Different types of talking therapy

talking women

According to the most recent figures from NHS Digital on the use of psychological therapies, over a million people accessed talking therapies in the UK last year alone. With the nation facing an incredibly high demand for these services, it’s important to understand the different types of talking therapies and how they can transform the lives of individuals. In this guide, we’ll outline three essential types of therapy for any professional to learn about.

What are talking therapies?

Used by therapists and counsellors to help understand clients’ complex emotions, memories, and personal circumstances, talking therapies are essential steppingstones to uncovering and diagnosing mental health problems and personality disorders.

Largely down to the sensitive nature of each case, it’s crucial to  ensure specialist insurance for therapists if you’re a practitioner offering these services, regardless of the type of talking therapy you choose to offer. The talking therapy services most frequently used in the UK include:

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy, also known as CBT, helps people to manage their problems by aiming to change and reform patterns of behaviour. Frequently used to treat anxiety and depression, this approach focuses on teaching coping skills alongside the core belief that your behaviours are inextricably linked to your thoughts and feelings.

Patients receiving CBT also include those struggling with eating disorders, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive compulsive disorder, commonly known as OCD.

Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT)

DBT is based on CBT, adapted specifically for individuals who feel emotions intensely. DBT places emphasis on reaching self-acceptance while acknowledging that new habits can make lasting, positive changes to behaviours.

therapy counseling

Even though it was originally developed for borderline personality disorder, some NHS services are introducing DBT for eating disorder patients and those with drug and alcohol problems.

Often involving more group-based work than CBT, DBT demands more work from individuals to make serious, proactive changes in their lives. Research shows that this method of talking therapy can help people tackle problems like self-harming and suicidal thoughts.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)

Specialist mindfulness-based therapies help patients to focus on thoughts and feelings in the present moment. It’s used to treat some types of anxiety and stress, but its primary purpose is to offer extended support to individuals who’ve experienced serious depressive episodes in the past, helping to prevent their depression from coming back.

Like other forms of mindfulness, MBCT merges techniques including meditation, deep breathing, and physical stretching with cognitive therapies to provide an extended, immersive, and non-judgemental programme for patients to follow. Mindfulness centres around learning how to recognise and manage your thoughts.

Providing talking therapy

If you’re considering providing any type of talking therapy, it’s important to make sure you’re fully qualified. You can learn more about training to become a counsellor online before joining an exciting sphere of accredited professionals.