Which Psychotherapy Approach is Right for me?

You may have heard of different therapy approaches such as CBT, EFT, DBT, psychodynamic therapy, etc. It can be difficult to understand the difference between them and which one would work best for you especially when you heard that they all demonstrate success. Part of the problem is that these approaches overlap considerably and share many concepts and ideas that are just labeled and described differently. Also, certain approaches work better for certain conditions better than others and for certain people.  

What works best depends on the nature and severity of the issue you are dealing with, as well as your own personality and style of working on problems. Some approaches, such as Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), are more structured, short-term, and focus mainly on challenging errors in the way one thinks about their situation. Approaches such as Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) typically require more session than CBT, and focus primarily on identifying and validating feelings, particularly the ones we find most difficult to share. Finally, approaches such as Contemporary Psychodynamic or psychoanalytically informed therapy are longer-term and focus on gaining deeper insight into the ways in which your childhood and family experiences shaped the way you think, feel and behave.

While each approach does so differently, they are a means to facilitate the process of self-reflection that creates change. Its like taking a different set of tools to examine yourself but the end result is you see something more deeply about yourself. Which tool works depends a lot on you. 

The clinicians at Toronto Psychology Clinic have made it a point to train in more than one model of therapy.  Having a solid basis in each of these models allows us to integrate across the different approaches and provide treatment based on your needs and goals. In terms of what approach we use, this is a decision we make in collaboration with the client.

Our initial appointments are an assessment that allow us to identify the problem, the source of the problem and the best treatment option for you. Sometimes clients start off with one approach such as CBT in order to target symptoms that are part of a challenging condition (e.g panic attacks, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, trauma) and later shift to a longer-term approach. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about the ins and outs of each approach during our consultation sessions. For answers to some commonly asked questions, check out our frequently asked questions page.

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