Anxiety Treatment:
Other Types of "Talk Therapy"

Ever since Sigmund Freud adopted the term "the talking cure"

to characterize the process of bringing relief to psychological ailments through conversation between a therapist and a client, psychotherapy has most often been thought of as "talk therapy."

Most talk therapies rely on talking to explore an individual's symptoms in order to diagnose, gain insight and make connections, problem-solve, educate, model behaviors, and explore the client/therapist relationship itself to achieve healing.

Talk therapies may be brief or lengthy, focus on the past, present or future, be directed by the client or the therapist, and may be done individually or in groups.

Many, many types, or modalities, of talk therapy have come and gone since Freud developed his school of psychoanalysis,

and each has taken its turn being touted as the "best" or the "most effective" method of curing anxiety, depression or other disorders of mood, thought, or behavior.

In addition to Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy , the other most common types of talk therapy used to treat anxiety disorders most likely fall under the the categories of Psychodynamic Therapy, Behavior Therapy, or Humanistic-Experiential Therapy. To give you an idea of which type of therapy might be a better fit for you, here are the highlights of these three broad categories:

  • Psychodynamic therapy, or insight-oriented therapy, focuses on the individual's unconscious processes and the influence of the individual's past experiences and relationships on his orher present symptoms. Psychodynamic therapy is the oldest type of therapeutic process and draws on a highly developed and multifaceted theory of human development. Although classical psychoanalysis--which involves working multiple times a week for several years with a trained psychoanalyst--is no longer common, many therapists use modified aspects of psychodynamic therapy for shorter-term treatment.

  • Behavior therapy focuses on helping the individual change unwanted behaviors by modifying those behaviors in structured, carefully measured ways. The goal of behavior therapy is to get rid of unwanted behaviors and increase positive, reinforcing behaviors. An example of behavior therapy is systematic desensitization, which is often indicated for the treatment of phobias. Biofeedback and relaxation are other forms of behavior therapy. Behavior therapies tend to be the most "scientific" feeling of the various types of talk therapies.

  • Humanistic-Experiential Therapy focuses on the "here-and-now" and sees psychological distress as the result of a lack of meaning or alienation of the modern world. Humanistic therapies tend to be more client-centered, meaning that the client rather than the therapist guides the therapeutic process, while the therapist acts as a "coach," a sounding-board, or a guide to the client's own innate tendency toward healing.

So is one approach to talk therapy really better than another?

The bottom line is this--studies have shown that it's not the type of therapy that is the best predictor of cure, it's the quality of the relationship between the client and therapist that is the best indicator of improvement. The more positive regard, mutual respect and trust experienced in the therapeutic relationship, the more likely a client is to report improvement and symptom relief, regardless of the mechanics of the therapy modality employed by the therapist.

The best therapy for you is the one you feel most comfortable with.

There are, unfortunately, no magic bullets or guarantees no matter what type of therapy you choose. Working with a trusted, licensed therapist who specializes in anxiety treatment, by whom you feel respected and listened to, is the key to ending your anxiety symptoms.

So tell me, are you ready to end your anxiety? Click here to get started.

Return to Anxiety Treatment from Other Talk Therapy 
Return Home from Other Talk Therapy