Therapy types

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We offer a range of different types of therapy at Priory. These can be delivered in an outpatient, day care or inpatient capacity, and in different formats, including one-to-one therapy, group therapy or family/couples therapy, depending on your needs. The types of therapy that we offer at Priory include:

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT is a well-known therapeutic technique that's widely used in the treatment of a number of mental health conditions. CBT is based on the principle that mental health problems arise and are intensified as a result of dysfunctional thought patterns. Therefore, the aim of CBT is to help you to tackle your problems by breaking them down into smaller, more manageable parts, and changing the way you think, behave and respond to them. Each problem is addressed in turn and destructive, negative thought patterns are challenged in order to encourage you to view and evaluate your problems in healthier ways.

Quite often, CBT is used to treat anxiety disorders, and can also be used to treat depression. In addition, CBT deals with current problems as opposed to focusing on issues from your past. This means that your thought processes and state of mind are constantly being improved and you are equipped with lifelong skills, enabling you to continue enhancing your levels of wellbeing.

CBT has been found to be highly effective in the treatment of a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Addictions
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Sleep disorders (including insomnia)
  • Stress

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)

DBT is based on the principles that underpin CBT, but this form of therapy has been specifically designed to help people who are struggling with very intense and often destructive emotions. In DBT, therapy is focused on the person and how they can learn to understand and accept themselves, in order to reduce dysfunctional and distressing emotions and return to a healthier way of life. DBT has been found to be particularly effective in treating personality disorders, mood disorders, trauma, anger management issues, and can also be used in the treatment of sexual abuse victims. Again, one of the main benefits of DBT is that it equips you with skills for life, allowing long-term recovery and wellbeing.

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Learn more about commonly-used types of therapy

Priory explains equine therapy
Explaining eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy
Detailing what CBT does and how it works
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) therapy
Highlighting the link between mental health and exercise


Mindfulness is a well-known therapeutic method that encourages you to focus on how you feel in the present moment, while accepting and processing any negative feelings or thoughts without becoming overwhelmed by them. Once you've learned the principles of mindfulness as part of your therapy sessions, you'll be able to practise mindfulness in the future, enabling you to continue processing feelings and thoughts in a healthy way.

Mindfulness has been found to be particularly effective in the treatment of anxiety, depression and stress and can also be complemented by relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and breathing exercises.

Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a widely used treatment method that stimulates a patient’s brain by inducing them to engage in rapid, rhythmic eye movements. During an EMDR session, your therapist will move his or her fingers in front of your face and instruct you to follow these hand movements with your eyes. While your eyes are moving back and forth, you'll be asked to recall a disturbing memory, including the negative emotions that it causes, before the therapist gradually encourages you to shift your negative thoughts to more positive ones.

EMDR has been found to reduce the intensity of distressing memories and as such, it's often used in the treatment of PTSD. In addition to its widespread use in treating PTSD, EMDR has also been found to be effective in treating a range of mental health conditions.

Wellbeing activities

At Priory, we recognise that improving patients’ wellbeing, and helping them to stay healthy in mind, body and spirit, pays a hugely important role in their recovery. Therefore, we provide access to a range of wellbeing activities and facilities, as part of your personalised treatment programme. 

Exercise classes and groups
Yoga, Tai Chi and Shiatsu classes
Community-based trips and activities
Nutritional support
Recreational quizzes and movie nights
Gardening groups
Meditation and relaxation classes
Guided walks
Acupuncture, massage and reflexology

Online therapy and assessments

You can benefit from the same high quality, personalised support whenever and wherever is most convenient for you. Our online therapy service provides market-leading mental health treatment.

In order to provide flexibility and meet the needs of our patients, Priory is offering access to expert specialists from the comfort of your home with our online counselling and therapy service.

Other types of therapy used at Priory

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive treatment technique for depression. It uses magnetic pulses to stimulate areas of the brain that are involved in mood control, and has been found to reduce the symptoms of depression. It’s usually used for people who haven’t responded to previous depression treatment, including therapy and medication, or for people who can’t tolerate medication. the brain.

We are able to deliver rTMS at Priory Wellbeing Centre Harley Street, which is one of the few places in the country where this treatment is available.

Cognitive analytic therapy (CAT)

CAT is a type of therapy that brings together elements of CBT as well as other psychoanalytic approaches. CAT looks at how past life experiences and events may be contributing to current mental health difficulties, and encourages people to problem solve and develop new ways of coping. CAT sessions are highly collaborative and empathic, and our therapists will work closely with you to plan coping methods that are the best suited to you as an individual.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)

ACT has been found to be effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression. It's a form of therapy that combines acceptance and mindfulness techniques with commitment and behavioural change techniques. ACT is underpinned by the belief that mental health difficulties are caused by psychological rigidity as this prevents people from taking steps to improve their mental wellbeing. As such, ACT encourages you to accept what's out of your control, and commit to strategies that promote psychological flexibility and an improvement in mental wellbeing.

Interpersonal therapy (IPT)

IPT focuses on the impact that our relationships with other people have on our mental health. It's is based on the belief that mental health concerns can come about as a result of unhealthy relationships and difficulties in interacting with other people. Therefore, this form of therapy aims to equip you with new and healthier ways of interacting with other people, in order to improve your mental health symptoms.

IPT has been found to be effective in the treatment of anxiety, depression and eating disorders in particular.

Compassion-focused therapy (CFT)

CFT is a form of therapy that's been specifically designed to treat people who are highly self-critical. The aim of CFT is to help you to be kinder and more compassionate towards yourself, and it's particularly useful for people who have experienced abuse. CFT has also been found to be effective in treating people with self-esteem issues, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, anger management issues and those who struggle with self-harm.

Emotion-focused therapy (EFT)

EFT focuses on your emotions and aims to increase your emotional understanding, expression, regulation and awareness. By teaching you to engage more with your feelings and different emotional states, EFT enables you to become better at using healthy emotions and decrease the negative effects of unhealthy emotions. Again, these sessions are designed to develop skills and coping mechanisms that you can to take forwards into your day-to-day life.

Person-centred therapy (PCT)

PCT is a humanistic approach to therapy, that's based on the premise that people have an innate drive to achieve their full potential, but that this can be prevented by life experiences or mental health challenges. As such, the focus of PCT is for the therapist to develop an understanding of your experiences, which is achieved by using empathy and by being genuine and open. This allows you to feel accepted, better understand your own feelings, and reconnect with your inner resources, which enables you to increase your sense of self-worth and find a way to move forwards and tackle your mental health difficulties.

PCT has been found to be particularly useful in treating depression, anxiety, personality disorders, eating disorders and addictions.

Psychodynamic counselling

Psychodynamic counselling is an in-depth form of counselling that aims to address how your past experiences impact on your current thoughts, feelings, behaviours and relationships. During psychodynamic counselling, you will be encouraged to explore past life events, including events in childhood, in order to generate an understanding of how your past has shaped your current mind-set and the way that you react to and evaluate different circumstances. This understanding has been found to help individuals to deal with difficult situations more effectively.

The psychodynamic approach to therapy has been found to be effective in treating a wide range of problems, but research suggests that it is most effective in response to specific anxiety disorders such as phobias and OCD.

Integrative counselling

Integrative counselling is a method of therapy that combines elements from several different approaches. It's based on the principle that because everyone is unique, no single approach to therapy can treat each person in all situations. Therefore, integrative counselling may be considered to be an appropriate all-encompassing method of therapy for some conditions.

The different types of therapies that can be combined in integrative counselling may include:

  • Cognitive and behavioural therapies
  • Psychodynamic therapies
  • Humanistic therapies

Integrative counselling has been found to be effective in treating anxiety, depression and PTSD.

Schema therapy

Schema therapy is an integrative form of therapy, combining elements of cognitive, behavioural, attachment and psychodynamic approaches. The purpose of this technique is to change longstanding negative beliefs and thought patterns, known as ‘schemas’, which may be causing, contributing to and exacerbating your mental health problems. Schemas are believed to be more deeply ingrained than the dysfunctional thought processes that are tackled during CBT, and are thought to have a greater impact on identity, beliefs and behaviours, as well as being more resistant to change. As such, schema therapy can be useful in treating people who may not have experienced success with CBT.

Rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT)

REBT is based on the idea that our emotions and feelings are influenced by our thought patterns and beliefs. Therefore, REBT aims to challenge and change dysfunctional thought processes that may be causing negative emotions, by teaching you to develop rational thinking, healthy behaviours, and positive emotional expression. Ultimately, by re-shaping deeply ingrained beliefs and thought patterns, REBT allows you to alleviate psychological distress and is effective in treating a wide range of mental health conditions.

Transactional analysis (TA)

TA is a form of therapy that brings together key components of psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, humanistic and integrative therapeutic techniques, with the overall aim of promoting personal growth and change. TA is based on the idea that each person has three ego states - parent, adult and child – and therapy focuses on each one in turn. It aims to help you improve communication and interaction, regain control of your life, and overcome your mental health difficulties.

TA is appropriate when there's a need to develop your understanding of people, communication and relationships. As such, it can be used to treat a wide range of mental health conditions.

Solution-focused therapy

Solution-focused therapy is a widely used therapeutic technique that's based on solution-building as opposed to problem-solving. While this type of therapy does touch on present mental health challenges and the impact of past events on current feelings, its main focus is on your resources and hopes for the future. During solution-focused therapy sessions, you'll be encouraged to use your own strengths to overcome your mental health problems and achieve your goals.

This form of therapy has been found to be effective in treating a wide range of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, stress, addictions and eating disorders.

Existential therapy

Existential therapy takes a philosophical approach to mental health treatment, and focuses on the present moment, the human condition as a whole, and everyone's unique existence. Existential therapy takes the view that mental health challenges arise as a result of people's inner conflict with the principles of existence. As such, this technique aims to equip you with the tools to face your anxieties, embrace and take responsibility for your freedom of choice, take ownership of your life, and live in the present. This helps to reduce inner conflict and resolve mental health difficulties.


Psychoeducational workshops are designed to help you to develop a greater understanding of your unique mental health challenges, and focus on particular themes in relation to mental health. These can include:

  • Self-worth and self-esteem
  • Anger management
  • Trauma
  • Relationships and co-dependence

These sessions are very popular with our patients as they offer valuable insights into the function of mental health conditions and the impact they can have on people and their loved ones.

Equine assisted therapy

Equine assisted therapy is a holistic, innovative and highly specialised form of therapy that involves you working in collaboration with a horse, your therapist and an expert horse handler. Its aim is you help you discover more about yourself, develop new ways of thinking, and change any negative behaviours. Equine assisted therapy is widely considered to be effective in enabling behavioural change and as such, can be used to treat a wide range of mental health conditions, including addictions, anger management issues, anxiety and PTSD. It can also be used to support autistic people.

Art therapy

Art therapy is a form of therapy that enables people to use a non-verbal form of expression to help them connect with subconscious mental health challenges that may be difficult to access. Art therapy can be an extremely effective technique, allowing you to identify and resolve feelings that may be difficult to articulate with words alone.


Psychodrama is a form of group therapy that offers people the chance to see themselves as other people see them, explore how the past has influenced current feelings, and change their dysfunctional thoughts and behaviour patterns. This creative form of therapy draws upon the wider group’s energy to analyse your situation. It enables any repressed thoughts or emotions to be released, allowing you to address your challenges and achieve recovery. Psychodrama has been found to be effective in addressing a number of mental health challenges, including depression, phobias, PTSD, self-harm, addictions and eating disorders.

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