I’ve been doing some therapies inside the CBT world for the last 5 years. I have to say: for me, being empirically based is a must. I am not willing to submit myself to any other therapy. But I am too tired of the “this was then” approach. I want to talk a lot about my past, I want to understand it, I want to make peace with it. And no, I don’t want to ignore it. I don’t want to simply say that I’m a different person now and that is the starting point. What kind of therapy should I look after? (age 28, from Canada)Empirically Based Therapy that also Deals with My Past
Empirically Based Therapy that also Deals with My Past
A: Thank you for writing in with your question. The type of therapy that would be best for you would depend on what it is you are looking for. It seems that you have participated in therapy that is present-focused and utilized a cognitive behavioral approach, but you feel that you also want to work through some past issues now. There are many forms of therapy to choose from, and most types have been empirical studied at some level.
My clinical training was eclectic and I have to say that I am glad it was. The longer I do this work, the more I understand that meeting the client where they are and offering the tools to help them get to where they want to be, is more important than applying a certain conceptual theory or technique.
Finding a good match between you and your therapist is key. If you want to explore your past, you might find that a psychodynamic approach may be best, but if you want a more empirically-focused treatment, you might consider Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Or ideally, finding an eclectic therapist comfortable with many theories and techniques may offer you the best of all the worlds. Good luck with your search.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts