Therapy Modes

While some people address sources of distress or concern with just one mode of therapy, such as individual therapy, there are a variety of different modes that can be employed in order to help people reach specific goals. A person may see different therapists or counselors and utilize multiple approaches while obtaining treatment for a mental health concern.

The primary modes of therapy offered typically include individual, couples, family, and group therapy, and different circumstances may call for different modes. For example, while a person’s main mode of therapy may be individual, family therapy may prove beneficial during a separation or divorce. Couples who seek counseling for relationship issues, for example, may see a couples counselor together while also meeting with a therapist individually. A teen experiencing mental health concerns may benefit from having family members join a session or a few sessions in order to discuss areas of concern that may be hindering recovery or to discuss progress or setbacks.

The context in which therapy is provided may also vary. Distance therapy and home-based therapy are offered when challenges such as financial hardship or lack of transportation restricts a person’s access to treatment in a professional setting. Residential treatment can provide a more intensive therapeutic route to healing that takes place away from the home of the person in treatment.

School counseling may be the first mode of therapy that many youth experience. Guidance and school counselors are often the first point of contact for young people experiencing mental health concerns or other emotional issues, and school counseling is available throughout one's school career. These counselors can often provide a referral to an outside therapist, if necessary.

Some people elect to form a long-term professional relationship with a life coach who can help them identify and reach personal goals. This mode of therapy is becoming popular as an alternative to traditional therapy.

Last Update: 12-23-2013

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