’ve been in several kinds of therapy – psychoanalysis, Gestalt, CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy), Family Systems and eclectic therapy. I have found the most helpful to be CBT, because it helped me change my behavior and think more positively. The least helpful was psychoanalysis, because all I did was talk about myself and my past. Rehashing my memories just made me feel worse, honestly. Behavior therapy is helpful, because it gave me skills to change my life. I was able to do thought records and see where my thinking was causing my problems in life. My therapist gave me homework and helped me to transform my negative thought patterns into productive positive thinking.
I found that my relationships improved and I was able to get along better with my co-workers at work. Behavior therapy of any kind will help improve your quality of life.
I wasn’t a fan of psychodynamic therapy because I found that any therapist I had who practiced this type of therapy was focused primarily on active listening skills. There was a lot of asking me “how do you feel about that?” While that is useful, it’s not the only strategy to use when working with clients. It was annoying, actually. I prefer a therapist who gives me their insight rather than relying on me to fix my own problems. I know therapy is about me working on me, but the therapist has a job too. They are trained to guide the client toward solutions but they need to help that process along in my opinion.
Behavior therapy is my favorite kind of therapy of any therapy I’ve participated in. I am about to try exposure therapy for OCD, and I’m excited to see what results come out of that. That’s also based in changing one’s behavior, but it’s also about confronting what you’re afraid of. Fears are a big part of managing OCD. OCD plagues me with intrusive thoughts and plays upon my fears. It’s difficult to function when I am consistently afraid of what my thoughts might be next. I also can’t trust myself at times. My brain plays tricks on me and it’s very good at what it does.
I’m not saying that psychodynamic therapy isn’t helpful. Talk therapy can help people get in touch with repressed memories, help with trauma recovery and many other emotional issues. I personally prefer behavior therapy because it is more practical in nature. I want to develop tools to change my habits. I don’t need to sit there and talk about my feelings endlessly with someone nodding and making an empathetic face back at me. Sure, when I’m suffering it’s nice to have someone acknowledge my pain, but that isn’t all to therapy. Therapy is about making significant changes in your life. When you see your quality of life improve, that’s a sign that therapy is working.
What about you? Have you tried behavior therapy or are you a fan of psychoanalytic therapy? What helps you feel better?
This post was previously published on www.huffpost.com and is republished here with permission from the author.
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