The treatment of disorders (can be either mental or physical) by the use of either psychological needs or by the use of medicinal needs is called therapy. Therapy involves talking with a trained professional about things such as symptoms, problems, and understanding one's self.
Therapists help patients in many ways:
· Help patients understand and cope with their illnesses.
· Empathize with their patients and help them understand why they behave the way they do.
· Help patients make positive changes by discussing their past behavior.
· Help patients discover why they think certain thoughts and how these thoughts affect their feelings.
· Help patients to identify and repair problems with relationships.
There are many different kinds of therapies. The important ones are explained below.
Behavior therapy: this focuses on what you do. This type of therapy works particularly well for problems in which certain maladaptive anxiety-causing behaviors recur such as phobias, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, drug and alcohol abuse and eating disorders.
The therapy is accomplished by reinforcing positive behavior and extinguishing negative ones. Some common types of behavior therapy are:
· Systematic Desensitization- by approaching the situation associated with a great deal of anxiety in steps, the patient can gradually decrease the anxiety related to it. This process usually contained three steps- relaxation techniques (which includes breathing exercises, mental imagery and biofeedback), Creating a Hierarchy (The therapist creates a series of situations in which the feared event occurs more and more intensely) and finally desensitization (where the patient can finally handle the most anxiety causing event in the series. A simple example of this could be a person suffering from the phobia of dogs, the progression can be imagined, (e.g., thinking about a dog barking at you) real, (e.g., having a dog bark at you), or even virtual (e.g., have an animated virtual dog on the computer bark at you.)
· Exposure therapies- involves actual contact with a feared situation. It can be done with a therapist, helper, or alone, and begins with the smallest phobia, gradually working up to more difficult tasks. This is where clients learn to manage their fear firsthand, and we are always aware of the courage it takes for anyone to confront what they fear most - so we are gentle and go slowly. This therapy is especially helpful for driving and flying phobias, as well as fears of heights, bridges, elevators, being alone, and social situations. It is similar to systematic desensitization except without the relaxation techniques.
· Flooding- Instead of going through a hierarchy that works from less traumatic to most traumatic anxiety provoking events, the patient is exposed to the most anxiety-causing event at once. With this technique the patient confronts the feared situation directly.