Different Types of Psychotherapy*

Psychotherapy includes therapeutic conversations and interactions between the therapist and individual or family. It can help individuals process, understand and resolve problems, modify behavior, and make positive changes in their lives. There are several types of psychotherapy modalities that involve different approaches, techniques, and interventions. At times, a combination of different psychotherapy modalities may be helpful. At other times, a combination of medication and psychotherapy may be more effective. Psychotherapy is a complex process. 

Listed below are different types of psychotherapy:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT):

Helps individuals understand and accept their inner emotions. ACT therapists help patients use a deeper understanding of their emotional struggles to commit to moving forward in a positive way. 

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT):

Helps improve an individual’s mood, anxiety, and behavior by examining distorted patterns of thinking. CBT therapists teach individuals that thoughts lead to feelings and moods which then influence behavior. During CBT, patients learn to identify maladaptive thought patterns. The therapist can help patients replace this thinking with thoughts that contribute to more appropriate feelings and behaviors. Research shows CBT can be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including anxiety and depression. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT):

Can be used to treat patients who have chronic suicidal thoughts, engage in intentional self-harm behaviors, or have Borderline Personality Disorder. DBT emphasizes taking responsibility for one’s problems and using mindfulness, distress tolerance, and emotional regulation coping skills, can help patients to examine how they deal with conflict and intense negative emotions. This involves a combination of individual and group sessions.

Family Therapy:

Focuses on helping the family function in more positive and constructive ways by exploring patterns of communication and providing support and education. Family therapy sessions can include the individual along with their parents, siblings, and other family members.

Couples Therapy:

Specific type of family therapy that focuses on couple’s communication and interactions.

Group Therapy:

Multiple clients led by one therapist. It uses the power of group dynamics and peer interactions to increase understanding of mental illness and/or improve social skills. 

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT):

Brief treatment developed for depression, but also used to treat a variety of other conditions. IPT therapists focus on how interpersonal events affect an individual’s emotional state. 

Mentalization Based Therapy (MBT):

Involves working with individuals who struggle with who they are. Focuses on helping individuals grow healthy.

Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT):

Helps parents and children who struggle with behavior problems or connection. Parents interact with their children while therapists guide families toward positive interactions.

Play Therapy:

Involves toys, blocks, dolls, puppets, drawings, and games to help children recognize, identify, and verbalize feelings. The therapist observes how the child plays with the materials and identifies themes and patterns to understand the child’s concerns. Through a combination of talk and play, the child has an opportunity to better understand and manage their conflicts, feelings, and behavior.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy:

Emphasizes understanding the issues that motivate and influence an individual’s behavior, thoughts, and feelings. It can help identify typical behavior patterns, defenses, and responses to inner conflicts and struggles. 


A specialized, more intense form of psychodynamic psychotherapy which involves multiple sessions per week. Based on the assumption that an individual’s behavior and feeling will improve once the inner struggles are brought to light.

Supportive Therapy:

Gives individuals support in their lives to cope with stress, identify helpful and unhelpful behaviors, and improve self esteem.

Here at Premier Mind Institute (PMI), we take the necessary time and steps to provide thorough evaluations. When a patient is seen in our practice, we conduct a thorough mental health assessment to help determine the best comprehensive treatment plan. We look at every individual as a whole incorporating several of the psychotherapy modalities mentioned above, medications, diet, exercise, and other alternative treatments, as applicable. At PMI, we focus on providing individuals with coping skills to effectively work through their emotions, collaborating with other professionals and family members to achieve the best treatment outcome. 

*Reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, © All Rights Reserved, 2019. For full text please visit: https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Psychotherapies-For-Children-And-Adolescents-086.aspx


All blogs posted to this website have been composed by a 3rd party are not necessarily the views of Shivani Chopra or Premier Mind Institute.