According to a recent survey, only about 75% of Americans say they would give their mental health an “excellent” or “good” rating. We say “only” because this actually marks a record low. Once upon a time, that number was as high as 85%.
If you feel as though your mental health is “excellent” or even “good,” that’s great. But if it doesn’t fall into one of these two categories, you should look into taking advantage of the different types of therapy available to you. Psychoanalysis and behavior therapy are two solid options.
So, how is behavior therapy different than psychoanalysis? It would be worth finding out the answer to this question before deciding which type of individual therapy you’d like to move forward with.
We’re going to discuss the differences between psychoanalysis and behavior therapy here. Keep reading to learn more about what sets these two types of therapy apart.
What Is Psychoanalysis?
Psychoanalysis is a type of therapy that’s been around for well over a century now. Often referred to as psychoanalytic therapy, it was founded way back in the late 1800s by none other than Sigmund Freud.
Freud believed that many of the mental health challenges people faced stemmed from the unconscious feelings and thoughts they were having. He thought these feelings and thoughts were tied to emotions and memories that people had buried way down deep in their psyche.
With this in mind, psychoanalysis involves working to analyze the experiences that a person went through early on in their life and trying to figure out how they might be affecting them in the present day. The belief is that this can help to unearth emotions and memories that might be repressed but continuing to impact a person and the way they live their life.
It can take a long time for psychoanalysis to play out. In some cases, a person will have to spend months and sometimes even years meeting with a trained psychoanalyst on a regular basis to get to the bottom of what’s going on in their unconscious feelings and thoughts.
But by using psychoanalysis, the hope is that a person will be able to create a connection between their unconscious and conscious feelings and thoughts so that they can improve their mental health and emotional well-being.
What Are the Benefits of Psychoanalysis?
There are certain types of therapy that have come and gone over the last century or so. But psychoanalysis has persisted for a number of reasons. Many people have come to appreciate the benefits of psychoanalysis and all that it can offer.
For starters, psychoanalysis can help bring about an increased awareness within a person. While meeting with a psychoanalyst, they’ll be asked to examine their innermost feelings and thoughts. This can bring about an awareness within a person that wouldn’t otherwise exist.
There are also some other worthwhile benefits that’ll come along with psychoanalysis. Here are a few of them:
- May help a person manage their emotions better than before
- May put a person in a position to make better life choices
- May allow a person to form better and longer-lasting relationships with others
Not everyone is going to respond to psychoanalysis in the same way. But if nothing else, attending sessions with a psychoanalyst will make it possible for you to explore your emotions and feelings on a deeper level than you have in the past. It’ll also enable you to speak with someone else about them who can then help you make sense of them.
Could Psychoanalysis Work for You?
If you’re someone who is genuinely interested in exploring your emotions, feelings, and thoughts, you might be a great candidate for psychoanalysis. You might be someone who could benefit from psychoanalysis greatly if you have either been diagnosed with a mental health condition or believe you might be suffering from one.
Here are several mental health conditions that can be treated with psychoanalysis:
- Self-destructive behavior
- Identity disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorders
- And more
If you’ve suffered from emotional trauma in the past, you might also be able to benefit from psychoanalysis. It could help to shed some light on why you think, feel, and act the way you do in certain situations.
What Is Behavior Therapy?
Behavior therapy, which is also sometimes called behavioral psychotherapy or conditioning therapy, hasn’t been around for quite as long as psychoanalysis has. But it did first start to take shape in the 1920s before major advancements in behavioral therapy were made throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.
Unlike psychoanalysis, behavior therapy doesn’t focus too much on a person’s past and their unconscious feelings and thoughts. Instead, it involves taking a closer look at the actions that a person takes and analyzing the context of them. A person can then work on making behavioral changes that can help to improve their emotional state and mental health as a whole.
More often than not, a person who participates in behavior therapy will only have to take part in a certain number of therapy sessions to start to see results. They won’t have to spend months or even years meeting with a psychoanalyst to delve deep into their psyche.
They’ll be able to work closely with a behavioral therapist to pinpoint some of the behaviors they’re expressing and the negative emotions that might be connected to them. A behavioral therapist can help them to put an end to negative thought patterns that can lead to them partaking in behaviors that could be bad for their mental health.
Some of the therapeutic techniques that a behavioral therapist will utilize will include:
- Cognitive restructuring
- Activity scheduling
- Aversion therapy
- Systematic desensitization
- Exposure therapy
A behavioral therapist will be able to speak with you about the current condition of your mental health and come up with the right techniques to try to produce the best results.
What Are the Benefits of Behavior Therapy?
One of the things that people have come to like most about behavior therapy is that they don’t always have to commit to going to therapy for years on end to see a difference in their mental health. Depending on your situation, you might be able to see an improvement in your mental health within a matter of just weeks in some instances.
People also appreciate that behavior therapy will often provide them with a roadmap of how to deal with certain situations in real life. When they’re faced with adversity, they can lean on the things they’ve learned in therapy to deal with them accordingly.
Additionally, many people report gaining valuable insight into why they behave in certain ways after going through just a few behavior therapy sessions. This can be very exciting, and it can motivate them to want to take part in more therapy to continue to get this insight.
Could Behavior Therapy Work for You?
If you’ve noticed that you demonstrate behavioral patterns that could be doing harm to your mental health, behavior therapy might be a great option for you. It might also be a good option for you if you’ve been diagnosed with certain mental health conditions or suspect you might be dealing with them.
Here are several mental health conditions that you may be able to treat with behavior therapy:
- Substance use disorder
- Eating disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- And more
Even if you’re currently taking prescription medications for one or more of these mental health conditions, you may still find that behavior therapy will be very beneficial for you. It could help retrain your brain to deal with situations that can take a toll on your mental health and affect your decision-making abilities.
How Is Behavior Therapy Different Than Psychoanalysis?
After hearing about both psychoanalysis and behavior therapy, you should have a better idea as to how to answer the question, “How is behavior therapy different than psychoanalysis?” But just in case you’re still confused, we’d like to wrap things up by emphasizing the things that set them apart.
The biggest difference between the two is that they include taking two different approaches to providing therapy. Psychoanalysis attempts to explain your emotions and thoughts by taking a deep dive into your psyche to see what it can uncover. This can take a long time to do, but it could prove to produce some interesting findings that you can use to your advantage.
Behavior therapy, on the other hand, takes a closer look at your behaviors and the emotions and thoughts that come along with them. By doing this, you might be able to identify negative thought patterns and work to retrain your brain to stop them from impacting your behaviors.
Both psychoanalysis and behavior therapy can work wonders for people when they’re administered by the right therapist. But you’ll need to try to focus on finding the right type of therapy based on your specific needs.
Contact Us Now to Schedule Individual Therapy
After learning the answer to the question, “How is behavior therapy different than psychoanalysis?” you might know which type of therapy would be right for you. You might also still be just as confused as ever and wondering which direction to go in.
Either way, Therapie can set you up with the individual therapy services you need. We can help you choose the appropriate therapist and road map for therapy.
Schedule a free consultation today to get started.