Types of Therapy Styles & What It’s Used For

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Ever wonder what types of therapy methods counsellors or psychologists use during their sessions? In this article, you’ll be able to take an in-depth look at different types of therapy, basic information on what they do, which of our therapists utilise them and the cases in which each style is most effective. From Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), we aim to broaden your knowledge and understanding of these approaches. Whether you’re looking to improve your practice or seeking the right type of individual therapy, you can use the table below as a useful tool to help you.

THERAPY APPROACH / TYPEBASIC INFORMATIONTHERAPISTS WHO USE THIS STYLE / APPROACHOFTEN USED FOR WHAT CASES
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) A therapy style that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It aims to identify and challenge negative or unhelpful thought patterns and replace them with healthier ones– Health psychologist Sping Lim
– Counsellor Pragati Pritmani
– Psychologist Amanda Xavier
– Psychologist Shakti Sahai
– Counsellor-in-training Joyce Ho
– Counsellor Adelyn Tan
– Psychologist Amanda Yeo
Anxiety disorders, depression, etc. (most versatile case-wise)
Eye-movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) TherapyA therapy style which involves guided eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation to help process distressing memories and reduce associated emotional and physiological reactionsPsychologist Amanda YeoTrauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Mindfulness TherapyA therapeutic approach that involves bringing one’s attention to the present moment, cultivating non-judgmental awareness, and accepting experiences without attachment or resistance– Hypnotherapist Mandd Fernando
– Counsellor Pragati Pritmani
– Psychologist Tanaphong Uthayaratana
– Psychologist Amanda Yeo
Reduce stress, manage anxiety, and improve the overall well-being. Often mixed with other therapy styles as a holistic approach
Motivational Interviewing TherapyA collaborative counselling style that aims to explore and resolve ambivalence about change. It focuses on enhancing intrinsic motivation and resolving mixed feelings towards behaviour change– Health psychologist Sping Lim
-Psychologist Amanda Yeo
Addiction treatment, health behaviour change, and counselling for various issues
Multichannel Eye Movement Integration (MEMI) Therapy A therapeutic approach that utilizes eye movements and other sensory stimuli to facilitate emotional processing and integration of traumatic experiencesCounsellor Adelyn TanMainly used to alleviate distress and promote healing
Choice Theory Reality Therapy (CTRT)A counselling approach that emphasizes personal responsibility and making choices that align with one’s values and goals. Reality therapy focuses on the present moment and practical problem-solving to improve one’s quality of life and relationshipsCounsellor Adelyn TanProblem-solving 
Narrative Therapy A therapeutic approach that focuses on the stories and meanings people construct about themselves and their experiences. It aims to separate individuals from their problems, explore alternative narratives, and empower clients to rewrite their life storiesCounsellor-in-training Joyce HoTrauma & abuse, identity & self-esteem, grief & loss, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, career & life transitions etc. 
Family Systems TherapyA therapeutic approach that views individuals within the context of their family systems. It examines the patterns of communication, roles, and dynamics within families to address and resolve issues– Counsellor Quek Kwang Yong 
– Counsellor-in-training Joyce Ho
Improve family relationships, resolve conflict 
Solution Focused TherapyA brief and goal-oriented therapy style that focuses on finding solutions rather than dwelling on problems. It encourages clients to identify their strengths, set achievable goals, and develop strategies to overcome challengesPsychologist Shakti SahaiDay-to-day problems 
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)A therapy approach originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder. DBT combines elements of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) with mindfulness and acceptance-based strategies to help individuals regulate emotions, improve interpersonal skills, and build resiliencePsychologist Shakti SahaiBorderline personality disorder, Self-harm and suicidal behaviours, substance use disorders, eating disorders, mood disorders, anger management 
Positive PsychotherapyA therapeutic approach that emphasizes positive emotions, strengths, and well-being. It aims to cultivate positive experiences, resilience, and personal growthPsychologist Shakti SahaiImprove overall psychological well-being, even if there is no apparent ‘problem’ 
Schema TherapyA therapeutic approach that addresses long-standing and deeply ingrained patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving (schemas). It combines cognitive-behavioural techniques with experiential and relational methods to help individuals understand and modify maladaptive schemasPsychologist Shakti SahaiSimilar to CTB: Anxiety disorders, depression, etc. (most versatile case-wise)
Person-centred TherapyA non-directive therapy style that focuses on creating a supportive and empathetic therapeutic relationship. It emphasizes the client’s self-actualization and personal growth by providing a safe and non-judgmental space for self-exploration– Counsellor Quek Kwang Yong
– Psychologist Amanda Xavier
Life transitions, mid-life crises, relationship issues, self-exploration, personal growth, low self-esteem & self-worth, anxiety and stress
Acceptance and Commitment-based Therapy (ACT)A mindfulness-based therapy that encourages individuals to accept their thoughts and emotions while committing to values-based actions. ACT aims to help individuals develop psychological flexibility and live a meaningful life– Counsellor Pragati Pritmani
– Psychologist Amanda Xavier
Anxiety, depression, chronic pain and illness, substance abuse and addiction, stress and burnout, eating disorders, workplace and organisational issues
Emotion-focused TherapyA therapeutic approach that focuses on the awareness, regulation, and transformation of emotions. It aims to help individuals explore and process their emotional experiences to promote healing and personal growthPsychologist Amanda XavierSimilar to ACT: Anxiety, depression, chronic pain and illness, substance abuse and addiction, stress and burnout, eating disorders, workplace and organisational issues
Humanistic and existential approachA broad therapeutic approach that emphasizes human potential, personal growth, and the search for meaning and purpose in life. It focuses on self-awareness, personal responsibility, and the development of an authentic and meaningful existencePsychologist Tanaphong UthayaratanaAnxiety and existential angst, life meaning, personal growth, identity and self-concept issues, relationship including marriage, personal empowerment 
Buddhist counsellingA counselling approach that incorporates Buddhist principles and practices to promote well-being and alleviate suffering. It may include mindfulness meditation, compassion practices, and the application of Buddhist teachings to address psychological and emotional challengesPsychologist Tanaphong UthayaratanaVersatile to most cases that can be handled by a counsellor 
HypnotherapyA therapeutic approach that uses hypnosis to induce a trance-like state where individuals are more open to suggestionHypnotherapist Mandd FernandoAnxiety, phobias, smoking cessation, pain management etc. 
Parts therapyA therapeutic approach that views the mind as consisting of different parts or subpersonalities. It aims to resolve inner conflicts and promote integration by facilitating communication and understanding between these partsHypnotherapist Mandd FernandoTrauma and PTSD, Inner conflicts, self-sabotage, emotional regulation, addictions and compulsive behaviours, anxiety and phobias, inner-child healing
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)A therapeutic approach that examines the connection between neurology, language, and patterns of behaviour. It explores how individuals can reprogram their thoughts and behaviours to achieve desired outcomes and improve communication and personal effectivenessHypnotherapist Mandd FernandoPersonal development, communication, interpersonal skills, behavioural change, habit formation, performance, enhancement, phobias and trauma 

Therapy is diverse with different types of therapy treatments catering to a variety of issues. Each therapy style has its unique strengths, addressing everything from therapy for depression and therapy for anxiety to personal growth and conflict resolution.

The choice of therapy depends on the person’s needs, preferences, and challenges faced. Therapists will also often combine different approaches to provide the most effective treatment. The journey towards mental health and well-being can be personal, so finding the right therapeutic approach can be a game-changer.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for more mental health help in Singapore, why not check out our certified counsellors and psychologists today?

Our team of professional counsellors and psychologists in Singapore specialise in various fields such as trauma counselling services. You can also find personalised professional caregiver support and special needs counselling. We also provide ADHD treatment in Singapore if you suspect you or your loved one is suffering from ADHD.

For couples having relationship problems, you can sign up for our marriage therapy session and relationship therapy services. Companies that want to improve their employee’s well-being can sign up for our programs for corporate wellness. Check out our other blogs: