Today as I was waiting for my appointment, I ended up chatting with a woman that happens to be an acquaintance of mine. She was asking about how I’ve been doing and if I was still in school (ugh. sigh. I feel like I’m forever saying ‘yes I’m still there’), you know, the typical “hey, how’ve you been? I haven’t seen you in ages!” conversation. After we had finished talking, I thought of something she had said to me; “how do you ever have time for Alex? How do you manage it all?” And that stuck with me. Not because I thought it was an odd question, but because I legitmately didn’t have an answer. The only way I can tell you how I balance my hectic schedule is prioritization – the most important tasks get completed first and I continue down my to-do list. So, with the stress of school, work, relationships and whatnot, it’s hard to balance it all at once. There are time when I feel overwhelmed with everything (and have a good cry). But throughout those stressful times, and my recovery, the tool that helped me most was therapy (for me in particular, family therapy/counseling.)
Over the next few days, I will be sharing the different types of therapies. I’ll be talking about how they work and what they entail. For today’s post, I will be talking about the most common therapies.
Family therapy, also referred to as family counseling, works with families or couples in intimate relationships to foster development and change. It focuses on the interaction between the members of the family/couple – those involved in the relationship.
A range of counseling techniques are used in family therapy including:
“Structural therapy – Identifies and Re-Orders the organisation of the family system
Strategic therapy – Looks at patterns of interactions between family members
Systemic/Milan therapy – Focuses on belief systems
Narrative Therapy – Restoring of dominant problem-saturated narrative, emphasis on context, separation of the problem from the person
Transgenerational Therapy – Transgenerational transmission of unhelpful patterns of belief and behaviour.”
There are two types of behavioural therapy: ABA (applied behavioural analysis) and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy).
ABA focuses on “operant conditioning in the form of positive reinforcement to modify behavior after conducting a Functional behavior assessment (FBA).”
CBT focuses on “the thoughts and feelings behind mental health conditions with treatment plans in psychotherapy to lessen the issue.”
For ABA, there are various steps involved in a scientific basis. First being the assessment. The assessment focuses on four specific areas: stimulus, organism, response and consequences. After the assessment, next is the clinical application(s). Clinical applications is based off of the findings from the assessment. From here, clinicans can determine the course of treatment from there.
This type of therapy is often used with children ages 3-11, and allows them to express their emotions and experiences in ways they are familiar with.
Non-directive play therapy: when given the opportunity, people, of any age, are able to resolve their own problems while doing so freely – in a non-intrsuive manner.
Directive play therapy: in comparsion to non-directive, directive play therapy entails the the child being guided to by being given topics. Most of the topics given to the children have an underlying purpose and are used for interpretation.
Art therapy is the most creative type of therapy used. It is found to improve one’s overall well-being by allowing them to creatively express their emotions and thoughts through various forms of art. Some examples include: photography, drawing, writing, etc.
Alex Newton is a nursing student and mental health advocate. She grew up in a small town and plans on moving to London, England one day and open up her own health practice. She has a cat named Maya who she adopted whilst going through some difficulties. She’s a daughter, sister, and warrior who enjoys a nice cuppa tea.