9 Types of Mental Health Therapy

There are numerous types of mental health therapies. Most types involve talk therapy, communication between therapist and patient, or therapist and group members. During sessions, you work to change thoughts and feelings that lead to negative behaviors.

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the various types of mental health therapy available.

Types of Mental Health Therapy

The benefits of mental health therapy are just as numerous. With help, you get to know yourself better. You learn how to recognize the origins of your mental health issues. You learn the differences between emotions and appropriate ways to cope. You learn positive skills to maintain emotional health once counseling has ended.

Other benefits of therapy include acquiring problem-solving skills, self-care techniques, and confidence.

Most therapists use a combination of therapeutic approaches based on your specific mental health needs. Strategies can fall into four common categories: individual, group, couples, and family.

Within these categories, there are common types of methods to help you become mentally healthier.

Here are 9 types of mental health therapy.

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most common forms of treatment, and it is often combined with other therapies to treat thoughts to change behaviors. Working one-on-one with your therapist, you will explore negative thoughts that lead to self-destructive feelings and actions.

Once you identify this pattern, you can learn techniques to change your thought patterns, improving responses.

CBT can work well for people of various mental health disorders, including anxiety disorders or depression, those being treated with a psychiatrist supervised medication program, those who refuse to take medication.

2. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) also has the goal of changing your behaviors, using CBT as a basis. However, DBT also teaches you to accept your negative emotions rather than eliminating them. Then, you learn to find a healthy balance between the two.

DBT works well with people who have multiple mental illnesses and may struggle more with focusing only on getting rid of negative emotions. Once you can balance the two, your therapist will help you improve your coping skills.

DBT teaches you to increase your distress tolerance, regulate emotions, and be mindful while triggering events.

3. Motivational Enhancement Therapy

When someone with mental illness or addiction is reluctant to change, motivational enhancement therapy (MET) can help. MET is most often used to inspire those struggling with addiction to seek treatment.

The goal is to help someone view their life objectively and be real about how their self-destructive behaviors. A MET therapist does not tell someone what is wrong with them and how to change. Instead, they motivate them to take an honest, objective look at their lives, leading them to want change.

4. Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

Many mental health therapies work because they get to the origin of the problem. Therapists can help identify what happened in the past that led to the mental illness.

For some, however, focusing on the past is not helpful. Instead, therapists will use solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) to move a person closer to positive mental health. The first step is to identify strengths or skills already acquired that can help you overcome obstacles.

SFBT only works for those who have the skills but may not realize or accept them.

5. Psychodynamic Therapy

The mental health treatment of psychodynamic therapy is rooted in traditional psychoanalysis but with a more modern approach. Therapists take a look at the patterns of behavior you develop over your lifetime. Analyzing patterns you have formed gives an excellent insight into how you cope, like your defense mechanisms.

You also get to explore thoughts, feelings, and early life experiences.

6. Trauma Therapy

Traumatic experiences can hinder emotional development. For example, if someone starts using drugs and alcohol at the age of 15, their emotional growth stays at that age until the trauma is processed. The body continues to age, but the mind doesn’t.

That’s where trauma therapy helps.

Traumas can include fighting in a war, surviving natural disasters, sexual or physical abuse, and even losing a loved one.

There are many types of therapies used to treat trauma. The most beneficial are EMDR, or eye-movement desensitization reprocessing, and TRM, or trauma resilience model. Also, the post-induction therapy model and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. Your therapist may choose a combination for success.

7. Interpersonal Therapy

Throughout your life, you have formed relationships. At work, at home, in the community, and online, you interact with friends and family every day. How you interact with the people in your life can sometimes be fragmented.

Interpersonal therapy helps you overcome the obstacles in your relationships by improving communication skills, conflict resolution, and coping skills for difficult and unexpected times, like when you experience a loss.

8. Group Therapy

Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that allows a group of people to come together with one or more therapists. Group therapy is usually focused on one topic and provides a safe setting where people can come together, ask questions, and receive guidance from a therapist.

The group setting reduces feelings of isolation and can act as a support for people who may not feel comfortable sharing certain things with friends or family.

There are many groups available today. Here at the Mental Health Center, we offer an empowerment group for women 50+ as well as a Transgender support group. We also offer a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Informed Skills Group for Adults that teaches mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.

9. Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)

Ketamine treatment for those struggling with severe depression, mainly as a last resort treatment when anti-depressants and other therapies have failed. Ketamine is showing great success within a short period; usually, within a few weeks, there are noticeable improvements.

Only a psychiatrist can administer ketamine. After you are medicated, your therapist can work with you while your mind is open and clear from the ketamine. Both psychotherapy and ketamine can naturally train your brain to release more of its happy chemicals, and you see improvements for longer periods.


In conclusion, the above nine types of mental health therapy are among many that can help you overcome mental health issues, no matter how big or small.

To learn which therapies will work best for you, reach out for advice. Start with an evaluation, and with their help, create a plan to improve your symptoms.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of mental health therapy, contact The Mental Health Center today to schedule an evaluation.