Types of Therapeutic Approaches
A variety of therapeutic approaches may be used during the counseling process. These include: (1) “talk therapy,” which helps the patient gain insight and resolve problems through verbal exchange with a therapist; (2) “behavioral therapy,” which helps an individual find reinforcement through rewards based on his or her own actions; (3) “interpersonal therapy,” which concentrates on issues arising in relationships with others; (4) “cognitive/behavioral therapy,” which works to change negative ways of thinking and acting into more positive approaches; and (5) “psychodynamic therapy,” which helps to resolve internal conflicting feelings, often stemming from past experiences.
In addition to individual therapy, some clients benefit from family or couples therapy, while others find group therapy to be effective. Some less traditional, but increasingly popular therapy options also include phone therapy and therapy over the internet. Although these options have limitations, the methods used can be very attractive for clients who are home-bound or who live in remote areas, where finding qualified mental health professionals can be difficult.
Support groups and peer counseling are often particularly helpful for MS patients and a number of these programs are made available through MS organizations. These programs should not be substituted for professional therapy, but may be a nice adjunct. Talking to others who can relate first-hand to what it is like to live with MS and/or depression, helps to validate what you are experiencing.