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5 Types of Therapy for Anxiety and Depression

5 Types of Therapy for Anxiety and Depression

What is Psychotherapy 

Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” means the patient is speaking to a trained therapist in a safe and confidential environment. This form of therapy helps people experiencing a variety of mental illnesses and emotional issues. During these sessions, the therapist is helping the patient bring awareness to the negative emotions and feelings. Thus, finding where they derive from. Therapists teach coping skills and methods that the patient can implement in their everyday life to help avoid anxiety and depression. 

Many different methods make up psychotherapy. Some of these methods focus on the association of negative thoughts and behaviors. As well as, how to either cope with these feelings, or how to change them altogether. Other forms use exposure to triggers and techniques on how to lessen the severity of the anxiety that these specific triggers bring to your life. As well as discovering your unconscious negative thoughts, and what past trauma or unresolved emotions may be causing the depression.   

Continue reading about five different methods of psychotherapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Many therapists use Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, to explore the relationship between the negative thoughts and the feelings and behaviors that follow. They focus on identifying and understanding these behavioral patterns to come up with a solution on how to begin changing them. Depending on the individual, this type of therapy begins showing progress within the first 12 to 16 weeks.  

During CBT, the therapist works with the patient to recognize the negative style of thinking. As well as the behaviors associated with these thought patterns. Once the patient is comfortable and has learned how to recognize these thoughts and behaviors, they can begin working on new and positive ways to respond to these situations. 

Together, the therapist and patient work towards uncovering healthier and more positive ways of thinking and coping with circumstances that bring anxiety.   

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Very similar to CBT, dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, focuses on behavior, thoughts, and emotions. However, DBT focuses on being mindful of these emotions and accepting them, as opposed to changing these thoughts and avoidance. The therapist focuses on teaching different ways to cope with these feelings and thoughts through the practice of validation. 

DBT was originally developed to help manage symptoms of borderline personality disorder. DBT has been shown to be effective in the treatment of mental illness, including depression.     

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy focuses on what triggers someone’s fear and anxiety and how to combat these feelings. During this type of therapy, a person is gradually exposed to the triggers in a controlled environment. With the therapist, the patient will begin to learn techniques on how to become less stressed when these triggers come up. Exposure therapy is most known for helping people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, and PTSD. 

There are two types of exposure therapy, desensitization, and flooding. When using the desensitization method, the therapist introduces triggering stimuli at a slower pace, gradually increasing over time. Flooding, on the other hand, the triggering stimuli is presented in large amounts all at once. Both methods teach the patient how to cope with the triggers that bring about their anxiety, and how to apply that into their everyday life.   

Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy focuses on the relationships a person has with others and improving social and interpersonal skills. During this method, the therapist has the patient evaluate social interactions with others and recognize any negative patterns. These patterns can look like isolation, aggression, and anxiety in social settings. 

Learning techniques and strategies on how to communicate and interact positively with others are how this method helps treat depression. Ultimately, interpersonal therapy will improve your relationships while helping with the depression and anxiety that social interactions may bring.   

Psychodynamic Therapy

This method of therapy focuses on unresolved issues from the past that can bring upon thoughts of depression. These feelings are normally unconscious conflicts, where the person is not aware that these past experiences are affecting them. During psychodynamic therapy, the therapist asks open-ended questions and encourages open discussion of whatever is on their mind. 

This allows for the therapist to point out the negative unconscious patterns and make the patient aware of the unresolved feelings associated with past experiences. Bringing awareness to these feelings and behaviors allows the patient to begin to overcome these unresolved emotions and learn how to avoid this in the future. Psychodynamic therapy is used to help treat depression, anxiety disorders, and other mental illnesses. 


There are many treatment and therapy options out there to help cope and manage anxiety and depression. Therapy is not one size fits all, and not all techniques are effective for everyone. The best way to discover which treatment option will best suit you, speak to a professional. If you or a loved one needs direction on how to receive the help they need, contact Harm Reduction Center located in South Florida. 

At Harm Reduction Center, their philosophy is that treatment and recovery do and should look different for everyone. They tailor therapy and implement techniques that will give you the best, and most useful results.