this is a drawing of a person being in talk therapy

Talk Therapy

Talk therapy online & in person

Talk therapy is a way to help people with a broad variety of mental illnesses and emotional difficulties. These can range from doctors recognized struggles such as BPD or a more common feeling of stress at work. Talk therapy is commonly done 1-on-1 in person, but online therapy apps are quickly becoming standard practice.

Here is Talk Therapy: All You Need to Know.

In today’s blog, I will to cover all you need to know about talk therapy. I want you to finish reading this with a clear understanding of what talk therapy is all about – and all the things it isn’t. For many of you who’ve never attended talk therapy, this might mean wiping clean the mental image you have of therapy.

For instance, maybe you’ve always pictured talk therapy sessions in an awkward, quiet room. The therapist sits behind an impressive desk while you sit on the other side in a chair facing them. It’s all on you to open up and spill the beans to your therapist – otherwise, you’re just left sitting there silently while your talk therapist takes notes about what you’re probably thinking and feeling.

Right?

Actually, talk therapy is pretty different from that picture. And if you’ve ever wondered whether talk therapy is only reserved for people experiencing significant emotional distress – such as someone coping from a traumatic event or managing depression – this is also not the case.

Although a therapist or psychologist can evaluate and diagnose mental health conditions in talk therapy, the important thing to know is that talk therapy can be for anyone. So whatever is interfering with your daily life or weighing heavy on your mind – you can talk about it all.

So what has got you interested in learning more about talk therapy? Are you going through something that you’re pretty sure is temporary, such as a stressful time in your relationship (read our blog on Relationship Therapy) or a recent issue that you can’t seem to resolve alone? Or maybe you’ve been dealing with troubles that are more persistent, like feeling anxious or sad even at times that you can’t quite explain why.

Everyone goes through periods of stress or emotional distress. For some, it’s short-term, and they may be able to pick themselves back up without therapy. For others, their problems may still be short-term, but their feelings or thoughts are so troubling that they turn to therapy because it’s too overwhelming to manage on their own.

One of the most important things you should know about mental health and therapy is that no predetermined timeline explains how long you will feel how you feel or when you should feel better. That said, talk therapy doesn’t only make a significant difference in helping a person feel better, but it can significantly impact the time it takes to get there.

Everyone’s struggles, needs, and mental health journeys are unique. That isn’t to say there aren’t people out there going through similar issues or situations. In fact, there are many cases where people benefit from healing together and working together toward one common mental health goal.

The point is that no matter what you are going through, there are countless reasons people turn to talk therapy – which means just as many reasons to feel unafraid and not alone.

What is talk therapy

Talk therapy is an informal talk about your thoughts, feelings, and concerns with a therapist or psychologist. It’s the process of having conversations with someone trained to help you talk through your problems to find solutions and healthy ways to manage your emotions.

How does talk therapy work

As you talk through your thoughts, feelings, and problems with your talk therapist, you’re helping them understand the inner workings of your mind – and the more they know, the more they can help. You might also find that there’s a lot more to talk therapy than just talking about yourself. Your talk therapist may use several other strategies to help you get better and improve your life.

Therapists can assist in many ways during a talk therapy session, such as helping you:

  • Brainstorm ways to cope with difficult feelings or behavior.
  • Better understand your emotions.
  • Break unhealthy habits and thought patterns and establish healthier ones.
  • Learn effective ways to cope with stress and anxiety.
  • Identify your triggers.
  • Identify obstacles preventing you from good mental health.
  • Reinforce positive thinking and idea exploration.
  • Address and process your emotional distress or past traumatic experiences.

Along the way, you may encounter issues in therapy, such as challenges communicating about specific topics. We created an extremely helpful blog just for this issue, 21 productive talking points to start your therapy session and get the conversation rolling.

Know that talk therapy is a safe, judgment-free zone where you will be guided rather than pushed. At the end of the day, you get to choose what to share and when. But you will get more out of therapy the more you open up. So with that, let’s dive into the ways that talk therapy can improve your life and well-being.

What are the benefits of talk therapy

Talk therapy is for anyone who has challenges understanding or managing their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. This could be due to anxiety, depression, family trauma, relationship tension, trouble coping with stress, or other emotional issues interfering with their daily lives.

Whether a talk therapist recommends talk therapy or you go by your own accord, here are the most common benefits that most people receive from talk therapy:

  • Change in thought and behavior patterns.
  • Feeling more positive and better about yourself and your life.
  • Improved mood and well-being.
  • Decreased emotional distress.
  • Increased coping skills for handling future problems you might encounter.
  • Improved relationships with family and friends.
  • Greater sense of personal fulfillment.
  • Improved quality of life overall.
  • Decreased stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Lower risk for suicide and suicidal thoughts.
  • More confidence in your talk therapy sessions and throughout the rest of your day-to-day life.
  • Feel more at ease and comfortable with talk therapy.

What are the 4 types of talk therapies?

There are several types of talk therapy worth exploring. However, if your wary on what exactly you may work on in your therapy session, check out our list of 31 positive life interactions to work on in therapy. Now that y0u have a better understanding on where your conversation can lead, here are the four most common types of talk therapy:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, commonly referred to as CBT, is a type of talk therapy that focuses on how your feelings and thoughts affect you and the world around you. In CBT, a talk therapist will help guide you to identify negative patterns of thinking and emotional responses to create healthier and more effective coping skills. Here are 4 common myths about CBT.

Dialectical behavioral therapy 

Dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, is talk therapy for people suffering from interpersonal issues. More specifically, it was originally designed to help individuals with a borderline personality disorder.

This type of talk therapy has several components, combining meditation and some practices from CBT with a focus on relationships. While CBT can help you recognize and change unhealthy ways of thinking and acting, DBT can support you through regulating intense emotions and overcoming unhelpful thinking patterns by helping you find multiple viewpoints on your issues. DBT can significantly improve your interpersonal relationships through acceptance, validation, and behavioral changes.

Psychodynamic talk therapy

This type of talk therapy focuses on the relationships between our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and memories. In Psychodynamic talk therapy, you might talk about past issues that are affecting you in the present and talk about your future goals and dreams. A talk therapist will encourage you to look into your personal history and self-perception with an open mind, bringing forward thoughts and feelings that most people try to push aside or avoid entirely.

Humanistic talk therapy

Humanistic talk therapy focuses on empowerment and personal growth. It encourages curiosity about your feelings and thoughts while learning to accept and embrace them even if they don’t seem rational or logical at all times. You might also talk with your therapist about the life path you want to pursue and how to better achieve it. A talk therapist will also talk about your experiences in life that may have shaped who you are today. During this type of therapy, you will develop a healthy sense of self-identity and an open mind towards change.

The type of talk therapy you try is ultimately up to you, although your therapist will likely recommend a certain one based on your needs or their expertise.

Other factors can also impact your choice in therapy, such as what you can afford and what’s available to you where you live. The wonderful thing about talk therapy is that you always have options even if you feel limited in terms of cost or access to therapy offices. Find out more on the cost of therapy and sliding scale payment options in this guide.

Talk therapy online

If your talk therapist can’t meet up with you in person because of distance issues or another personal reason, talk therapy online might be an option for you.

With talk therapy online, you can talk to a talk therapist through video chat or phone calls. The specifics of what features are available to you will depend on the online therapy service you choose and the plan. With most plans (usually a set monthly rate), you can also text your therapist messages that they will reply to when they get the chance.

Talk therapy online can be just as beneficial as talk therapy in person, and you still talk about the same talk topics as you would if you were to meet them face-to-face.

The difference and benefit of talk therapy online are that you can talk to a talk therapist about anything you want, any time of the day. You don’t have to deal with the hassle of travelling for traditional face-to-face talk therapy if you would rather hop on your computer. Read more info about Online Therapy in our most recent guide.

Talk therapy online is helpful for talk clients who cannot get out of their homes due to illness or emotional distress, among other factors. Finally, talk therapy online helps clients discuss topics in a safe space without worrying about feeling self-conscious in front of talk therapists.

Body talk therapy

Body talk therapy is talk therapy that uses the client’s body as a tool for learning to understand their feelings, emotions, memories, and stressors. Talk therapists use this talk therapy to help clients listen to themselves through observing bodily sensations.

To practice body talk therapy, therapists will ask their clients questions about how they feel physically, such as what part of their body feels tense and why. Clients can answer talk therapists’ questions through diagrams, self-writing exercises, and other creative outlets like music and art.

Body talk therapy helps clients release stress while encouraging them to be more in touch with how their bodies respond to certain emotions and feelings. By learning about their bodies, therapists can help their clients to make healthier decisions and cope with stress more effectively.

Body talk therapy is helpful for people who talk therapy is already helping them learn how to understand their emotions or recover from trauma. Depending on where you are in your talk therapy process, body talk therapy may further assist you in getting over past experiences and learning how to feel comfortable in your own skin.

Walk and talk therapy

If you’re wondering whether talk therapy sessions ever take place outside of an office or home setting – yes, they do. Talk therapies can be conducted in a variety of settings.

In many talk therapy sessions, therapists will use the location as a tool to engage with their clients. For example, a therapist may ask a client to participate by going for a walk with them.

While you’re walking, your therapists can encourage you to talk about any thoughts or feelings that come up during the walk.

Walk and talk therapy is helpful for talk clients who are struggling with feelings of anxiety or depression. Going on walks can be comforting in these situations because it helps individuals clear their heads and open up. During these walks, talk therapists can talk with their clients about any emotional difficulties they’re facing so they can help them feel better.

Talk therapy is an effective way to treat and address everything from mental health conditions to the stressors of everyday life. Talk therapy can help talk you feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically. And if it’s something you’re interested in, don’t be afraid to give it a try. After you’ve done your homework and picked which talk therapy seems best for you, you can refine your search to find specialists in your area or online!

Talk Therapy Conclusion

Talk therapy is one of the most common forms of therapy that you can easily find and take part in.

You just need to take a few minutes to google “therapists around me” and email the first three that come up on google, asking if they have time available to see you.

It really is that simple, you can do it.

Here are a few more of our blogs that can help inform you on your next choice to get help.

And here are two personal accounts on therapy helping these individuals shared in our Never Alone Stories

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