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Considering Therapy? Here’s a Few Common Therapy Techniques Explained

If you’re considering therapy as a means to improve your mental health, you may be curious about the type of techniques therapists use.  We’ve put together a few common therapy techniques to help you familiarize yourself with how therapy sessions work. While each therapist has their own approach, there are some common techniques used in many therapies. Here we will explore a few of these techniques and how they can help you achieve greater well-being.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is an evidence-based form of therapy that focuses on examining and changing unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviors. CBT utilizes a problem-solving approach to help people identify and modify the thoughts and behaviors that are contributing to distress. During CBT sessions, therapists help clients develop positive self-talk and productive actions to replace the negative thinking and behavior patterns they have been engaging in. It works by helping people identify negative thought patterns and replace them with more helpful ones. CBT also helps people recognize how their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors influence each other and how they can put this understanding into practice to achieve desired results.

Interpersonal Therapy

IPT (Interpersonal Therapy) is another type of evidence-based therapy that focuses on improving interpersonal relationships. IPT can help individuals learn how to effectively communicate with others as well as manage conflicts with family, friends, or coworkers. It also works to improve mood by helping people assess their need for social support and explore realistic solutions for any issues related to communication problems or difficulty establishing relationships. 

EMDR Instructional Therapy

EMDR is a type of psychotherapy that uses eye movements to help individuals process traumatic memories and experiences. During an EMDR session, the therapist will use hand signals or specific tones while the person focuses on a memory or feeling. This helps them gain insight into how their emotions are connected to their current behaviors so they can make changes to improve their mental and emotional wellbeing. Therapists take EMDR Instruction classes in order to learn how to apply this technique effectively. 

Mindfulness-Based Therapy

MBT (Mindfulness-Based Therapy) is a form of therapy that encourages people to be mindful in their life by bringing awareness to the present moment. MBT focuses on helping people observe themselves without judgment and pay attention to their thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. People learn how to recognize unhelpful thoughts or patterns of behavior in order to make positive changes. By focusing on the present moment and paying attention to their thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, individuals can develop healthier mental habits. MBT helps individuals become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and body sensations without judgment. This heightened self-awareness can lead to improved emotional regulation, stress reduction, and overall well-being.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is based on the idea that by exposing oneself to a feared situation or object, anxiety will eventually decrease over time. In this type of therapy, the therapist will work with their client to gradually confront their fears in a safe environment. Exposure therapy helps people develop new ways of coping with stressful situations or objects by identifying and challenging the irrational thoughts associated with them. Exposure therapies involve gradually introducing fear-inducing stimuli in a safe environment in order to help people confront their fears without being overwhelmed by them. This type of therapy typically requires plenty of patience and hard work from both the patient and therapist in order for it to be effective.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) is a form of therapy that helps individuals develop skills to better regulate their emotions, increase distress tolerance, and improve interpersonal relationships. DBT combines cognitive behavioral approaches and mindfulness techniques to help people become more aware of their emotions and learn healthier ways of managing them. In DBT, individuals learn skills such as distress tolerance, emotion regulation, acceptance, interpersonal effectiveness, and self-acceptance. These techniques can be helpful for those struggling with difficulties like anxiety or depression and are highly recommended by mental health professionals. DBT combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with mindfulness practice. It teaches people how to become less reactive in situations and more mindful of their own thoughts and feelings so they can make healthier choices for themselves.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) is a form of therapy that focuses on helping individuals accept their negative or distressing thoughts and feelings while committing to taking action and to live healthier lives. ACT therapists help individuals develop skills to become more mindful of their thoughts and feelings, accept them for what they are, and move forward with a desire to change. People learn how to observe their own behavior in the present moment without judgment or criticism and use that awareness to decide which behaviors will be most helpful for achieving desired goals. ACT encourages people to focus on living according to their values, rather than trying to control or change their thoughts and emotions. This can lead to improved emotional regulation and greater psychological flexibility.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Another technique often used in therapy is psychodynamic therapy. This form of therapy is based on the idea that our behavior is influenced by unconscious thoughts and feelings from our past experiences. The goal of psychodynamic therapy is to uncover these hidden thoughts or feelings so that we can gain insight into why we are behaving in certain ways or feeling certain emotions. By exploring our past experiences, we can develop better coping strategies for dealing with our current challenges.


There are many different types of therapeutic approaches out there, but these few—Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, etc.—are among the most common ones used today. It’s important to find the right approach that fits your needs and is tailored to your individual circumstances. Ultimately, finding an appropriate therapist who can provide you with evidence-based treatments can lead to lasting positive changes in your life. Each approach has its own unique benefits; however, all of these techniques aim to help individuals gain insight into themselves so that they can make healthier choices going forward. If you’re considering beginning therapy for yourself or someone else, it’s important to do research into various forms of treatment before deciding which one might be the best fit for your situation.

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