What's the Difference Between Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Psychodynamic Counselling?


If anxiety is making it hard for you to cope with everyday life, then you may have talked to your doctor about getting help. They may have told you about various therapeutic options you can look at including cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic counselling.

Both of these techniques use talk therapy; however, they work differently. This is not a one size fits all solution, and it's important to choose the right type of counselling for your needs. What's the difference between the two?

How Does CBT Work?

When you see a CBT counsellor, they help you manage your anxiety better to improve the quality of your life. The emphasis here is on establishing and setting practical goals to give you coping mechanisms.

So, you'll talk about how your anxiety affects your life. You'll discuss when you get anxious and how it makes you feel. You then work with your therapist to set goals that help you manage these times.

These goals work to reduce the chances that you get into situations that make you anxious. If you understand when this is likely to happen, you can find ways to head off stressful thoughts.

You also often learn techniques that help you manage anxiety when it does happen. For example, you might learn breathing or mindfulness exercises that help calm you down. You may still get stressed but at a reduced level.

Typically, CBT counselling doesn't last more than a few weeks or months. Once you cover the basics and establish goals that work, you're done.

How Does Psychodynamic Therapy Work?

Psychodynamic therapy works differently to CBT. It is also a form of talk therapy; however, it isn't focused on goals and it isn't restricted to the present.

While your counsellor will want to know about your anxiety problems at the start, they then dig deeper into your past right back to your childhood. They want to help you learn what might have happened in the past to make you so anxious now.

The principle here is that you can deal with the root cause of your problems if you know where they came from. Rather than just helping you cope with anxiety, psychodynamic therapy aims to get rid of it by working out why it happens.

This kind of therapy takes longer. You need to talk more rather than set short-term goals.

If you aren't sure which anxiety counselling method is best for you, contact local clinics. You can book a starter session with a counsellor to discuss your options and choose the right type of therapy.


27 January 2020

An Introduction to Counselling

Hello! If you have never attended a counselling session before, you may have some questions about the entire process. We hope that this blog will answer some of the questions you may have. Here, you will find articles which explore a number of different types of therapy and counselling. Among others, we will look at CBT, existentialist, and narrative therapy. You will also find articles about what to expect during your first counselling session. Although we aren't trained counsellors, every writer has a passion for talking therapies and mental health. We hope you enjoy checking out this blog. Thank you.