What are the Different Types of Mental Therapy?

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Therapy for mental health has been around for several decades. In recent years, treatments have not only diversified to address specific mental health needs, but they have also shed much of the social stigma that prevents people from seeking help. 
Mental therapy can improve mental wellness for people experiencing emotional or behavioral issues, including those undergoing treatment for mental illness and addictive disorders. Today, mental health professionals have a wide range of therapeutic techniques to choose from, and while these techniques don’t all approach mental wellness in exactly the same way, they do share a common goal of helping people change for the better. Take a look below at some of the most common types of mental therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The purpose of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is to change thought processes in order to change negative behavior. Patients dive deep into their underlying thought process to understand how their thoughts affect their behavior, focusing more on the present than the past or childhood. CBT often uses techniques such as roleplaying and journaling to treat a range of conditions including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, panic attacks, phobias, anger issues, and substance abuse.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral treatment, much like CBT, that focuses on mindfulness, emotional regulation, interpersonal skills, and distress tolerance. Unlike CBT however, DBT usually involves individual therapy sessions along with recurring skills group sessions to help practice new techniques. DBT is effective in treating mental health disorders and substance abuse as well as eating disorders, impulsive behaviors, and anger management.


Also known as “talk therapy,” psychotherapy can help patients cope with trauma, crisis, grief, and depression, but it involves much more than simply talking to a therapist about current or past problems. Psychotherapy works toward solutions, helping patients define and reach wellness goals such as overcoming fears, identifying triggers that worsen symptoms, and improving relationships with family and friends. Psychotherapy can also help end destructive habits like drinking and drug use before they deepen into addiction.

Family Therapy

Family therapy often takes place alongside individual therapy treatment for those recovering from substance abuse, behavioral problems, or mental health issues. Family therapy places an emphasis on communication and understanding between family members. During treatment, therapists guide family members to open up emotionally in order to identify negative patterns and behaviors that contribute to distress, as well as positive patterns and behavior that can help alleviate it. Family therapy is highly effective for patients with addiction disorders, eating disorders, anger issues, and anxiety.

Mental health and wellness are at the heart of all we do at Alvarado Parkway

At Alvarado Parkway, we offer a range of inpatient and outpatient treatment options. Our medical staff evaluates and assesses the needs of each patient to help determine which of our programs and services are the best fit. We’ll then create a customized treatment plan designed to help each individual achieve full recovery.  If you or a loved one is suffering from mental illness or an addiction disorder (or both), please call our crisis line at 619-667-6125 today. We’re committed to providing you with the tools you need to achieve optimal mental health and wellness.