5 Trends in Psychotherapy and What That Means For You.

January 26, 2018

The great news is that treatment options are getting better every day.

Gone are the days where psychotherapy meant laying on a coach and analyzing everything through a Freudian lens of conflict with the id, ego and the superego. Treatment options now offer individuals seeking relief, real and lasting options that go beyond traditional methods. Tools, updated techniques and modernization all put the client more in the driver’s seat than ever, which can be helpful for overall individual development. Personally, it has provided me with more options to truly help people overcome problems and live full, transformative lives.

Let’s take a look at some of the top trends and what they mean for you.

Attachment. Attachment. Attachment.

John Bowlby’s the British psychiatrist pioneering studies on child development shaped what we know today about infants and children’s needs for close nurturing relationships with caretakers. We now know that throughout life people need intimate relationship throughout adulthood as well in order to feel secure. Secure relationships with a partner help us endure the inevitable storms in life. The ability to make and maintain healthy attachments is a primary human goal.

What this means in therapy? In recent year’s Sue Johnson’s model attachment based couples therapy called EFT has taken the scene like a storm. The therapy is evidenced based and effective. EFT postulates that the fights couples have are caused by the ways couples don’t show up for the attachment, by withdrawing, attacking or shutting down. Learning techniques to improve attunement, improves the attachment and marital harmony/fulfillment.

Millennials are Changing Everything!

From gender issues, to staying single, polyamorous relationships, non-monogamous relationships, marrying later, not having kids, choosing to stay single, commuter relationships, and many career changes over a lifetime. Millenials are changing the way we see what is customary and traditional, and keeping us on our toes to be relevant change agents.

What is means in therapy? Video chatting is the new normal, creative ways to deliver therapy are on the horizon. Long-term therapy is out. It’s not just that they have a short attention span either – Millenials are likely to be more accepting of things that were once considered “outside of the norm”, thus allowing them to explore taking on different roles.

More Collaboration between Therapist and Client.

While that’s always been the case now it’s even more so. Therapists provide a lot more information to clients to help people manage emotions and discuss approaches and the rationale behind it then they ever did before. Therapists are not seen as the unquestioned expert who has all the answers and often, clients are given tools to continue working on their own individual growth.

What that means for therapy? Rather than merely hope for answers, you as the client  get to be empowered and take greater responsibility for your growth, which leads to long-term, lasting results

Utilizing Neuroscience and Lifestyle

The onset of MRI’s has enabled us to know more about brain function. We now have brain based strategies like EMDR, Mindfulness, Behavioral Techniques to calm the nervous system.

We also have a better understanding of the role of diet and an active lifestyle in overall well-being.

What that means for therapy? You will have a much greater role in creating and maintaining your well-being. You’ll also have more evidence-based information to help you make better choices, improving the overall quality of your everyday life.

Focus on the Body and Experiential Approaches to Change

This includes a wide-range of approaches like, Somatic Experiencing, Somatic Processing, Hakomi, Yoga Therapy,  and EMDR. Body centered, somatic psychotherapy has been shown to be effective with a wide range of issues for many people including, mood disorders, and trauma.

What that means for therapy? The body serves as a resource and a way to access core material for transformation. Present felt awareness and experience is emphasized. Embodying your experience is involved, allowing new experiences to “erase” old traumatic tapes so people can live healthier, functional, happier lives.

The bottom line?

No one approach to therapy works for everyone; collaborating with your therapist to co-create the process and strategies to help you feel better is crucial. Therapists are getting better at what they do, we’re engaging our clients better, and you won’t feel as uncomfortable in therapy as in the past.