Types of Therapy by Dr. Ee’a Jones ~ June 2020

Types of Therapy by Dr. Ee’a Jones ~ June 2020

As new clients come in to see me, questions about the type(s) of therapy they may receive are typical.  I utilize cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) the most since it is used to help a person learn alternative ways to view the issues they face.  And when the view is changed, his or her thoughts, feelings, and behaviors change as well.  The hope is the person can begin to view things from a more positive view, therefore having more positive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  The bottom line is therapy is about mindset.  Below I’ll give you some information on the following therapy types: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), motivational interviewing, solution-focused brief therapy, and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TFCBT).  Each type of therapy can be used for different issues, or different aspects of the same issue. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy “short-term form of psychotherapy directed at present-time issues and based on the idea that the way an individual thinks and feels affects the way he or she behaves. The focus is on problem solving, and the goal is to change clients’ thought patterns in order to change their responses to difficult situations. A CBT approach can be applied to a wide range of mental health issues and conditions.” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/cognitive-behavioral-therapy)

DBT was originally developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan in the 1980s to help treat persons with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It can also be used to treat persons with depression, bulimia, binge-eating, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic-stress disorder, and substance abuse. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/dialectical-behavior-therapy) Persons with BPD experience conflict in most of their life relationships along with multiple negative emmotions.  The DSM 5 defines BPD as ”a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and emotion, as well as marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts” (American Psychological Association, 2013).  See the reference below to review the list of criteria for a BPD diagnosis. 

In EMDR, “eye movements, hand tapping, and other audio stimulations” are used as an “external  stimuli” to help a person overcome experienced trauma(s).  It “enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.” (https://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/) Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy is “a modified form of cognitive therapy that incorporates mindfulness practices such as meditation and breathing exercises”.  It can be used to treat depression, generalized anxiety, and addiction.  (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/mindfulness-based-cognitive-therapy)

Motivational Interviewing “counseling method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find the internal motivation they need to change their behavior. It is a practical, empathetic, and short-term process that takes into consideration how difficult it is to make life changes”.  It is usually a short-term method and can be incorporated with other therapies to help with addiction and other physical health diseases as well.   (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/motivational-interviewing)

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy “concentrates on finding solutions in the present time and exploring one’s hope for the future to find quicker resolution of one’s problems. This method takes the approach that you know what you need to do to improve your own life and, with the appropriate coaching and questioning, are capable of finding the best solutions”.  It can be used by itself or in conjunction with other therapies depending on the client’s issues.  (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/solution-focused-brief-therapy)

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy “addresses the specific emotional and mental health needs of children, adolescents, adult survivors, and families who are struggling to overcome the destructive effects of early trauma.”  (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/trauma-focused-cognitive-behavior-therapy)

This is not an exhaustive list of the types of therapy available to treat persons with mental health diagnoses.  It is a good start to educating you on some of the types therapists regularly use to treat his or her clients.  For more information on each type of therapy, you can utilize the respective links above or listed in the References section. 


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (2020). Retrieved January 19, 2020 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/cognitive-behavioral-therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (2020). Retrieved January 19, 2020 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/dialectical-behavior-therapy

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (2020). Retrieved January 19, 2020 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/mindfulness-based-cognitive-therapy

Motivational Interviewing (2020). Retrieved January 19, 2020 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/motivational-interviewing

Shapiro, F. (2020). What is EMDR? Retrieved January 19, 2020 from https://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (2020). Retrieved January 19, 2020 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/solution-focused-brief-therapy

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (2020). Retrieved January 19, 2020 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/trauma-focused-cognitive-behavior-therapy

Profile photo of Dr. Ee'a Jones
About Dr. Ee'a Jones 36 Articles
Dr. Ee’a Jones is a Licensed Professional Counselor that has worked in the mental health field since 1992. She has been working with children, adolescents, adults and families since that time doing casework, case management, counseling, and diagnosis of mental illness. She has spent a great deal of her time educating those families on how to care for themselves as well as their loved ones. Peaceful Living Counseling and Consulting Services provides counseling and consulting services. Other services include LPC supervision, and editing/proofreading of papers, theses, and dissertations. Dr. Jones is also available for speaking engagements.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.