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How to find the right Therapy type for you.


As a retired therapist with extensive experience in practicing Solution-Focused Therapy and Clinical Hypnotherapy, I understand that finding the right form of therapy can be a bit overwhelming. There are many different types of therapies available today, and it can be difficult to know where to start. In this article, I will try to explain some of the most popular therapies available in the UK, and hopefully, it will help you to find the right solution for you.


When considering accessing talking therapies, there are several factors to consider.


Type of therapy is one of the most important factors to consider. There are many different types of talking therapies available. Each type has its own unique approach and can be beneficial for different issues. Therefore, it is important to research and understand the different types of therapy available and which one may be best suited to your needs. It's important to keep in mind that the most effective therapy is the one that you feel comfortable with and that meets your needs. It's also good to keep in mind that it may take some time to find the right therapist, so don't hesitate to try different tones or different types of therapy if the first one doesn't work for you. It's important to find the right therapist and therapy that work best for you and your needs.


Another important factor to consider is the therapist's qualifications. It is important to ensure that the therapist you choose is properly qualified and registered with a professional association, such the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). This ensures that the therapist is well-trained and has met certain standards.


Experience of the therapist is also important. It's also important to consider the therapist's experience and specialties. If you are seeking therapy for a specific issue, it may be beneficial to find a therapist who has experience and expertise in that area. This can increase the chances of getting the best results.


Location and availability are also important factors to consider when choosing a therapist. Consider the location of the therapist's practice and whether they have flexible appointment times. This can make it easier to schedule appointments and make them less of a burden on your daily routine.


Cost is another important factor to consider. The cost of therapy can vary, and it's important to find a therapist that fits within your budget. Some therapist offer sliding scale fee or low cost options, so it's important to check for these options as well.


Lastly, personal rapport is important when choosing a therapist. It is important to find a therapist that you feel comfortable with, and who you feel you can establish a good working relationship. This can make the process more beneficial and effective.


Some of the many models of Talking Therapy:

Solution Focused Therapy.


Solution-focused therapies are a group of psychological treatments that focus on helping individuals identify and achieve their goals, rather than on identifying and addressing underlying problems or disorders. They are based on the idea that individuals have the inner resources and strengths to find solutions to their problems, and that the therapist's role is to facilitate this process.


Some examples of solution-focused therapies include:

  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT): This therapy is based on the idea that individuals have the ability to change and improve their lives, and that the therapist's role is to help the individual identify and achieve their goals. SFBT is a brief therapy, typically lasting 6-20 sessions, and focuses on the present and the future, rather than on the past.

  • The Miracle Question: This is a technique used in solution-focused therapy where the therapist asks the client to imagine a miracle has occurred and they wake up tomorrow and all the problems are solved, what would they see, hear, feel and how would they know that the miracle has occurred.

  • Scaling Questions: This technique is used to assess the client's progress and to identify the areas that need to be addressed in therapy. The therapist will ask the client to rate a problem on a scale from 0-10, with 10 being the worst, and then ask the client to describe what a score of 0 or 1 would look like.

  • The Coping Kaleidoscope: This is a technique used to help clients to identify their coping strategies and develop new coping strategies.

  • Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT): This therapy is similar to SFBT, but it is designed for use with families rather than individuals. The therapist works with the family to identify their strengths and resources, and to set specific goals for improving their interactions and communication.

These therapies are considered as evidence-based therapies and are widely used in clinical practice. They focus on the present and future, rather than dwelling on the past, and on the client's strengths and resources. They are considered as brief and goal-oriented therapies, and they are designed to help the client to identify and achieve their own solutions to their problems.


Relationship Counselling:


Also known as couples therapy, relationship counselling is a form of therapy designed to help couples improve their relationship and communication skills. Couples may seek counseling for a variety of reasons, such as resolving conflicts, improving intimacy, or addressing issues related to trust and commitment. Sessions typically involve both partners discussing their concerns and working with a therapist to develop strategies for improving their relationship. The therapist may use various techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, emotionally-focused therapy, and other evidence-based approaches to help couples understand and work through their issues. You will find much more information in another post, Expert Tips for Fixing and Rebuilding Broken Relationships HERE


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT):



CBT is a form of therapy that focuses on changing negative patterns of thought and behaviour. It's a form of talk therapy that is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are interconnected. CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative patterns of thought and behaviour in order to improve mental health and well-being.


The therapy sessions typically involve discussing current problems and identifying specific thoughts and behaviours that are causing difficulties. The therapist will then work with the individual to challenge and reframe these negative thoughts and beliefs, and to develop new, more positive ways of thinking.


CBT also includes practical strategies for changing behaviour, such as learning relaxation techniques, problem-solving skills, and coping strategies for dealing with difficult situations. The therapy sessions are usually short-term, typically lasting 12-20 weeks, and involve regular homework assignments to practice the skills learned in therapy.


CBT has been found to be effective in treating a wide range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It has also been used to help individuals with chronic pain, insomnia, and substance abuse.


CBT is a evidence-based treatment and it is supported by extensive research. It is a practical and structured form of therapy that can help individuals to understand and change the patterns of thinking and behaviour that are causing them distress, and to develop new, more positive ways of coping with life's challenges.


Person-Centred Therapy:



This approach emphasizes the importance of the therapist-patient relationship and encourages patients to explore their own feelings and experiences.


Person-centred therapy, also known as client-centred therapy was developed by Carl Rogers in the 1940s and 1950s.


In person-centred therapy, the therapist creates a safe and non-judgmental environment in which the patient can explore their own feelings and experiences. The therapist listens actively and empathetically, reflecting back to the patient their thoughts and feelings in a way that helps them to gain insight and understanding.


The therapist avoids giving advice or directing the patient in any way, instead allowing the patient to come to their own conclusions and make their own choices. The therapist's role is to provide support, understanding and empathy and to help the patient develop self-awareness and self-acceptance.


The therapy sessions are usually structured around the patient's current concerns, and the therapist encourages the patient to express their feelings openly, without fear of judgment. The therapist will also help the patient to identify and understand any patterns of behaviour or feelings that may be causing problems in their life, and to work towards making positive changes.


Person-centred therapy is considered a humanistic therapy, it is based on the idea that all individuals have the capacity for self-growth and self-healing. It can be helpful for treating a wide range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and relationship problems, and it is also useful for improving self-esteem and self-awareness.


It's important to note that person-centred therapy tends to be a longer-term form of therapy, typically involving several months or even years of weekly or twice-weekly sessions.


Psychoanalytic Therapy:



Psychodynamic therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on exploring the unconscious thoughts and feelings that may be causing emotional distress. It is based on the theories of Sigmund Freud and his followers, who believed that much of our behaviour and emotional life is determined by past experiences and unconscious drives and conflicts.


The psychodynamic therapist will typically encourage the patient to talk about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in order to uncover underlying patterns and conflicts that may be causing problems in their life. The therapist will also pay close attention to the patient's thoughts and feelings during the therapy sessions in order to gain insight into the patient's unconscious mind.


The therapy may also include the use of free association, where the patient is encouraged to speak freely and openly about whatever comes to mind, as well as dream analysis and transference, where the patient may project feelings and emotions onto the therapist.

Psychodynamic therapy can be helpful for treating a wide range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and relationship problems. It is also often used in combination with other forms of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).


It's important to note that psychodynamic therapy tends to be a longer-term form of therapy, typically involving several months or even years of weekly or twice-weekly sessions.


Family Therapy:



This approach focuses on the relationship dynamics within a family and aims to address any issues that may be causing problems for individual members.


Family therapy is a form of psychological treatment that involves working with individuals within a family system. The therapy aims to improve communication, resolve conflicts, and promote understanding and support among family members. It is based on the idea that individuals are not just the sum of their parts, but rather they are deeply interconnected with one another and that family dynamics play an important role in mental health and well-being.

There are different approaches to family therapy, but some of the common techniques include:


Structural therapy: This approach focuses improve communication and functioning. The approach was developed by Salvador Minuchin and colleagues in the 1970s.


The therapist will look at the family as a system, with each member playing a specific role and having specific boundaries that define their relationship with other members. The therapist will help the family identify patterns of interaction and communication that are causing problems, and then work with the family to change those patterns. This can be done by adjusting the roles and boundaries within the family, or by changing the way that family members interact.


Structural therapy is based on the idea that changing the structure of the family can change the way that family members interact and communicate. It is often used to treat families that have a rigid and inflexible structure, or where there is a lack of clear boundaries between family members.


In structural therapy, the therapist will often use techniques such as family mapping, joining with the family and working with resistance. Family mapping is a way of diagramming the family's structure, including the relationships and communication patterns among family members. Joining with the family is a technique where the therapist aligns with one or more members of the family to help them understand and change their interactions. Working with resistance is a technique where the therapist helps the family work through resistance to change. Structural therapy can be helpful for a wide range of issues, including relationship problems, parenting issues, and mental health issues. It is often used in combination with other therapeutic approaches.


Strategic therapy:


Strategic therapy is a type of family therapy that focuses on problem-solving and goal-setting, and on teaching family members specific techniques to improve their interactions. The approach was developed by Jay Haley, Cloe Madanes, and colleagues in the 1970s.


It is based on the idea that families have specific problems that can be identified and treated, and that the therapist can actively guide the family to solve these problems. The therapist will work with the family to set clear, specific goals, and then teach the family members specific techniques to achieve those goals. The therapist will also help the family identify patterns of interaction and communication that are causing problems, and then work with the family to change those patterns.


The therapist will often use techniques such as reframing, paradoxical interventions, and direct advice giving. Reframing is a technique where the therapist helps the family see a problem from a different perspective, in order to change the way they think about it.


Paradoxical interventions are techniques where the therapist gives the family a task or instruction that seems to contradict the problem, in order to change the way they think about it. Direct advice giving is a technique where the therapist gives the family specific advice and instructions on how to solve a problem.


Strategic therapy is often used to treat families with specific problems such as communication difficulties, relationship issues and behavioural problems. The approach is considered to be brief and directive, with a focus on specific goals and clear steps towards achieving those goals. It is important to note that strategic therapy is not as widely used as other forms of family therapy, and it is not considered to be evidence-based therapy by many experts in the field. Some critiques of the approach state that it is too directive and it does not consider the emotional and psychological aspects of the family dynamics.


Behavioural therapy:

This approach focuses on changing specific behaviours within a family, and on teaching family members new skills to improve their interactions. The therapy is usually conducted with all members of the family present, although sometimes individual sessions may be necessary. Behavioural Therapy is different from CBT (see above)


In conclusion, family therapy can be helpful for a wide range of issues, including relationship problems, mental health issues, and coping with a crisis or major life change.


Group Therapy:



Group therapy is a form of psychological treatment that involves bringing together a group of people, possibly in a work environment, who have similar problems or concerns. The therapy is led by a trained therapist or facilitator and is based on the idea that individuals can benefit from sharing their experiences and insights with others.


In group therapy, individuals are encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings in a supportive and confidential setting. Group members can provide each other with feedback, encouragement, and emotional support, and learn from the experiences of others. The therapist or facilitator leads the group, guides the discussion, and ensures that the group stays focused on the topic at hand.


There are different types of group therapy, including:

  • Process groups: These groups focus on the interactions and dynamics within the group, rather than on specific problems or issues.