MindBerry understands that it can be quite confusing not knowing which approach would be best for me and my topic that I bring to the session. Each modality has their own set of guide lines and a therapist adopts them into their way of working.

1. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)

CBT is a talking therapy in which a client’s feelings and behaviour is addressed in order to overcome problems. It holds the believe that thoughts, feelings, physical reaction and actions are interconnected and that negative thinking impacts your physical and psychological wellbeing. Whatever you bring to the session, the aim would be to break it down into smaller parts and find practical ways to overcome the negative barrier.

Whereas other methods focus on the past of a client, CBT focuses on present issues to improve your state of mind. It is usually used to treat anxiety and depression focusing on short term therapy. Sessions are generally once a week lasting between 20 – 60 minutes depending on the therapist.

2. Existential

This less technique based approach derives from a philosophical perspective focusing on how a person comes to terms with the givens of existence and their own inner conflict. It encourages individuals to take responsibility for their success and is not too concerned about the past and focuses on the choices yet to be made.

Practitioners may use the concept of the four realms which holds the believe that a person’s orientation towards the world & these four realms defines their reality. People usually seek this approach for existential, self-examination or taking responsibility purposes.

3. Gestalt (Humanistic)

This holistic approach is based on the belief that every individual as a whole (mind, body and soul) is best understood in relation to their current situation as he or she experiences it. The aim is to improve your self-awareness of yourself and your surroundings by promoting personal growth to develop your full potential.

You would be exploring in the here and now and some practitioners use exercises to further experience different feelings and emotions. Activities can include the “chair technique”, “dialogue” or “dream interpretation”. It can be particular beneficial for someone struggling with stress, depression or bereavement.

4. Hypnotherapy

This alternative therapy methods uses hypnosis, which is an altered stage of consciousness, to treat various long-term conditions and for breaking certain habits. Each person will experience hypnosis differently as some see it as a relaxation technique and others experience entering a different state of mind. You are in control during hypnotherapy and most people use it for treating fears, phobias, insomnia and increasing level of confidence.

5. Integrative Psychotherapy

Is it possible to understand a person and work solely with one approach? The integrative modality questions this belief and therefore combines all approaches to psychotherapy and believes that no single approach can treat each client in all situations. It includes a person’s personality, integrating behavioural, cognitive, psychological systems and addressing social and spiritual aspects.

All levels of being & functioning are considered and therapists use theories of humanistic, psychodynamic, existential and cognitive behaviour approaches. There is a great degree of flexibility and each theory offers an insight into human behaviour.

6. Person Centred (Humanistic)

This approach derived from the humanistic movement and was created by Carl Rogers who firmly believed that humans have the innate tendency to develop towards their full potential. However, there can be impediment in our lives that distort our sense of value. The therapist looks at the human as a whole and tries to be as genuine & sympathetic as possible.

This helps the individual to reconnect with their inner values and sense of self-worth. People experiencing specific issues such as depression, anxiety, personality disorder or eating disorder chose a person-centred approach.

7. Psychoanalysis

Founded by Sigmund Freud, psychoanalysis focuses on the individual’s unconscious and deep-rooted thoughts. What we are thinking and feeling now is influenced by our childhood and past experiences. Over time they can be repressed and manifest themselves in negative symptoms hence it is difficult to form and maintain healthy relationships.

This method is widely used to treat psychological disorders, particularly trauma and focuses on long term commitment. Some practitioners use methods to help the client further in making the unconscious conscious. It can involve dream analysis, word association or projective tests.

8. Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Like psychoanalysis, it focuses on the unravelling of experiences and helps to understand their true, deep-rooted feelings in order to resolve them. Our painful memories from the past have been repressed into our unconscious and therefore make it difficult to move on. It is not uncommon to deal with one’s own defences, denial and projections when undergoing psychodynamic counselling.

This approach is designed for individuals with a variety of problems but is particularly useful for people with severe anxiety or depression. Other people use it for exploration purposes, self-knowledge and symptom relief.

9. Systemic Psychotherapy

Also known as family therapy, it works closely with families and the interaction between each other. Especially in a large family, it can sometimes be a struggle to fit in and be heard. Systemic encourages family members to help empathise with each other and to provide a safe space for everyone to consider each other’s needs within the family. It is important to reduce stress and misunderstandings which can be a cause of family turmoil.

The counsellor considers everyone’s opinion and it is beneficial for everyone if all the members of the family affected would attend. The length of systems therapy tends to be short term and solution focused.

10. Transpersonal Psychotherapy

According to the transpersonal approach, all of life’s experiences are considered valuable and growth enhancing. Its holistic stance addresses mental, physical social and intellectual needs of an individual with an emphasis on the healthy spirit.

A counsellor will put great emphasis on honesty, open–mindedness and self-awareness of the client and may refer to experiential work such as mediation, visualization, dream work or more artistic exploration such as art or journaling. It was founded by Abraham Maslow in the 1960’s and can be used for a variety or problems.