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Understanding Different Types of Therapy


Navy photo by Jason Bortz

There are several different types of therapy available for psychological health concerns. The type of therapy you receive depends on the severity of your concern. It is also affected by who else will be attending and what type of tactics the therapist uses. Therapists may be available at your military treatment facility (MTF). Otherwise, find a therapist through TRICARE.

Often, therapy is conducted in an outpatient setting. There are a few different kinds, depending on your needs. It may be confusing to understand which type will best fit what you need. This article describes four, basic outpatient therapies.

Types of Outpatient Therapy

You may find the following types of therapy at your MTF or be referred by a TRICARE-approved provider:

  1. Individual Therapy: The most common type of treatment. It provides a supportive, neutral environment to discuss your concerns.
    • You will work one-on-one with a licensed therapist on a regular basis. During your session, you will talk through your concerns to change current thoughts and behavior patterns.
    • Frequency and treatment plan depends on your situation and goals. This will be determined by your therapist.
  2. Group Therapy: Treatment experienced in a group setting, with anywhere from five to 15 members total. Hearing the strategies others use to work through their concerns may help you learn new ways to help yourself.
    • Usually focused on one type of concern. For example, eating disorders, depression or substance misuse.
    • Group members and the therapist can encourage you to make the positive changes you may need.
  3. Couples Therapy: Therapists help you and your partner work through any concerns affecting your relationship.
    • It may be beneficial for couples coping with psychological health concerns that can be hard on relationships with loved ones.
    • Many times the treatment is focused on learning ways to improve communication with your partner.
  4. Family Therapy: Treatment intended to help family members resolve conflicts that affect the functioning of the family. It provides a safe environment for family members to communicate with each other. The goal is to strengthen the overall family relationship.
    • This type of therapy may include the entire family or just certain family members.
    • A specific treatment plan will depend on your family’s unique situation.

Always check with TRICARE to see if your specific treatment may be covered. Depending on where you are located, your service options may vary with both MHS and TRICARE providers.

Remember, reaching out is a sign of strength. If you or a loved one needs additional support, you can contact the Psychological Health Resource Center to confidentially speak with a trained health resource consultant 24/7, call 866-966-1020 or use the Real Warriors Live Chat. You can also visit our “Seek Help, Find Care” page to see a list of key psychological health resources.

Additional Resources

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