Informative: 15 Types of psychotherapy

There are many types of psychotherapy. However, today we will only share 15 most important types with you:

1 – Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy was founded by Sigmund Freud. According to him, people could be healed by making their unconscious thoughts and motivations conscious.

The purpose of this therapy is to bring up repressed emotions and experiences, in order to make the unconscious conscious. She is able to treat psychological disorders and disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

In the treatment, it is possible to resolve both the symptoms and the generating cause. The aim of psychoanalysis is to facilitate the healing and rehabilitation process for patients. The focus is on the subconscious and its methods involve the free interpretation of ideas, interpretation of dreams, and analysis of flawed acts.

2 – Jungian / Analytical Psychotherapy

In Jungian psychotherapy, the psychologist monitors the symbolic universe, focusing on therapy in dreams. In this case, there is a dialogue between the conscious and the unconscious, which helps in the transformation and expansion of the patient’s inner gaze.

The therapist, in this type of psychotherapy, takes into account that the unconscious does not contain influences only from human individuality, but also from the collective. Analytical psychology reiterates that the external environment can change the direction of your life, as well as create trends in behavior.

3 – Lacanian Psychotherapy

In the technique of Lacanian psychotherapy, idealized by the scholar Jacques Lacan, the patient discusses everything that bothers him in his daily life. In this therapy, the psychotherapist hardly intervenes in the patient’s speech, letting him talk about the subject freely. The psychologist listens to what the patient has to say, but is also attentive to the lines.

4 – Cognitive-Constructivist Psychotherapy

During cognitive-constructivist psychotherapy, the patient is encouraged to analyze negative thoughts and emotions. For the advancement of treatment, it is necessary to build an emotional awareness, which makes the individual create psychological independence, being able to deal with his feelings.

5 – Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy

Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy aims to identify and change patterns of thinking and behavior that are detrimental to well-being. The goal is to replace these sabotaging behaviors with healthy ideals. Usually, the technique involves learning new social skills.

6 – Psychodrama

Psychodrama needs the collective to happen. A group enacts emotions and situations in the patients’ lives, and interacts with each other to work on personal issues. The technique promotes the spontaneity of feelings, producing transformative insights. Verbal and non-verbal communication is used in this type of psychotherapy.

7 – Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal psychotherapy is a short-term treatment. It helps patients to understand interpersonal problems that are causing harm to their routines, such as unexperienced bereavement, changing social or professional roles, conflicts with people important to the social bond, and external confrontations in general.

Interpersonal therapy is a good tool for creating healthy ways to express emotions and improve communication with others. It is commonly used to treat depression.

8 – Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis psychotherapy is able to introduce constructive ideas into the subconscious. If done correctly, it can help to change patterns of behavior, thinking, and feeling.

9 – EMDR Psychotherapy

EMDR psychotherapy is relatively new, as it started in the late 1980s. The method causes desensitization and the reprocessing of experiences to occur through the stimulation of the two hemispheres of the brain.

Unlike other treatments that focus on changing emotions, thoughts, and responses from traumatic experiences, EMDR psychotherapy focuses directly on memory.

It is applied with the aim of changing the way memories are stored in our brain, reducing and eliminating symptoms that are harmful to well-being.

10 – Phenomenology

According to psychologist Ana Lia Clerot, phenomenology psychotherapy seeks to understand patients’ experiences in the social environment and also their perceptions of the world around them.

11 – Regressive Psychotherapy

Regressive psychotherapy uses hypnosis to access memories of the past that are causing harm in the present. These memories trigger symptoms detrimental to well-being and the role of this procedure is to make the patient analyze, understand, and overcome unresolved events in the past.

12 – Dialectic Behavioral Psychotherapy

Dialectical behavioral psychotherapy helps the patient to regulate his emotions. It is often used to treat people with suicidal thoughts and other psychological disorders, such as eating and post-traumatic stress.

It creates new social skills in patients so that it is possible to change harmful or disruptive behaviors.

13 – Child Psychotherapy (Ludotherapy)

Psychotherapy aimed at children, taking into account that when they play, they express their feelings and thoughts.

14 – Body Psychotherapy

Conceived by Wilhelm Reich, body psychotherapy takes into account body and mind. In this regard, it is considered that psychological and emotional disorders cause chronic muscular tensions.

In addition to speech as a tool for therapy, specialists in this area also work on the patient’s breathing, involving processes of touch, massage, sound expression, postural techniques and stretching in the office, in order to achieve the emotional and physical balance of those who go through this procedure.

15 – Gestalt Psychotherapy

In Gestalt psychotherapy, the psychologist makes you responsible for yourself, adding more relevance to your individual experience.

In this current, there is less focus on symptoms and past events, since it is taken into account that the present is the only tangible period.

Therefore, the concern for the origin of the problem is reduced, since the objective is to understand how the current days affect you and how you can change the reality today.

What is Psychotherapy & Its Process Of Identification?

Etymologically, psychotherapy is the “treatment of the soul”. Scottish physician James Braid (1795-1860) was one of the first to use the term, in addition to being the creator of the word “Hypnotism“.

Psychotherapy is a collaborative treatment, in which the patient and the psychologist work together to resolve the desired issues. One of the main tools used in psychotherapy is speech because it is through it that the patient will be able to express all his thoughts in the office.

The therapy environment is welcoming, and the position of the specialist who will assist you must be objective, neutral, and non-judgmental.

With the help of the psychologist, it is possible to identify the causes and behavioral patterns that may be preventing you from having a happier life. Psychotherapy clearly illustrates the points that need attention and repair in our daily lives, so that we can reach a state of emotional satisfaction.

What is psychotherapy for?

Psychotherapy is a way to help people deal with a range of psychological problems or emotional difficulties. Thus, it can assist in the elimination or control of symptoms that may harm our lives.

Often, we feel sad, angry, or anxious at disproportionate levels, and we end up having several areas of our daily lives affected.

Our effective and professional relationships are compromised when we are not feeling well and our self-image is one of the first to be damaged. This leads to a decrease in our well-being, which consequently can become a pathological condition for our mind.

It is at this point that psychotherapy can be useful. In the office, it is possible to feel welcomed by someone who is available to help us with our problems. And with the reflections promoted by psychotherapy, acquiring greater self – knowledge, and assertiveness about our choices becomes a less arduous task.

Who can do psychotherapy?

There are no restrictions on who can and cannot do psychotherapy. It is suitable for all ages and should not be seen as a practice used only by those with emotional disorders. Psychotherapy can enhance the happiness and satisfaction of everyone who includes it in their lives.

When should I consider psychotherapy?

There is not an exact time when we should start psychotherapy. Deciding to start a psychological treatment depends on our self-knowledge and the support of friends and family.

However, this may not be a simple choice. Admitting that we are fragile and vulnerable requires that we look at places in our souls that are not easy to observe.

First of all, it is necessary that we accept our condition. Recognize all of your humanity, keeping in mind that we are all subject to emotional difficulties. There is no magic control capable of regulating our feelings.

Some people can deal with their respective dilemmas better and others cannot; and that doesn’t mean you’re weak. We are all born with a unique identity, with specific limitations and qualities.

Seeking psychotherapy is an act of courage, as we overcome social judgments and misconceptions about psychological treatments. Choosing to start therapy is also a test of self-love, as we have decided to fight for our well-being.

In what situations is psychotherapy indicated?

From the moment we have difficulty dealing with our daily lives, psychotherapy becomes advisable.

Traumas such as the death of a loved one or sexual abuse, medical illnesses, and emotional disorders, such as depression and anxiety, make psychotherapy necessary.

However, psychotherapy can also be sought by the desire to connect with ourselves and by people who want to get to know each other better.

Here are some situations that may indicate that it is time to start a psychological treatment:

– You feel sad and lonely for long periods of time.

– You cannot solve your problems even with effort and the help of friends and family.

– You can’t focus on work and focus on other day-to-day activities.

– You worry excessively

– You always expect the worst, being constantly tense.

– Your actions harm you and others.

What conditions can psychotherapy treat?

Psychotherapy can treat several psychological disorders, the most common of which are:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Insanity
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD )
  • Schizophrenia
  • Autism
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

How Psychotherapy Works

Psychotherapy can be conducted individually or in groups, involving couples and families. Most sessions last an average of 30 to 50 minutes and may last longer.

For therapy to work, it is necessary for the patient to trust their therapist and for both to have a good relationship.

Psychotherapy can be short-term, dealing with immediate problems. It can also occur in the long term, lasting months or years, working with complex and lasting personal conflicts.

The objectives of the treatment, in addition to the frequency of visits to the office and the methods that will be used in therapy, are planned by the psychologist according to the patient’s needs.

Confidentiality is a basic requirement of psychotherapy, so don’t worry about sharing your experiences with a psychologist.

It is also important to reiterate that although patients express extremely personal thoughts in therapy, physical contact with the psychologist is never appropriate.

There are several therapeutic approaches and some of them may be more suitable for certain problems or disorders. In addition, psychotherapy can be combined with medications and other forms of therapy.

How to deal with difficult patients? See 5 tips!

Ah … Medicine. Source of joys, pride and headaches of the most different intensities. Whoever is a doctor knows how demanding the profession is: endless knowledge, manual skills, physical and emotional resistance to endure long hours of intense work. And, perhaps even more than all of that, being able to handle people and complicated situations.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that we deal with difficult patients, if not all, almost every day. The profession requires a certain amount of flexibility and, at times, almost a sixth sense for that. And the truth be told: no one teaches you how to do that in college.

We decided to put together two lists (smart ways to manage difficult patients and tips on how to deal with hypochondriac patients), adapt them to our Brazilian reality and the result was this list that you are about to read (and enjoy).

When the patient does not talk about the problem

Imagine the following situation: you are consulting a patient with apparently vague complaints or sometimes even without any complaints (strange …). He (a) denies all complaints of the active interrogation until, when the hand is under the door handle to end the consultation, the speech appears: “Ah, doctor (a)! I remember one thing.”

Have you been through this or not? I can bet that it will?

It is not uncommon for the patient to feel uncomfortable in addressing certain complaints, for whatever their particular reasons. Often, you can suspect that something is not being said because of these red flags: the complaints are very vague, the patient denies all complaints at the same time that he is also not seeking a routine consultation, the patient seems disconcerted or evasive, among other examples.

In this case, a good strategy is to look eye-to-eye and ask, in a firm tone of voice: “Is there anything you want to tell me?” or “Is something happening? Say, “Well, then we can wrap up for today” or get up and go to the office door saying that if the patient needs anything, he can come to you again. Most of the time, the patient will end up revealing the complaint that brought him there.

When there is something beyond what the first impression reveals

Sometimes the problem is even more difficult to understand. The patient arrives at the consultation with well-structured complaints (even if it is a routine consultation), and in fact, the reasons for the search are different.

The reasons may be the same as in the previous situation, but it is usually something more serious. Especially because the patient, even if unconsciously, is not only afraid to tell his problems but is also trying to hide them behind other complaints. In other situations, he/she may simply not have a good perception of his / her own symptoms and induce consultation in the direction of his / her own diagnostic suspicion, which is often erroneous.

In such cases, this disagreement can be suspected by signs that denounce it. Signs of a physical examination that simply don’t match complaints or point to another diagnosis are an example. Bruising or another bodily injury without a plausible explanation can bring domestic violence. In dependent patients (such as the elderly and children), weight loss, irritability, personality changes, and other signs can also report abuse. Irritation, irony, challenging posture, and other behavioral changes, in fact, can be good alerts even when the patient is an independent adult.

This situation is common in pediatrics when, for example, the child emits a sentence apparently inappropriate for his age. These patients commonly come to the consultation accompanied. One of the strategies is to isolate the “target element”, from which it is hoped to obtain the hidden information.

In the case of suspected domestic violence, for example, the companion may be asked to leave the office, arguing that you need to “ask some more personal things” or “talk alone with the patient”. If you suspect that the victim will continue to hide important data, you can ask to speak alone with the companion (if you are a trusted person). The same strategy applies to other situations. In the case of children, you can ask someone to take you outside to play while you talk to the parents.

Once alone with the “target element”, the strategy presented above is of great value. Look eye-to-eye and ask, in a firm tone of voice, “Is there anything you want to tell me?” or “Is something happening?” usually yields results.

When the patient cries

Even though it is not common, it is also impossible to say that crying is rare in offices. The patient may end up crying for several reasons, sometimes even before revealing the complaint itself.

In such cases, it is useless: no one can reason when they are flooded with emotions and tears. So, forcing the patient to answer the questions just won’t work. Even if he/she answers them, there is a good chance of not answering them correctly and, thus, ending up leading to errors in diagnosis and conduct.

It is best to offer support, ask about what he/she is feeling, and accept the outburst. If the patient improves enough, it is possible to continue with the consultation. However, many times, the process can exhaust or even exceed the service time. In such cases, it may be necessary to schedule a new appointment in the future to explore initial complaints that could not be addressed.

However, when the appointment is urgent (for example, in an emergency room) and especially if this approach runs out of consultation time and puts the others at risk, a good strategy is to ask the patient to take time to breathe. Suggest to him/her that you go back to the waiting room, have a drink, wash your face, breathe a little until you calm down.

During this interval, it is possible to advance other appointments and, when the patient is better and returns to the care, it will probably be much more productive than before.

When the patient is angry/aggressive before even arriving at the office

This is one of the most delicate situations and, unfortunately, the most common when it comes to difficult patients.

Nobody likes to receive rudeness and aggressive tones of voice, especially for problems that are not under their control. Therefore, there is nothing more natural than that, in the face of an aggressive patient, the attending physician tends to become defensive and respond with more anger. The problem is that it ends the doctor-patient relationship and automatically turns that appointment into a waste of time for both.

The easiest way to not give in to this type of reaction is to not be caught off guard. If you already expect the patient to come “breathing fire”, it is easier to control yourself, apologize if necessary, and take control of the situation.

Therefore, it is interesting to arrange with colleagues (the UBSF reception staff or the emergency care screening team, for example) to let you know when the patient arrives at the service with aggressive behavior.

When the patient arrives at the office, try to remain as polite as possible (as an angry reaction from you will trigger more anger from the patient and so on, closing a vicious cycle). Can I help you in any way? ”. Usually, this approach disarms the patient when he realizes his willingness to help him.

When the patient remains silent

Sometimes, at the other end of the situation, the patient remains completely silent and it is very difficult to extract any information.

As uncomfortable as the situation seems, the popular saying already says: a silence can say a thousand words. This is an opportunity to observe the patient and assess whether he has any hidden complaints that he is having difficulty in revealing. In this case, the strategies in items 1 and 2 on this list can be very useful.

In other cases, as time goes by, the patient will eventually break it and reveal the complaint. So the rule here is simple: patience.

Find out what the benefits of therapy are

The purpose of therapy is to treat emotional, behavioral, and psychological problems. In treatment, the psychologist helps the patient to reflect on his problems, finding new ways to deal with them. With this, the individual can promote profound changes in his way of thinking, and significantly improve his life.

Mistakenly, many people still believe that the therapy is aimed only at the treatment of “crazy people”. In addition to revealing prejudice, this statement indicates a lack of knowledge on the subject. In fact, therapeutic treatment is a great way to understand our feelings and behaviors as social beings that we are.

In today’s post, we will see some benefits of therapy. Keep reading the article and see what they are.

Promotes self-knowledge

One of the benefits of therapy is that it gives the patient the ability to better understand himself, as well as his personal values   and goals. Therapy allows the individual to better control and manage his feelings.

In therapeutic treatment, self-knowledge is encouraged in the identification of continuous flaws in a person’s life. In this way, she is better prepared to deal with negative ideas and adverse emotions. Self-knowledge also promotes the strengthening of self-esteem.

Helps you find motivation

Motivation acts as an impulse to achieve a purpose. It always starts from within the person and, without it, it becomes extremely difficult to achieve a personal or professional goal. Lack of motivation can be related to depression, among other problems.

Professional support in therapy helps to bring to light what causes the patient’s lack of motivation. A demotivated person has recurring problems in his personal and professional life, as he feels inhibited from performing certain actions. Through treatment, the patient can be helped to boost his own motives.

Improves interpersonal relationships

To have a full and satisfying life it is very important to know how to relate well with others. Interpersonal relationships are part of the human being’s daily life and can be observed in day-to-day interactions, such as those established in the work environment with colleagues, at home with family or in contact with friends.

Therapy promotes the development of social skills in order to improve interpersonal relationships. Treatment is useful for those who have difficulties in relating to other people, which consequently avoids social isolation.

The therapeutic treatment is a means to discover the source of the patient’s problems and help you cope better with what generates your discomfort. Therapy is of great importance because it offers the person a new look at a recurring concern in order to guide them towards a solution.

A psychologist can be an excellent ally to help you solve various problems that seem to have no solution. This involves issues like depression, anxiety, eating disorders  and various phobias.

Believing in the benefits of therapy is already a big step for those who seek more quality of life and want to keep their mental health up to date. Is it your case? Then contact us and find out how we can help you!

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Among the  existing approaches in Psychology, cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques stand out for presenting excellent results both in clinical practice and in other areas of expertise. Its scientific basis and its strategies for direct intervention on problems are very attractive aspects for both professionals and those seeking therapy.

However, many times, the faculty is not sufficient for clinical deepening. This causes some recently graduated psychologists to seek more information about their work in this field with CBT in graduate courses or even in  independent readings  on the subject.

You are one of them? Do you want to know more about the use of CBT in clinical psychology? So, continue reading this post to learn about cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques and how to work with this approach in the  office!

What does the cognitive-behavioral therapist do?

CBT is a clinical approach, that is, it is one of the theories that can base psychotherapeutic care. It stands out for its scientific basis – the precursors of cognitive-behavioral therapy started from the scientific method and considered knowledge about behavior and neuroscience.

It was with this background that the approach emerged, which seeks to analyze the relationship between our thoughts, feelings and ways of acting. That is, the CBT therapist understands that what a person does is based on what he thinks and how he feels in the face of life’s situations.

Initially, the therapist’s job is to identify the patient’s behavior patterns. His first objective is to know what were the problems that led the person to seek therapy and understand what thoughts, emotions and behaviors are involved in these situations.

The focus of therapy is the difficulties experienced in this relationship between emotion, thought and behavior. Thus, direct interventions are made to modify dysfunctional aspects and replace them with healthier processes. Therefore, cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques are fundamental parts of the practice in the clinic.

These particularities make CBT offer faster and more effective results. Thus, it has been very indicated to treat disorders such as  anxiety , depression,  eating disorder , among others. It is also highly sought after by people who want to overcome fears or improve their social skills.

What are the techniques most used by the cognitive-behavioral therapist?

After identifying the problems and understanding what is behind them, the cognitive-behavioral therapist makes use of the intervention techniques. For this, he considers both the particularities of the demands and the degree of suffering of the patient. Below are some of the most used techniques in CBT.

1. Psychoeducation

This technique is based on explaining important issues of psychological treatment to the patient. It should be done in the simplest and most didactic way possible, according to the language of each person. Psychoeducation deals with both data about the diagnosis and explanations about the activities that are used during the sessions.

Performing psychoeducation brings good results in the person’s adherence to therapy, as it offers relevant information for them to be actively involved in the treatment. In addition, the technique also helps to reduce the patient’s anxiety in the face of a difficult diagnosis or even the challenge of undergoing therapy. This is a strategy widely used also in  hospital psychology .

Some people are referred to the psychologist after being identified with an emotional disorder, such as panic syndrome or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Often, these patients come to therapy with little information about the problem they face. Thus, the posture of the cognitive-behavioral therapist makes all the difference in the reception they receive and in the perspective of improvement they may have.

2. Record of dysfunctional thoughts

This is another very common activity in cognitive-behavioral therapy. As the focus of the approach is the relationship between thinking and behavior, it is essential to identify the dysfunctional elements. When using this technique, the therapist asks the patient to record the unpleasant thoughts that arise in certain situations.

For example, if a person has a social phobia, they should write down what they think when they are afraid or anxious about the possibility of exposing themselves. Sometimes, feelings, physical reactions and behaviors involved in the situation are also asked to register. This task helps the patient to become aware of himself.

The recording of dysfunctional thoughts has several uses in the clinic. The first of these is so that the patient realizes what he thinks and feels when he faces a problem, since, in many cases, people react automatically and cannot understand the situation. In addition, the therapist makes use of this record to direct the sessions and use other techniques that assist in the process of changing negative patterns.

3. Socratic questioning

This is also one of the most widely used cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques. The clinical performance of CBT is largely based on Socratic questioning. In practice, this means that the therapist will ask a series of questions in order to help the patient deepen his understanding of his own thoughts.

As we said, many people behave automatically, without realizing the thoughts and emotions behind it. In therapy, the patient is faced with questions that deepen reflection and make him think about the complex relationships that his mind establishes. Thus, it is possible to perceive and modify cognitive distortions.

The psychologist’s job is not to offer answers or to direct the way people think and behave. By asking questions, he builds possibilities for  patients to  better understand their thoughts and make their own decisions. With this technique, dysfunctional elements can be questioned and put in check.

4. Exposure techniques

Cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques are very effective for directly intervening in specific problems, such as phobias. This is the case with exposure activities, which can be used to treat fears and trauma that limit the patient’s life.

It is very common for people to seek therapy because they have excessive fear. Most of the time, this happens due to the generalization of anxiety experienced in a given situation. For example, someone who was stuck in an elevator a few years ago may face great difficulty in exposing themselves to this reality again.

When fear interferes with the patient’s life – if he leaves aside moments of work or leisure because he is unable to face the elevator, for example – the issue needs to be mediated in therapy. Exposure techniques are very useful for solving the problem, as they transport the person to what causes him anxiety, while teaching him ways to control negative emotions and deal with the situation in another way.

5. Systematic desensitization

This activity is a type of exposure technique widely used in the treatment of phobias and panic syndrome. It consists of exposing the person to the elements that cause him fear in a gradual, safe and guided manner by the therapist. By doing this in therapy, the patient has the possibility to replace feelings of tension with relaxation.

The exposure, in this case, is not physical. In general, the therapist leads the patient in his imagination. While thinking about the source of anxiety, he applies the relaxation techniques he has learned. When it is safer, the person can repeat this exercise in their routine outside the clinic.

6. Relaxation techniques

In the last few years, the number of cases of anxiety or fear disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, has grown a lot. People who have this problem and experience crisis situations face a lot of difficulty to calm their emotions and think rationally in extreme moments.

An anxious or panic attack patient experiences situations of extreme fear and suffers from physical symptoms, such as shortness of breath, tachycardia, body tremors and psychomotor agitation. Relaxation techniques are used during therapy and serve as a learning experience for the person to achieve self-control in critical periods.

The cognitive-behavioral therapist helps the patient to breathe slowly, following certain rhythms to increase the body’s oxygenation and regulate sensations. In addition, muscle relaxation techniques are useful to enhance your perception of yourself during the crisis,  increase concentration  and generate a feeling of well-being, thus reducing tension.

7. Social skills techniques

These are also among the most widely used cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques. It is not difficult to understand the reasons when we consider how much our society exposes people to the judgment of others. Many patients seek therapy to treat shyness or fear experienced in situations of social exposure.

This difficulty disrupts life in many ways, distancing success in educational assessments or in work situations, for example. Thus, it is a problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible, as it usually has more serious consequences in adult life.

The therapist of the cognitive-behavioral approach is trained to help the person to develop mechanisms to overcome shyness by training social skills in individual or group therapy  . It consists of simulating scenarios in the  relationship with the therapist  so that the patient can develop and express social skills first in the clinic and then in his routine.

In addition to cases of social phobia, this technique is also very valid for patients who face difficulties in developing aspects such as empathy and communication skills. Many people find it difficult to express their emotions efficiently – some cry at the first sign of a more tense conversation, for example. Thus, the techniques are not only used to have more security when speaking in public, but also to initiate and conclude private or intimate dialogues.

8. Coping with stress

Many patients are exposed to stressful situations and are unable to mobilize healthy efforts to deal with the emotions generated in these moments. It is necessary to build coping strategies when the external context presents few possibilities for change to reduce overload.

This may be the reality of professionals with a high level of stress or people who need to care for sick loved ones, for example. Some life scenarios generate negative emotional responses that are difficult to deal with. Cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques help the patient to understand the elements that generate stress, identify the feelings involved and find coping alternatives.

Strategies focused on the problem can be developed, such as modifying the stressful event, performing physical activity or increasing the hours of rest to reduce tension. There are also learnings focused on emotions, in order to control negative responses to external situations that cannot be modified.

9. Spectator or distant observer

Often, patients have great difficulty in overcoming their problems because they are unable to analyze them efficiently. After all, for those who are experiencing a complicated situation, the solution may seem far away and even impossible.

A popular thought states that those who are not experiencing the problem can see aspects that the person involved does not see. You’ve probably heard someone talk about it, haven’t you? In fact, it is common for the vision of friends or family to help expand the possibilities and find ways to overcome difficulties.

We can say that the psychologist’s mediation is also part of this scenario, especially when we talk about the strategy of the distant spectator or observer. This is one of the cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques and consists of stimulating the patient to use his imagination to visualize his problems as if they were a play or representation.

In doing so, it is possible to decrease emotional reactions and provide a more lucid analysis of life experiences. As the patient begins to narrate the situation as if it did not happen to him, new visions about the same event may arise, making it easier to circumvent obstacles.

10. Exchanging roles

This is another technique that makes use of imagination or creative visualization to provide greater awareness of certain experiences – especially interpersonal conflicts. In the exchange of roles, the therapist encourages the patient to put himself in someone else’s shoes, trying to assess the context from their point of view.

Thus, the patient must manifest himself in therapy as if he were that person, evaluating what he would think and what he would say in relation to the existing conflict. This exercise can be very useful in developing empathy and improving social relationships. Thus, it is widely used in social skills training.

There is also another clinical strategy related to these aspects – role-playing. The operation of this technique is similar to that of switching roles, but in this case, the activity goes beyond imagination. A kind of simulation is done, in which the therapist participates by imitating the behavior of a person close to the patient.