Mental Health Education

Therapy Quest – Finding the Right Kind of Therapy

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Today I’m sharing an updated gem from my early blogging days: Therapy Quest <3

Many of you may not know but I am absolutely in love with fantasy. As a young child, escaping into fantasy books and movies helped me survive.

Now as an adult, I find it an invaluable tool with which to battle my disorders. It’s a lot easier to be brave if imagine myself as a mighty warrior or glowing paladin instead of simply a patient. Plus, it’s just way more fun 🙂

Knowing I can fight back gives me strength. That’s why I created Therapy Quest (and MSB) in the first place – to help others find their inner warrior and to see the journey of recovery as a noble quest. I hope to expand on this concept in the future but until then, please enjoy my updated version of Therapy Quest!!

***Oh and P.S. Please, please consider supporting MSB’s Mental Health Hero Themed Patreon. It’s also fantasy based, with rewards like the drawing below just for donating $1/month!! (Yes, I drew that and you can have one too!!)***

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If you happen to love our content and fantasy RPGs, please consider pledging a monthly amount to our Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Mysoulbalm For just $1/month you can join the quest to defeat the Curse of Stig-mah and help us spread mental health awareness throughout the land! undefined

Welcome Adventurer to Therapy Quest!

I Welcome you to the Path of Recovery! Come, come, you’ve overcome so many obstacles to get here and I couldn’t be more proud – relax and revel at the mountains you’ve climbed so far.


When you’re ready to take the next step I have a quest – it’s time to find therapies that work for YOU. 


Now there are as many kinds of therapies as there are entries into the DSM IV so it can be terribly troublesome to pick a path. It’s a lot of trial and error, kind of like dating – you have to kiss a lot of frogs to get to the right one. Yuck. 


If kissing frogs isn’t your thing, Adventurer, then endeavor to take the quest below to help figure out what therapy (or therapies) suits you best. 

**This post is not to treat or diagnose, it is simply a helpful guide***


How it works: 

First – you must choose a class 

Once you’ve chosen a class, follow the charts below to learn about which kind of therapy or combination of therapies are a good fit for you. Let us know in the comments below which class you’re most likely to go for!

Mindfulness Based Therapies for those who want to look within!

Mindfulness Based Therapies:

Mindfulness based therapies are great for all kinds of issues, however they seem to be most helpful when it comes to anxiety and overthinking. Many of these therapies work to strengthen your frontal lobe (the area of the brain that controls emotions). They also help keep your mind from being hi-jacked by the Amygdala (the area of the brain related to “Fight or Flight”) when stressed.

Who Benefits From This Therapy Type?

Mindfulness is awesome for everyone, however it’s especially good for those struggling with Anxiety, Depression, Phobias and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

It’s also generally ideal for people who tend to overthink, those who want to stay grounded, or those who experience unhealthy cognitive distortions.

What Kind of Mindfulness Therapies are There?

While not a complete list by any means, here’s a list of the ones mentioned in our handy flow chart below! *Note – many of these therapies can and should be combined with each other as supplements and any kind of cognitive therapy should be done with the guidance of a mental health professional.*

  1. Halo Therapy (Salt Therapy) – great for grounding yourself and for relaxation (used as a helpful supplement to therapy)
  2. Reiki and Energy Healing – excellent for releasing built up energy from past traumas or consistent anxiety
  3. Acupuncture and Acupressure – releases pent up energies and helps body processes affected by stress hormones return to normal
  4. Yoga – Relaxation, rest, and meditation all rolled into one
  5. Hypnotherapy and Guided Meditation – great for re-centering and learning to control obsessive thoughts. Also ideal for helping you sleep.
  6. Sensory Deprivation – helps you focus on your inner thoughts without distraction so you can sort them out easier.
  7. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – teaches you to accept your thoughts as they are and move forward without dwelling on them. Very effective for combating rumination (obsessive dwelling on thoughts or feelings).
  8. Exposure Response Prevention – uses a hierarchical treatment plan to safely desensitize you from phobias and anxieties. One of the best treatments known for OCD.
  9. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy – teaches you to look at your thoughts as an observer instead of a participant, allowing you to let difficult feelings go.
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Action Based Therapies for those who learn best from taking action!

Action Based Therapies:

Action based therapies are great for people who learn and express themselves best from doing. They can easily be combined with Mindfulness Based Therapies as a supplement, however many of these therapies are good to stand alone as well.

Who Benefits From This Therapy Type?

This therapy type is ideal for children, who tend to process things more through action than thinking. It’s also good for adults who have difficult traumas they’re not quite ready to dive deep into yet. Action Based therapies can be effective tools to help heal PTSD, CPTSD, and adverse affects from Adverse Childhood Experiences aka ACES. (Check out our article on ACEs and Trauma Informed Parenting Here).

What Kind of Action Based Therapies are There?

  1. Narrative Therapy – working with a counselor to write your story in a way that helps you safely process and get perspective on trauma. Also helps you separate yourself from your mental health issues.
  2. Art Therapy – similar to narrative therapy, art therapy helps people express heavy feelings and helps reduce stress
  3. Drama Therapy – helps patients to diffusely “act out” their trauma. By making the story about someone else, it’s easier for many people to come to terms with a trauma.
  4. Animal Assisted Therapy – animals help calm patients as they talk through difficult events and emotions. This is a great supplement to any kind of therapy.
  5. Play Therapy – similar to drama therapy, play therapy allows people to act out their emotions in an expressive, fun, and safe way. Great for kids but also very effective for adults.
  6. Dance/Movement Therapy – teaches patients to channel and process difficult emotions into movement and/or dance.
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Talk Based Therapies for those who really really want to look within!

Talk Based Therapies:

Talk based therapies are incredibly helpful in addressing trauma by tapping into your subconscious. They are heavily focused on the experience of the patient, making them most effective for individuals.

Who Benefits From This Therapy Type?

This therapy style is best for people who are ready to face trauma head on. That means, it’s definitely not for everyone. However it can be the only thing that helps a person heal from serious trauma.

Beyond that, some talk therapies are useful to reunite families (Marriage and Family Therapy) or help people better connect with their roots (Multi-Cultural Therapy). They are also good for patients who may not know why they struggle with mood or emotional regulation.

What Kind of Talk Based Therapies are There?

  1. Gestalt Therapy – helps clients “zoom” out and use events of the present to re-frame negative past events (i.e. re-telling a story of an incident you experienced as a child but framing it from your now adult perspective)
  2. Regression Therapy – often combined with hypnotism, this therapy helps patients to access memories locked away in their subconscious that may be contributing to current mental illness
  3. Jungian Therapy – this is where the activity of “free word association” comes from. This therapy strives to connect the subconscious and conscious minds to help people live a more balanced life
  4. Psychoanalytic Therapy – here patients process past trauma by talking in-depth about the events and understanding how the trauma has affected them throughout their lives
  5. Counseling Via Religious Entity – involves talking through problems with a religious entity such as a priest, pastor, imam, rabbi, etc. and using spirituality to help guide you through a healing process
  6. Interpersonal Psychotherapy – helps patients resolve issues with close relationships and can be helpful when facing a big life change such as divorce, sickness, or job loss
  7. Psychodynamic Therapy – helps patients be more self aware on how their thoughts and behaviors are affecting their mental health. Can be very helpful with substance abuse issues and to treat personality disorders.
  8. Marriage and Family Therapy – looks at the relationships between couples and/or families and how they contribute to overall mental health of the unit.
  9. Multicultural Therapy – a talk therapy style informed by the unique view of a patient’s cultural experience. This unique perspective is used to tailor therapy practices into ways that will best help the individual heal.
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Behavior Based Therapies for those who are ready to attack their thoughts and behaviors head on!

Behavior Based Therapies:

Behavior based therapies focus on emotional growth via a change in behavior. Most of the therapies in this style are experiential, evidence based, and have measurable outcomes. Basically, this is therapy where you can visibly see progression, which makes it a favorite of therapists and clients alike.

Who Benefits from this Therapy Type?

Since this style is so focused on “brain training” it’s great for those who struggle with neurochemical imbalances caused by depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

This therapy type is also really helpful to teach mood regulation so it’s ideal for those managing the effects of a personality disorder as well as those who struggle with balancing their mood.

What Kind of Behavior Based Therapies are There?

  1. Dialectical Behavior Therapy – helps patients deal with hard feelings by giving them a “toolbox” of emotional skills. It’s also very helpful with improving interpersonal relationships and social anxiety.
  2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – identifies harmful cognitive distortions and teaches patients how to reframe those thoughts in a variety of more positive ways
  3. Neurolinguistic Programming Therapy – asserts that the patient’s view of the world, via their thoughts and language, ultimately affects mental health. This therapy aims to correct thinking distortions by changing a patient’s internal and external dialogue (i.e. “the world is a crappy place” becomes a more rational “the world is a place with ups and downs”)
  4. Exposure Response Prevention – uses a hierarchical treatment plan to safely desensitize you from phobias and anxieties. One of the best treatments known for OCD.
  5. Interpersonal Psychotherapy – helps patients resolve issues with close relationships and can be helpful when facing a big life change such as divorce, sickness, or job loss
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Wrap Up

Thanks for having some educational fun with me! I hope this list of therapy types will help you on your way to a healthy emotional life.

Oh, and if you’re ever feeling bad about the ups and down of recovery from a mental health issue, just try to look at it as an epic journey where you’re the hero. This helps me because, according to Joseph Campbell, the Hero’s Journey is actually a ten step process filled with challenges that make the hero truly powerful in the end.

So whenever I feel bad about backsliding, I try to remember it’s all part of an amazing journey. Like all my favorite heroes, I’ll come out of it stronger and wiser in the end (and maybe with a few more awesome friends). And so will you <3

Much Love,

MB

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Mad as Hell Mental Health Rights Advocate. Likes margaritas, long walks on the beach, and JUSTICE.

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