Talking Therapies: Which One Is Right For Your Personality Type?
“Everyone is in therapy.”
This phrase has been uttered countless times in conversation, in pop culture and even by therapists themselves. Long gone are the days where talking therapies were reserved for those deemed to be neurotic or unable to cope. In the 21st century, we’re gradually becoming more used to the idea that we all have issues. Not only do we acknowledge them, we know to tackle them – and therapy is usually the first line of defense.
Even if our lives are going well, talking things over with an impartial bystander can have a positive impact. It gives us a chance to evaluate the decisions we make and to course-correct before we do something that will end badly. If we are struggling with a mental health issue, an addiction, stress or a turbulent time, then therapy is a crucial step to getting back on track.
For a beginner, however, it’s all pretty daunting, isn’t it?
For a start, the therapeutic world is full of acronyms. They are thrown around with wild abandon, accompanied by a new vocabulary that’s baffling from the outset. Dynamic psychotherapy; CBT; EFT – oh my.
Have you gone through something that has made you think this might be a good route for you – but don’t know where to start? Some types of practice will suit different people; there’s no simple “this will work for you” answer. The best option is to go with something you do know – yourself – and see how your character type can help you choose the best course.
You Are… Extroverted
First, let’s just bust a myth about what extroversion actually is. It’s often used as a catch-all term for someone that is loud and outgoing, with little thought for the nuances.
Extroversion (and its opposite, introversion) have strict definitions that are quite simple:
Introverts find their energy is sapped by being around other people. They tend to need time alone to recharge. They may be very outgoing and the life and soul of the party, but it will take recovering from. They can easily find social events a struggle, making plans and then regretting doing so.
Extroverts find their energy is increased by being around other people. They don’t deal well with being alone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be loud and bubbly. They don’t seek their own space and time with their thoughts.
So now you should know if you’re a true extrovert…
Consider: Group Therapy
Being in a group situation makes therapy useful for many reasons, but particularly for those with an extroverted personality. Those with addictive issues may find this kind of therapy most useful, as you learn from the mistakes of others and gain perspective.
You Are… Introverted
If introverts and extroverts are the opposite of one another, then surely the best option here is one-on-one counseling?
Perhaps, if you can find a therapist you are comfortable with. One major thing to consider in doing this is why you’re doing it. If you are having a general issue and need further advice, then consider one-on-one therapies. But if your problem involves any worries regarding stress or anxiety, then there is a better fit.
Consider: Self-Managed Therapy
You don’t need to go and sit on a couch and talk to someone to receive guidance. You can manage your wellbeing online, at home. This can involve techniques such as meditation or learning how to talk more positively to yourself. You can even have therapy sessions via webcam. The reason this is more useful for introverts is due to their nature. If you struggle being around people, why place more stress on yourself by going and talking to someone new?
You Are… Easily Distracted
Sometimes, therapy can be tedious. You might find yourself going over the same thing again and again, trying to get to the root of why it concerns you. If you are distracted or fidgeting through an hour-long session, then you’re not going to get the most from the process.
Consider: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a very practical form of therapy. Rather than just sitting and talking about whatever comes to mind, it is focused on being actively involved. You identify your issues and learn new ways to cope with them. It’s more about learning the way your mind works and identifying areas you might struggle than just venting your feelings. It also tends to have homework, which gives you something different to focus on rather than just intense, singular conversations.
You Are… Best With The Support of Others
Mental health is a collective thing. It’s rarely something you can deal with by yourself; the whole premise of talking therapies is that of a problem shared. If the idea of a one-on-one therapy sounds daunting, then that doesn’t have to be a roadblock.
Consider: Family Therapy
As the name suggests, family therapy brings as many people into the therapeutic session as you feel necessary. Even if the issues you are facing are not directly related to your family, they can help support you through them. This is particularly helpful if you have gone through an event (such as a loss, an affair or a career change) that everyone is struggling to deal with. You can still get the assistance you need but surrounded by help both for and from others.
You Are… Fed Up of Therapy Not Working For You
Of course, you can go through all of the above and still not be finding the satisfaction that you were expecting. Therapy isn’t for everyone, and there’s no reason for it – sometimes, it just doesn’t click. It’s always worth trying a second therapist in case it’s the relationship that is off, but even that won’t always fix the underlying issue. Maybe the conventional therapies just don’t suit you.
While infamous for its use in stage acts, hypnotherapy is a scientifically researched, beneficial method of dealing with issues. It’s unconventional in its approach – no sitting and spilling your soul to a stranger – but it can help manage stress, calm anxiety, and soothe phobias. It’s worth considering if it’s an avenue you have not investigated before.