Created by the Center for Spirituality & Healing and Charlson Meadows.

What Types of Psychotherapy Are Helpful for Anxiety and Depression?

Just as no two people are affected the exact same way by depression and anxiety, there is no “one size fits all” treatment. What works for one person might not work for another.

The best way to treat depression or anxiety is to become as informed as possible about the treatment options, and then tailor them to meet your needs.  In many cases, it is helpful to work with a professional to determine the best fit.

Types of Therapy

Therapy may help you develop an awareness of what you feel, why you feel that way, what your triggers are, and how you might change your reaction to them. Some types of therapy teach practical techniques to reframe negative thinking and change behaviors.

There are many types of therapy available. Three of the more traditional methods used in depression include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and psychodynamic therapy. Often, a blended approach is used.

  • Interpersonal therapists focus on the patient's disturbed personal relationships that both cause and exacerbate the depression.
  • Cognitive/behavioral therapists help patients change the negative styles of thinking and behaving that are often associated with depression. In addition, people suffering from anxiety disorders often participate in cognitive-behavioral therapy, which focuses on recognizing and changing thought patterns and behaviors that lead to troublesome feelings. This type of therapy helps limit distorted thinking by looking at worries more realistically.
  • Blends of cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness. Two examples of this newer form of psychotherapy are Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, based on the Kabat-Zinn’s MBSR model, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
  • Psychodynamic therapies are sometimes used to treat depression. They focus on resolving the patient's internal psychological conflicts that are typically thought to be rooted in childhood. Long-term psychodynamic therapies may be useful if there is a lifelong history and pattern of inadequate ways of coping (maladaptive coping mechanisms) in negative or self-injurious behavior.
  • Therapies that engage a somatic (or body-based) experience are frequently recommended for people who have experienced trauma or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or ongoing chronic stress. These include EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Resolution) and somatic forms of psychotherapy, such as Hakomi and Somatic Transformation.
  • Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT) is designed to help people improve their moods by understanding and working with their biological and social rhythms. Originally developed as a form of psychotherapy for a single clinician and a single patient, the program has since been adapted to work in several different kinds of settings, including inpatient and outpatient groups. IPSRT is a compelling adjunctive therapy for people with mood disorders, and it emphasizes techniques to improve medication adherence, manage stressful life events, and reduce disruptions in social rhythms. IPSRT teaches patients skills that let them protect themselves against the development of future episodes.

 

Disclaimer: The information in this website page is not to be used in place of medical treatment by a health or mental health provider.

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