One of the most important aspects of psychological treatment is having an engaging relationship with your psychologist.
In any year, 20% will experience symptoms of a mental illness.
While drug treatments are widely used and can be effective, they sometimes come with troubling side-effects such as weight gain, headaches, and fatigue.
Talking therapies can be effective for a number of mental health conditions including anxiety and depression, or can be a good add-on therapy for those who are finding success with medications.
And they have the added benefit of tackling any underlying reasons why the problem arose in the first place.
So, what are the options for treatment and how do they work?
No. 1, find a psychologist you click with
An important aspect of psychological treatment is having an engaging relationship with your psychologist.
If you don’t “click” within the first few sessions, treatment is unlikely to be effective.
This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you or your psychologist. It’s just that this particular relationship isn’t going to be useful – and you should seek out someone you canconnect with.
It’s also important to find the method of therapy that suits you best.
Some people, for example, like to get clear instructions and advice, while others prefer to take time to discover their own solutions. Each of these people will connect with different types of therapy and different psychologists.
So what are the key types of therapy psychologists offer and who are they best suited to?
Cognitive behaviour therapy
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is one of the most widely used and well-known talking therapies.
CBT refers to a range of different structured approaches that are based on the assumption that the way a person feels is closely related to the way a person thinks and the way they behave.
The treatment then uses activities to target both the things people think (their cognitions) and the things they do (their behaviours).
Acceptance and commitment therapy
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is another popular treatment that can be effective across a wide range of situations and problems.
ACT specifically targets the person’s tendency to avoid things and helps them develop greater psychological flexibility so they can pursue areas of value and live meaningful lives.
While CBT tries to change thinking and behaviour, ACT introduces the intriguing idea of people not changing their thoughts and behaviours but, rather, achieving a state of mind where they’re able to notice the problematic thoughts, images, feelings, or behaviours but not be overwhelmed or consumed by them. That’s the “acceptance” part.