Psychodynamic therapists will help their patient to understand their emotions and to realise their own self-actualisation.

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy that is used to treat disorders such as PTSD and has a track record of reducing emotional distress and anxiety that have occurred as a result of previous trauma.


What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one of the newer forms of psychotherapy that is for short term therapy and is not generally for use when dealing with a patient experiencing emotional trauma or deeper emotional issues.

It is effective for patients dealing with mental health disorders such as substance abuse, eating disorders and anxiety.

As implied by the name, CBT takes aspects from both cognitive and behavioural therapy. A patient should expect to examine relationships between thoughts and feelings alongside their behaviour and physical responses.

The aim of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is to develop a sense of confidence, to calm your body and mind and to develop a better understanding of how others behave and to allow you to face your fears as opposed to avoiding them.


Types of CBT

There are three different types of CBT and each is targeted at different kinds of patients.

Exposure therapy helps to deal with phobias, PTSD or OCD. During exposure therapy sessions, a therapist will help their patient to establish their triggers and help them to create a coping mechanism to deal with any exposure. Upon identifying these triggers, a therapist will start to expose a patient to their triggers in a controlled environment to help them to confront and control them.

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is also a form of exposure therapy. During sessions, a therapist will help their patient to face their fears in a controlled environment but the focus is upon resisting the urge to escape. This method of treatment is more geared for patients who suffer from OCD.

Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (also known as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction or MBSR) sessions use mindfulness techniques to help a patient to develop specific behavioural outcomes.


The Best Therapy for you

If you are researching psychotherapy vs Cognitive Behavioural Therapy then you may well be looking for treatment. Whilst the differences we have listed are numerous, it can be easy to summarise by highlighting that the main difference between Traditional Psychotherapy vs Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is that CBT is a short-term solution whereas psychotherapy is mostly for long-term treatment.

If you are looking for help for yourself, or perhaps for a friend or loved one, then Nova Recovery can help you. If you don’t know the difference between counselling and therapy, or psychotherapy and CBT, why not reach out to us today for further guidance and advice?

We can provide you with all the information that you require and can discuss how our treatment services can help you overcome any issues you might be experiencing.

Please call us today on 01475 303998 to see how our psychotherapy or CBT options can help you today.

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