The Most Popular Form of Therapy: Insights into Highly Valued Approaches

Choose the form you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 11, 2024 07:08
Welcome to StrawPoll's latest dynamic ranking, where we dive deep into the realm of self-discovery and mental well-being. We're on a mission to determine the most popular form of therapy, and we need your valuable input! From the comforting embrace of talk therapy to the transformative power of art therapy, there's a wide spectrum of therapeutic approaches designed to heal, uplift, and inspire. So, what's your go-to therapeutic method? Cast your vote and join the conversation! Don't see your preferred therapy on the list? No worries - simply suggest a missing option and make your voice heard. Let's embark on this enlightening journey together, exploring the diverse world of therapy and uncovering the ultimate path towards personal growth and healing. Vote now and stay tuned for the results!

What Is the Most Popular Form of Therapy?

  1. 1
    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors.
    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a widely used form of therapy that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It aims to help individuals identify and challenge negative or unhelpful thought patterns and develop more positive and adaptive ways of thinking and responding to situations. CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts and beliefs influence our feelings and actions, and by changing these unhealthy or irrational thoughts, we can experience improved well-being and functioning.
    • Duration: Usually short-term, lasting 12-20 sessions
    • Structure: Structured and goal-oriented
    • Collaborative: Therapist and client work together to identify and solve problems
    • Evidence-based: Supported by extensive scientific research
    • Focused on the present: Primarily seeks to address current issues and difficulties
    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in other rankings
  2. 2

    Psychodynamic Therapy

    Sigmund Freud
    Psychodynamic Therapy - focuses on exploring unconscious thoughts and past experiences that may be influencing current behaviors.
    Psychodynamic therapy is a form of talk therapy that focuses on exploring the unconscious mind and its influence on a person's behavior, thoughts, and emotions. It aims to identify unresolved conflicts, past traumas, and ingrained patterns of thinking and behaving that may be causing distress in an individual's life.
    • Duration: Varies, typically long-term
    • Process: Face-to-face sessions with a therapist
    • Unconscious exploration: Analyzes unconscious thoughts and feelings
    • Early experiences: Focuses on childhood experiences and their impact
    • Transference: Examines the client-therapist relationship dynamics
  3. 3

    Humanistic Therapy

    Carl Rogers
    Humanistic Therapy - emphasizes self-awareness and personal growth.
    Humanistic therapy is a psychological approach that focuses on an individual's inherent capacity for personal growth and self-actualization. It emphasizes self-exploration, introspection, and self-awareness as key components of the therapeutic process. Humanistic therapy views each individual as unique and values their subjective experiences, emphasizing the importance of the present moment and the power of personal choice.
    • Client-centered: Therapist provides a non-judgmental and empathetic environment where the client takes an active role in the therapy session.
    • Holistic: Focuses on integrating the mind, body, and spirit of the individual.
    • Emphasis on personal responsibility: Encourages clients to take responsibility for their actions and choices, promoting personal growth and accountability.
    • Promotes self-actualization: Aims to help individuals reach their full potential and become the best version of themselves.
    • Unconditional positive regard: Therapist accepts and respects the client without judgment, fostering a safe and supportive therapeutic relationship.
  4. 4

    Mindfulness-based Therapy

    Jon Kabat-Zinn
    Mindfulness-based Therapy - combines mindfulness practices with traditional therapy techniques to help manage stress and anxiety.
    Mindfulness-based therapy is a therapeutic approach that combines elements of mindfulness meditation and cognitive-behavioral therapy. It aims to help individuals develop a greater awareness and acceptance of their thoughts, emotions, and sensations, ultimately leading to a reduction in stress and improved psychological well-being. The practice of mindfulness involves nonjudgmental, present-moment awareness, cultivating a focused and compassionate mindset.
    • Integrative Approach: Combines mindfulness meditation and cognitive-behavioral therapy
    • Focus on Awareness: Develop a greater awareness of thoughts, emotions, and sensations
    • Acceptance: Promotes acceptance of one's experiences without judgment
    • Stress Reduction: Aims to reduce stress and improve psychological well-being
    • Enhances Cognitive Skills: Improves cognitive abilities related to attention, focus, and memory
  5. 5

    Family Therapy

    Murray Bowen
    Family Therapy - focuses on improving communication and relationships among family members.
    Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on improving communication and resolving conflicts within a family system. It aims to help family members understand each other better, enhance their emotional connections, and promote healthy problem-solving strategies for the whole family. Family therapy typically involves sessions with multiple family members present, including couples, parents, children, and even extended family members.
    • Systems Approach: Family therapy views the family as a complex system, where the behavior of one family member can affect and be influenced by the behavior of others.
    • Focus on Relationships: The focus of family therapy is on identifying and addressing the patterns of interactions and relationships within the family.
    • Holistic Perspective: Family therapy takes into account various aspects of the family system, including cultural, social, and environmental influences.
    • Collaborative Approach: The therapist works collaboratively with the family, guiding them towards positive changes and facilitating effective communication.
    • Emphasis on Communication: Improving communication skills and promoting healthy patterns of communication is a key aspect of family therapy.
    Family Therapy in other rankings
  6. 6
    Dialectical Behavioral Therapy - focuses on teaching skills to manage intense emotions and improve relationships.
    Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that was developed by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan. It is designed to help individuals who struggle with emotional regulation, impulsivity, mood swings, self-destructive behaviors, and interpersonal difficulties. DBT combines elements of cognitive therapy, mindfulness, and dialectics to help individuals accept themselves, manage their emotions, and improve their relationships.
    • Mindfulness: DBT emphasizes the practice of mindfulness, which involves paying attention to the present moment with acceptance and without judgment.
    • Cognitive-Behavioral Approach: DBT incorporates both cognitive and behavioral strategies to help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors.
    • Dialectics: DBT incorporates the concept of dialectics, which recognizes that there are often multiple perspectives and truths. It helps individuals learn to balance acceptance and change.
    • Individual Therapy: DBT typically includes individual therapy sessions, during which the therapist and client work together to set goals and develop skills to manage emotions and behaviors.
    • Skills Training: DBT includes group skills training sessions, where individuals learn specific skills related to mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
    Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) in other rankings
  7. 7
    Interpersonal Therapy - focuses on improving relationships and resolving conflicts.
    Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a time-limited, evidence-based form of therapy that focuses on improving interpersonal relationships and addressing specific problems in those relationships. It was developed by Gerald Klerman and Myrna Weissman in the 1970s as a short-term alternative to traditional psychoanalysis.
    • Duration: IPT is typically delivered over 12-16 sessions, with sessions usually held weekly.
    • Focus: IPT focuses on four main problem areas: grief, interpersonal disputes or conflicts, role transitions or life changes, and interpersonal deficits.
    • Therapeutic Approach: IPT is a manualized therapy that follows a structured approach, with specific techniques and interventions for each problem area.
    • Goals: The primary goals of IPT are to improve interpersonal functioning, alleviate symptoms, and enhance social support.
    • Collaborative Approach: Therapist and client work together as collaborators, identifying and addressing interpersonal issues.
  8. 8
    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy - focuses on accepting difficult thoughts and emotions and taking action towards personal values.
    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a popular form of psychotherapy that aims to help individuals develop psychological flexibility and improve their overall well-being. The therapy focuses on promoting acceptance of thoughts and feelings, rather than trying to eliminate or control them, and encourages individuals to commit to behaviors that align with their personal values. ACT combines cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques with mindfulness and acceptance strategies to empower individuals to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.
    • Goal: To enhance psychological flexibility and well-being
    • Approach: Combination of CBT, mindfulness, and acceptance strategies
    • Techniques: Defusion, acceptance, mindfulness, self-as-context
    • Values-Based Action: Focusing on committed action aligned with personal values
    • Experiential Avoidance: Identifying and reducing avoidance of unwanted internal experiences
    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in other rankings
  9. 9
    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing - uses eye movements to help process traumatic memories.
    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy approach that is commonly used to treat individuals who have experienced trauma or distressing life events. It was developed in the late 1980s by Francine Shapiro, a psychologist and educator. EMDR aims to facilitate the processing and integration of traumatic memories in order to reduce their distressing effects and promote psychological healing.
    • Purpose: To alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories and facilitate healing.
    • Technique: Clients focus on a disturbing memory while simultaneously engaging in specific eye movements or other forms of bi-lateral stimulation.
    • Phases: EMDR typically involves eight phases, including history taking, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation.
    • Bilateral Stimulation: The use of eye movements, taps, or auditory cues to stimulate both sides of the brain, facilitating the processing of traumatic memories.
    • Processing Targets: EMDR can be used to treat various types of trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), phobias, anxiety, and other emotional disturbances.
    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in other rankings
  10. 10

    Art Therapy

    Margaret Naumberg
    Art Therapy is uses art materials and creative expression as a means of therapy.
    Art therapy is a form of therapy that uses various visual arts mediums as a means of expression and communication. Through the creative process, individuals explore their thoughts, emotions, and experiences, promoting personal growth and healing. It is a non-verbal and non-threatening method of therapy that allows for self-expression and reflection.
    • Mediums Used: Painting, drawing, sculpting, collage, and other visual arts mediums
    • Therapeutic Goals: Self-exploration, emotional release, stress reduction, enhanced self-esteem, personal growth
    • Targeted Issues: Anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, self-esteem issues, and other mental health concerns
    • Process-Oriented: Focuses on the creative process rather than the final artistic product
    • Qualified Practitioners: Art therapists who have completed specific training and hold relevant credentials
    Art Therapy in other rankings

Missing your favorite form?


Ranking factors for popular form

  1. Effectiveness
    The primary factor to consider is the effectiveness of the therapy in treating various mental health issues. Research evidence should support the therapy's ability to reduce symptoms, improve well-being, and facilitate lasting change.
  2. Accessibility
    The availability of the therapy and the ease with which people can access it are crucial factors. This can include the number of trained practitioners, the cost of sessions, and the availability of services in different locations (urban vs. rural) and in various languages and cultural contexts.
  3. Acceptability
    The degree to which clients are comfortable with and motivated to engage in the therapy plays an essential role in its popularity. Clients should feel understood, respected, and encouraged by the therapeutic approach. The therapy should also align with their personal values and cultural norms.
  4. Flexibility and adaptability
    The therapy's ability to cater to individual needs and preferences is important. Some clients may require a more structured approach, while others may prefer something more open-ended. Some may do better with a focus on thoughts and behaviors, while others may want to explore emotions and relationships in more depth. The flexibility and adaptability of the approach contribute to its popularity.
  5. Time and duration of treatment
    The length of treatment required to see improvement and the frequency of sessions should be considered. Shorter and more focused treatments may be more popular, as clients often want to see results quickly and may have limited time and financial resources for therapy.
  6. Integration with other treatments
    A popular therapy should be able to work in conjunction with other therapeutic approaches, medical treatments, and self-help resources. This allows for a more comprehensive and tailored approach to care.
  7. Training and supervision required for therapists
    The amount and quality of training and ongoing supervision required for therapists to practice the therapy should be considered, as this can impact accessibility and quality of care.
  8. Research and evidence base
    A strong research base supporting the therapy's effectiveness and safety will likely be more popular. Ongoing research and development into the therapy help refine and improve the approach and may result in increased popularity.
  9. Public awareness and perception
    The public's awareness and perception of the therapy play a significant role in its popularity. Media representation, word-of-mouth referrals, and the credibility of the therapy among mental health professionals can all contribute to its appeal.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular form of therapy. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or form is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 213 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each form once every 24 hours. The rank of each form is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular form of therapy

Therapy is a form of treatment that helps individuals cope with emotional, mental, and behavioral issues. It is a process that involves a trained therapist who provides support, guidance, and tools to help individuals overcome their challenges. There are different types of therapy, each with its unique approach and benefits. The most popular form of therapy depends on various factors, such as the individual's condition, preferences, and goals. In this article, we will explore the most popular forms of therapy and their benefits.

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