(by Melissa Snyder)
Therapy works to:
• Understand the behaviors, emotions, and ideas that contribute to depression and/or anxiety.
• Understand and identify the life problems or events — like a major illness, a death in the family, a loss of a job or life issues such as divorce that can lead to depression.
• Restructure ways of thinking, negative attributes and attitudes someone has about himself/herself, and ways in which faulty thinking may perpetuate depression
• Regain a sense of control and pleasure in life
• Learn coping techniques and problem-solving skills
• Learn coping skills such as distraction, relaxation, non-judgment and acceptance and how to apply them in your daily life.
Psychodynamic Therapy for Depression and Anxiety
Psychodynamic therapy because of unresolved, generally unconscious conflicts, often stemming from childhood. The goal of this type of therapy is for the patient to understand and cope better with these feelings by talking about the experiences. Psychodynamic therapy is administered over a period of weeks to months to years.
Solution Focused Therapy for Depression and Anxiety
Interpersonal therapy focuses on the behaviors and interactions a depressed patient has with family, friends, co-workers, and other important people encountered on a day-to-day basis. The primary goal of this therapy is to improve communication skills and increase self-esteem during a short period of time. It usually lasts three to four months and works well for depression caused by loss and grief interpersonal conflicts, major life events, social isolation, or role transitions (such as becoming a mother or a caregiver).
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) includes several different approaches to therapy, all of which focus on how thinking affects the way a person feels and acts. The idea of cognitive behavioral therapy is that you can change your way of thinking about a situation, and when you do, you also change the way you feel and act. As a result, you can feel better, and behave differently in response to life stresses, even when the situation stays the same.
While other approaches to therapy rely heavily on analyzing and exploring people’s relationship with the world around them, the focus of CBT is on learning. The therapist functions in many ways similar to a teacher. He or she guides the client through the process of learning how to change his or her way of thinking and then how to act on that learning. Because there is a specific goal and a process for arriving at it, CBT is often more narrowly focused. It also is typically completed in less time than other therapies.
Two examples of different types of CBT are:
• Rational emotive behavior therapy or REBT. REBT focuses on the way emotions affect thinking and actions. It helps the client recognize that the intensity of negative emotions can change the quality of his or her thinking. The result is often overreaction and loss of perspective. The emphasis of therapy then is on learning how to restore emotional balance by thinking more realistically about situations.
• Dialectical behavior therapy or DBT. DBT emphasizes the validity of a person’s behavior and feelings and reassures the individual that those feelings and behaviors are understandable. At the same time, it encourages the individual to understand that the responsibility for changing unhealthy or disruptive behavior is his or her own.
Therapeutic Play Therapy is a well established discipline based upon a number of psychological theories. Research, shows that it is highly effective in many cases. According to PTI, 71% of children referred to play therapy will show positive change.
A safe, confidential and caring environment is created which allows the child to play with as few limits as possible but as many as necessary for safety. This allows healing to occur on many levels. Play and creativity for children operate on impulses from outside our awareness. Play is a natural environment for kids to express their thoughts and feelings.
During play, the therapist may reflect back to the child observations of what has happened during the session. Sessions may last from 45 to 50 min.
During play therapy the therapist may utilize puppets, sand trays, art, role play, storytelling, games, etc.
Art Therapy is a form of play therapy, it is an expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
The creative process involved in expressing one’s self artistically can help people to resolve issues as well as develop and manage their behaviors and feelings, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem and awareness.
You don’t need to be talented or an artist to receive the benefits, the therapist can work with you to dive into the underlying messages communicated through your art, which will aid in the healing process.
Therapists are trained to pick up on nonverbal symbols and metaphors that are often expressed through art and the creative process, concepts that are usually difficult to express with words. It is through this process that the individual really begins to see the effects of art therapy and the discoveries that can be made.