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Therapy Comes in a Range of Flavors (Part One of Two)

closeup of unwrapped assorted chocolate candy bars - therapy

Sometimes what you really want is some chocolate. But just what kind of chocolate might vary from moment to moment.

A Bit About Assortments

Candy bar makers know that different moments might require different bites of chocolate—and so they created those bags of assorted mini bars. You know the ones, right? They might have 10 mini candy bars with peanuts in them, another 10 that are just plain milk chocolate, maybe 10 pieces of dark chocolate, and another 10 that have crispies or nougat or toffee or caramel or whatever.

Maybe all of those different options are represented in the bag.

That way, the perfect option is right there no matter what you are in the mood for when the munchies strike.

Therapy, it turns out, is a lot like mini candy bars (though it is much lower in sugar). There are lots of different kinds of therapy, and each is appropriate under some circumstances but not under others. While we are sorely tempted to tell you what we like about each and every available candy bar, instead we are going to consider the different varieties of therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) & Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

We are putting these first two together because dialectical behavior therapy is a variation on cognitive behavioral therapy, so the two have much in common.

A cognitive behavioral therapist will help you hone in on the interconnectedness of your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions. Understanding the connections between these three things is a first step toward identifying and implementing solutions to the immediate problems you might be facing.

Functional analysis and skills training are key components of CBT. Functional analysis is the process of figuring out the specific cause or causes of your current difficulties. Skills training is all about learning and developing better approaches to address those difficulties.

CBT often involves between 12 and 16 sessions because of its focus on finding solutions to current problems.

Dialectical behavior therapy builds on the CBT foundation by adding a focus on mindfulness, acceptance, and distress tolerance. The idea is to help a person better manage strong emotions and intense reactions to stressors. When a person can more skillfully and calmly handle distress and regulate difficult emotions, they are less likely to be overwhelmed by challenging situations.

Recreational Therapy & Expressive Creative Arts Therapy

We have created another pairing here because recreational therapy and expressive creative arts therapy have quite a bit in common—and could even potentially overlap.

Recreational therapy involves—as the name implies—recreational activities. Those activities will vary from person to person based on where a person is in their mental health journey, their likes and dislikes, and their abilities and disabilities. A recreational therapist can help an individual find the activity or activities that foster self-confidence and sustained interest while reducing stress and anxiety.

Meanwhile, expressive creative arts therapy is built around artistic expression. As with recreational therapy, the specifics of the arts practice will vary from person to person. Music, dance, drama, writing, or any of the many visual arts can be effective tools for expressive creative artist therapy. Whichever artistic practice is favored, the goal is to channel and investigate strong emotions connected with loss or trauma. You do not need to be a masterful artist for this form of therapy to be useful to you. Art is a tool of exploration rather than the final goal of the exercise.

We’re Just Getting Started

While we have been able to include four different types of therapy in this blog, there are quite a few more to consider. In an upcoming entry, we will take a look at several more approaches to therapy and the situations in which they might be helpful.

We Will Build the Best Therapeutic Plan for You

At Johnstown Heights Behavioral Health in Johnstown, CO, we have the expertise to create a personalized approach to therapy. Part of that process is listening intently to you because we know that no two individuals have exactly the same story—or the same needs.

If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, a trauma-based disorder, or other mental health challenge, we can help you address it in healthy and effective ways that will enable you to reclaim your quality of life.

Looking for treatment for depression near Fort Collins? For more information about Johnstown Heights Behavioral Health, and the programs we offer, contact us today at (800) 313-3387.

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