Conditions treated with Talk Therapy

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Talk therapy can be used to treat almost all types of mental illnesses. It is also a great tool for people who are trying to work through a difficult time in their life. For many clinicians it is the first line of response for evaluating and treating people in need. Some of the most commonly treated conditions using talk therapy include the following.

  • Depression – Major depressive disorder is a common, treatable mood disorder affecting more than 264 million people worldwide. Talk therapy has been proven to help treat the symptoms of depression.

  • Anxiety – Anxiety Disorders are a category of diagnoses that include many individual disorders and are categorized by feelings of stress, worry and being overwhelmed.

  • Addictions – Substance abuse disorders are considered by many clinicians very difficult to treat. Relapse and recurrence rates are very high among people with drug and alcohol addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse note that Behavioral approaches to treatment are the most effective in treating addictions.

  • PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that occurs as a result of a traumatic experience. Some people who experience a trauma will become crippled by the experience and require the help of a therapist to overcome the experience. Talk therapies like CBT and Prolonged Exposure are effective ways to deal with PTSD.

  • Phobias – The category of diagnoses known as specific phobias are diagnoses categorized by fear of something that is not typically considered a fear item. Irrational fears or phobias can be treated with many talk therapies, but the most common are Prolonged Exposure and CBT.

  • Personality Disorders – Personality Disorders are among the most treatment resistant of all mental health diagnoses. These diagnoses are generally treated using a variety of psychotherapy, but in many cases medication will also be used.

  • OCD – OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder where a person experiences obsessions combined with compulsive behavior that they believe to be necessary to avoid the obsession. For example they may feel a compulsion to check the locks on their doors or wash their hands excessively to avoid someone getting hurt or dying. CBT combined with medication treatment is considered the best treatment option for treating OCD. The most effective treatment is a type of CBT called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).

  • Postpartum Depression – Postpartum depression (PPD) is a mood disorder that occurs in many women after they give birth. The symptoms of PPD are very similar to major depressive disorder and affect anywhere from 12-20% women after delivery. The most common treatment for PPD is psychotherapy, however some women will also require an antidepressant medication.

  • Divorce or Major life changes – When a family experiences a significant change like divorce, many people will need the help of a therapist to deal with the emotions and thoughts of this change. When people seek help in these situations, most therapists will use one of the talk therapies to help people develop new coping skills.

  • Loss of a loved one – Bereavement or grief counseling is an important part of overcoming the loss of a loved one. Counselors who work with you to deal with grief will employ one or more talk therapies to help you develop the skills you need to cope with the loss.

  • Family therapy – When families are faced with obstacles, illness, or other difficulty it might be necessary to work with a family therapist to learn to function more successfully as a family unit. Family and marriage therapists are trained in how to deal with both individuals, as well as the family unit through various talk therapy modalities.

These are just some of the many ways talk therapy can be used to help people in need. Because it includes so many different approaches, it is widely employed by many therapists. Talk therapy is considered one of the most effective, helpful and usable ways to help clients deal with their mental health needs.

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