Going to therapy can test resolve, break down walls, and be uncomfortable. Vulnerability and honesty in front of new people can disrupt standard coping mechanisms and be very triggering. Understanding what you’re going into beforehand can help prepare those that are unfamiliar or new to therapy.
Below, we will cover what you can expect from therapy in general before diving into the specifics of betrayal trauma therapy.
What to expect from therapy in general?
There are multiple kinds of therapy options available today. The COVID-19 pandemic encouraged telehealth communication in ways we had never imagined. People worldwide have access to text, video, phone, and in-person therapies. This has changed not only accessibility but the true format of the setting.
Choosing the right option for you can be based on location, convenience, treatment preferences, and specialties within the field. Being connected to counselors, coaches, and therapists who have years of treating nuanced mental health issues can make an enormous difference in the healing process.
Therapy can come in many shapes and sizes.
|Type of Therapy||Common Focus & Description|
|Cognitive-behavioral therapy||Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) explores the relationship between behavior and thoughts/feelings.|
Using CBT, a therapist will help individuals uncover thought patterns and discuss how some might cause self-destructive behaviors.
It is commonly used for anxiety, depression, bipolar, trauma-related disorders, amongst other mental health roadblocks.
|Dialectical behavior therapy||Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is very similar to CBT. However, DBT focuses more on regulating emotions, being mindful, and accepting uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.|
In DBT, a therapist helps individuals find a balance between change and acceptance. DBT involves teaching new coping mechanisms and mindfulness techniques.
It is commonly used to treat people with borderline personality, eating, substance, mood, and post-traumatic stress disorders.
|Exposure therapy||Exposure therapy is a form of CBT. This method determines what triggers anxiety in patients. The therapist will teach and help develop strategies to avoid ritualistic behaviors or anxiety after exposure to triggers.|
The therapist can expose the person to their triggers with the help of a controlled environment to practice the application.
This kind of therapy is most commonly used with OCD, PTSD, and phobias.
|Interpersonal therapy||Interpersonal therapy focuses on helping individuals work on relationships with others. |
During interpersonal therapy, the therapist evaluates social interactions and looks explicitly for negative patterns. The therapist advises on ways to understand and engage positively with others.
This therapy type is often used for depression and anxiety-related disorders.
|Mentalization-based therapy||Mentalization-based therapy (MBT) helps people with BPD notice and understand their thoughts and feelings and those of others. It is closely related to DBT. |
Its primary goal is to give a person with BPD a sense of self and help them connect to other people.
|Psychodynamic therapy||Psychodynamic therapy helps combat negative behavior patterns that derive from past experiences. It involves a person speaking openly in a questions-based format. It often allows a therapist to identify patterns of behavior and thought.|
Psychodynamic therapy is successful in treating depressive disorders, BPD, and anxiety. However, this technique is commonly employed with other conditions.
|Emotion-focused therapy||Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) focuses on emotional awareness and regulating and resolving the emotions identified. EFT encourages individuals to listen to their feelings rather than suppressing them.|
This therapy type is often used for treating depression, trauma, anxiety, relationship, and eating-related disorders.
|Family therapy||Family therapy involves working with an entire family unit to help an individual within a family to resolve specific issues. This process allows a family to identify and work through behavior patterns causing problems.|
This is used most frequently with addiction, eating, anxiety, behaviors, and OCD-related diagnosis.
|Group therapy||Group therapy allows people with similar challenges to join together to resolve them collectively. In group therapy, a therapist leads the discussion, and individuals can contribute personal thoughts and experiences. |
Group therapy helps with the loneliness of mental health. Still, the drawback of limited one-on-one attention can make this a sometimes challenging subset of therapy.
Group therapy can apply to just about any mental health scenario.
|Mindfulness-based therapy||Mindfulness-based therapy helps relieve anxiety and depression. However, researchers indicate that the benefits of the treatment may not be long-lasting.|
Mindfulness-based work is most commonly used with depression, stress, anxiety, pain, and schizophrenia.
|Creative arts therapy||Creative art therapy engages the mind through varying methods of creative work. Some common mediums are art, dance, music, and poetry.|
This technique is most commonly used to improve motor function, self-esteem, and emotional strength, establish social skills, and resolve conflict.
|Play therapy||Play therapy is most commonly used to help children talk about their thoughts and feelings. Play therapy may allow some to express feelings or experiences through play. This type of therapy enables individuals to deal with behavioral problems, stress, or trauma in a safe environment.|
What to expect from Betrayal Trauma therapy?
Every situation is case-dependent, and finding a trustworthy therapist, coach, or mental health professional to help guide you on your healing journey is critical. The most common therapy types associated with betrayal trauma therapy are cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy, emotion-focused therapy, and group therapy.
Some common topic points that will likely be assessed as you start your recovery from betrayal trauma are listed below. It is important to remember that honesty is essential. Being prepared for therapy is not the same as preparing scripted answers for common therapy questions. Your recovery depends on transparency and willingness to be vulnerable to your coach, therapist, or mental health professional.
- Identify personal traumas
- Assess your day-to-day experience
- Explore safety and security
- Explore and your view of self, others, and the world
- Examine your support system
- Begin to establish a self-care routine
- Early, consistent, and persistent psychoeducation
How can you prepare for your therapy sessions?
Whether this is your first therapy session or your seventh time jumping back into maintaining your mental health, there are many ways to prepare yourself for your first session.
- Know your “why” for therapy
- Tell a friend or loved one
- Make a list of subjects to cover
- Clear space on either side of your appointment
- Manage your expectations
- Ask your therapist what progress might look like
- Find resources to help your journey
Bloom for Women offers a safe space for you to connect with other women, approach betrayal trauma, and begin healing. While therapists can approach betrayal trauma differently, having a supportive and empathetic network can be incredibly empowering. You deserve to have a collection of resources to make recovery easier for you.