Friday, 4 December 2015

Psychological Therapy - A Brief Guide

We know from the questions we're asked that many people find the different types of psychological therapy confusing. So we thought we'd give a brief summary of each type of therapy.


Counselling is a popular therapy that involves talking to a trained practitioner about your problems and issues. It provides a safe place to talk about and think about your thoughts and feelings with someone outside of your social circle. Counselling is usually a short-term therapy and typically lasts from six to twelve sessions.
More about counselling >


Psychotherapy, like counselling, involves talking about problems and difficulties. However it is a more in-depth process which involves looking at your life as a whole rather than looking at specific problems. Psychotherapy provides a regular space for clients to talk about how they are and to work through patterns and issues they find difficult. One popular type of psychotherapy is IPT or interpersonal therapy, which focuses on relationships with others in relation to the issues and problems being experienced.
More about psychotherapy >


CBT (or cognitive behaviour therapy) also involves talking, but focuses specifically on our thought processes and behaviours and how these influence actions and mood. CBT is a popular approach which involves the client undertaking specific tasks outwith the therapy setting. CBT provides clients with a toolkit of techniques which can be used now and in the future. There are many other therapies which are rooted in CBT, but which may be more helpful in specific instances. Examples of these include: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MCBT); Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT).
More about CBT >

Relationship Therapy

Relationship Therapy is similar to counselling, but with a focus on what is going wrong in a relationship.
More about Relationship Therapy >

Family Therapy

Family Therapy aims to help families or 'family-like groups' improve their situation in a constructive and supportive way. It aims to support and bring about change in families experiencing issues or behaviours that impact on the family as a whole.
More about Family Therapy >

Therapy for children / young people

Therapy for children and young people can involve a range of therapeutic approaches depending on the issues being experienced and the age of the child. Some approaches will be play based while others may involve behavioural therapies such as CBT.
More about Therapy For Children / Young People >


EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing is a type of therapy that aims to replicate the rapid eye movement (REM) part of sleep that is thought to help process difficult or painful memories. It is mainly used for clients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However it is increasingly being used for other issues too.
More about EMDR >

Need help with an issue or problem?

If you have an issue or problem and think you may benefit from one of the above therapies, please do take a look at the links above for more about each therapy and watch our informative video below for more about what we do and the psychological services available at First Psychology's many centres across Scotland.

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