Psychotherapy: What It Is Used for and Some of the Different Types


Therapy is a beneficial form of treatment for those who have endured a traumatic experience. Therapy is designed to be a safe space where a person can explore and express their feelings, thoughts, and concerns. There are a countless number of different types of therapy, from individual types to marriage and family therapy, and even different types of group therapy.

Although there are different types of therapy, the main goal is to help improve communication, develop new insights about certain situations, and develop health coping mechanisms to effectively manage stress.


Psychotherapy is the name for the traditional type of therapy most people think of, talk therapy. Psychotherapy has been effective in treating and helping those suffering from different life traumas, such as abuse, depression and anxiety, and other mental health issues. Psychodynamic therapy is one of the most popular forms of psychotherapy, but there are several other types of psychotherapy that fall into four other categories:


Behavior therapy focuses on how learning shapes the development of certain behaviors and is often used to treat mental health illnesses. Popular types of behavior therapy include aversion therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a combination of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy.


Cognitive therapy focuses more on the way one thinks, rather than what they do. It’s mainly used in combination with behavioral therapy as CBT to help treat disorders such as anxiety and depression, along with other mental health illnesses.


Humanistic psychotherapy focuses on the individual, rather than the individual as a larger part of another group. Existential therapy is a subtype that focuses on free will, while Gestalt therapy is another subtype that emphasizes taking responsibility for oneself.


Integrative, or holistic psychotherapy is a multidimensional approach that takes a personalized approach to treating the patient as a unique individual, rather than like a “sick” person. Many people seek holistic therapy as an alternative to different forms of therapy.

Expressive Arts Therapy

Expressive arts therapy is actually another form of psychotherapy, except that it also involves the creative process. This approach is slightly less structured and has been effective in individuals who haven’t seen success with traditional forms of psychotherapy. It’s also very effective in children, along with play therapy. Expressive arts therapy can include art, music, drama, writing, and any other creative and expressive art form, or a combination of some or all.

Art Therapy

Art therapy is a form of expressive arts therapy that focuses solely on the artmaking process as a part of healing for those who have experienced sexual abuse (especially from religious leaders), eating disorders, substance abuse, mood disorders, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), anxiety and depression, and even those recovering from physical health issues. Techniques used in art therapy include painting, drawing, pottery making, and even making collages.

Dance/Movement Therapy

Dance therapy is a unique type of expressive arts therapy that incorporates dance in movement as a part of the healing process. It can be considered a form of integrative therapy because it combines cognitive, emotional, and physical techniques as a way to combat a variety of cognitive, mental, physical, and social ailments.

Music Therapy

Music therapy is a popular type of expressive arts therapy that incorporates music as a part of therapy. This can include listening to soothing music, singing, and even playing an instrument. Like other forms of expressive arts therapy, music therapy is effective at treating a variety of mental health ailments, especially anxiety and depression because music is known to stimulate that part of the brain that evokes positive emotions.


Psychotherapy is a good resource to look into even if you aren’t experiencing any mental health issues. The act of being able to express your emotions and feelings in a healthy way is beneficial to everyone. Psychotherapy isn’t just a treatment, but also a form of mental self-care.

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