Just as there are many treatment options, there are many treatment styles a therapist might employ to decrease symptoms of depression. These styles are called therapeutic orientations. They reflect the type of education, training, and experience a therapist possesses.
Some therapists will only use techniques and strategies prescribed by one school of thought like:
- Person-centered therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
- Motivational interviewing
- Family systems approach
Other therapists will use an integrative approach that incorporates and blends together helpful aspects from many therapies for the best results.
The goal of therapy is constant: to improve your wellbeing. Whatever form of therapy is used, you can expect to see changes in:
- The way you think and what you think about
- Your feelings
- Your behaviors
Making the Most of Treatment
Showing up to your scheduled appointments will be important when beginning treatment, but it will take much more to achieve the desired results.
The therapeutic process is a joint effort between the therapist and the client. Even the greatest therapists cannot improve the symptoms of someone who is not active in treatment — just as the most willing client will not progress without a great therapist.
Here are some tips to make therapy more helpful:
- Be clear about your goals and expectations, even if you are unsure about your need for treatment
- Come prepared with information to discuss
- Learn about your therapist’s style and their perception of your symptoms
- Take time between appointments to reflect on the content
- Experiment with treatment tools outside of session
- Be consistent, as missed appointments will disrupt the process
It will be important to take steps towards being an active therapy client to benefit from the process, but it will be essential to avoid disruptive therapy behaviors such as avoidance, which can present in many ways like:
- Not attending sessions as scheduled or coming late
- Minimizing your symptoms
- Not giving your therapist information about your thoughts, feelings, or history
- Spending too much time discussing issues unrelated to therapy
Avoidance is a defense mechanism some people will develop as a form of protection, but if you have an appropriate relationship with your therapist built on trust and understanding, avoidance will be unnecessary.
A lack of trust in your therapist means it’s time for a new therapist. If you find yourself unable to trust a string of therapists, the issue may stem from you.
Talk to your therapist about it. Chances are great they can help.
Therapy is a fantastic tool that is readily available to those who seek it out. Forget about the barriers that might stand in your way and focus on the positives that can come from treatment.
As long as you practice openness, honesty, open-mindedness while evading avoidance, you can find yourself in a happier and healthier place.