Talking Therapies - Everything You Need to Know

However, while talking to friends, family, and colleagues about our thoughts can be helpful, sometimes we need to talk to a professional therapist. A professional therapist will listen to us, understand what we are telling them, and respond in a way that can successfully guide us towards recovery. They can interpret our behaviour, moods, thoughts, and feelings and apply their expertise in the best form possible.

There are various types of talking therapies, each one effective in its own way.

Jungian Analysis

Developed by 19th-century Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, Jungian analysis is an in-depth, analytical form of talk therapy designed to bring together the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind. It brings in various Jungian theories, including archetypes, synchronicity, and the self to help the client achieve a sense of balance and “wholeness”.

Calling on clients to delve into the deeper and often darker elements of their mind (known as “the shadow”) Jungian analysis can help improve the lives of those with everything from  depression and anxiety, to  grief and relationship issues.


Based on the theories of Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, psychoanalysis is a form of talking therapy that explores how the unconscious mind influences thoughts and behaviours. Sessions typically involve looking at the client’s early childhood experiences and relating them to their life in the present.

The aim of psychoanalysis is to offer insight and resolution. It is considered a long-term form of therapy, with sessions continuing from weeks to years. 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is one of the most widely common forms of talking therapy based on the idea that the way we feel about situations can affect the way we feel and behave. Frequently used to treat anxiety and depression, it aims to break the client out of the vicious cycle that negative thoughts and feelings can create.

Unlike psychoanalysis, CBT deals with the client’s current problems rather than focusing on issues in the past, looking for practical ways of improving their state of mind on a daily basis. During the sessions, the client will work with the therapist to break down their problems into separate parts and determine how each one has an effect on them. The therapist will then be able to help work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours. 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a form of talk therapy based on problem-solving and acceptance-based strategies. Aimed at those for whom emotions play a powerful role in their everyday life, it can help clients understand and accept difficult feelings by developing skills to manage them.

The term “dialectical” refers to an action through opposing forces. In other forms, trying to understand how two things that seem opposite could both be true. For example, accepting yourself but also seeking to change your behaviour might appear contradictory; however, DBT shows that it's possible for you to achieve both objectives together.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a relatively new form of talk therapy most commonly used for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Developed by American psychologist Francine Shapiro in the 1980s, the approach is based on the idea that negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours are the result of unprocessed memories.

It teaches that we can reduce their influence by focusing simultaneously on spontaneous associations of traumatic images, thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, together with repeated eye movements. When done effectively, it allows clients to develop ways to successfully get on with their lives. 


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