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Types Of Therapy For Special Needs

Oct 27

Finding the right type of therapy can make a big difference in the success of your child’s treatment. There are many different types of therapies, each designed to help you or your loved one with a certain disorder or set of symptoms.

Most people understand that psychotherapy is helpful for mental health conditions like anxiety or depression, but what about other disorders? Some treatments focus more on helping with socialization, while others teach specific skills such as how to cook or do crafts.

This article will talk about some of the most common special needs diagnoses and their corresponding therapeutic approaches. If you have questions or would like to speak with us about whether these strategies could work for your child, don’t hesitate to reach out! We hope you find this information helpful.


The content in this page has been created by Time Out For Teens with Autism. It is not meant to substitute the expertise nor the recommendations of any accredited service or therapist.

Time Out For Teens with Autism is not affiliated with any registered charity, and all donations go directly towards paying our low cost monthly membership (and free resources) so we may continue bringing you quality educational materials and tips.

We believe in educating the public on autism spectrum issues and encouraging open discussion, both of which contribute to improved understanding and acceptance.

Autism is a complex condition, and there is no ‘cure’. However, appropriate interventions can make a significant positive impact.

Solution-focused therapy

types of therapy for special needs

Solution focused therapies are designed to help you identify your goals, then use systematic strategies to change or fix what is wrong. These types of treatments emphasize changing behaviors and beliefs that contribute to unhealthy patterns.

Solution focused therapies do not focus on blaming others for problems nor does it assume that people are bad at some part of their job. Rather, they look to find out why things have gone wrong and work on solving the problem with that information.

These types of therapies can include talking about how to solve current issues, exploring reasons for past actions, and looking at possible solutions.

This type of therapy is particularly helpful when there are no clear answers as to what causes emotional pain and symptoms. Many professionals consider this approach more effective than other types of psychotherapy because it doesn’t rely on identifying and addressing underlying mental health conditions.

It may be necessary to address depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, or any other factor that could be contributing to poor functioning, but solution focused approaches don’t make assumptions about what caused prior suffering. Instead, they concentrate on finding ways to achieve positive changes in daily life.

Dialectical behavioral therapy

Dialogue or dialectic is a systematic way to evaluate an argument or topic by changing how you state your position and responding to the opposition’s statements. In other words, it is a process that involves both arguing in favor of a concept and also engaging in criticisms of opposing views.

This type of treatment was first developed as psychodynamic theory in the early 20th century. Since then, many therapists have adapted this approach to include components such as cognitive restructuring, solution focused therapies, and mindfulness-based interventions.

One form of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) focuses on three main concepts, which are called skills.

Art therapy


An art therapist is trained in creative expression, including drawing, painting, sculpture, or other forms of artistic expression. Using materials such as paints, crayons, markers, clay, and/or oils, they explore how to apply creativity to express thoughts and feelings.

Art therapists may ask about what you are feeling, looking into why you use certain colors or shapes, and helping you identify your emotions through artwork. They can also help you process difficult experiences by doing so.

Art therapy has been shown to reduce stress, aid in relaxation, enhance self-expression, improve concentration, increase empathy, and contribute to personal growth. Because it is a nonverbal form of treatment that does not depend on spoken words, art therapy is accessible to people with various levels of verbal communication.

There are many types of art therapies, but all focus on creating something meaningful and exploring different styles. The type of therapy an individual receives is determined by their therapist and his or her field. Some examples include:






Intervention art (making designs related to a topic)

Certain artists develop their skills early, most notably using pictures and numbers to describe stories. Others learn new techniques throughout their lives, developing different styles according to life events. No matter who you are, there’s a way to create art to convey your innermost feelings and insights.

Psychodynamic therapy

types of therapy for special needs

In psychodynamic theory, individuals gain understanding of their emotions and behaviors by looking at past experiences that influence current thoughts and actions.

Psychodynamic theories focus on how early relationships affect us as adults, and how these effects continue to influence you today. For example, if growing up with an overbearing parent made you feel insecure and inadequate, then it can result in having low self-confidence as an adult.

In psychodynamic therapies, patients talk about things such as childhood memories, dreams, fantasies, and daily activities. These discussions are focused on finding underlying causes of your emotional and behavioral patterns.

There is some evidence suggesting that psychodynamic treatments are just as effective as other types of psychological therapies for certain disorders. However, psychodynamic therapy may be more effective for people who suffer from chronic anxiety or depression than someone who is experiencing a one time event.

Furthermore, because this type of therapy looks into past events, sometimes part of the treatment process can include talking about unpleasant experiences you’ve never shared before. This is not always easy for everyone.

Adlerian therapy

types of therapy for special needs

According to Carl Gustav Jung, one of psychology’s most well-known theorists, our personality is made up of five fundamental types or tendencies. These are referred to as instinctual needs – what we need to feel safe, in control, and loved.

If these needs are not met, then they can become more powerful than other needs. For example, if you don’t feel safe, then it may be easier for you to develop strong emotions like fear than it would be to feel love.

This type of behavior can continue unchecked until it becomes an obstacle that gets in your way when you want to address more important issues in your life.

With respect to mental health, there are several theories about why this might occur. One theory is called the self–other imbalance. This idea proposes that because you believe yourself to be bad or inferior, you find it easy to make assumptions about and judgments of others.

You may also have difficulty letting go of past experiences or relationships, which can prevent you from forming new ones. All of this can contribute to you feeling lonely or even hopeless.

Types of psychotherapy focus on changing how you relate to yourself and other people. With Adlerian therapy, you will work to understand why you tend to rely on certain instincts and learn ways to satisfy them.

There are two main concepts in Adlerian therapy: duty and obligation.

Expressive art therapy

An expressive arts approach to counseling is focused on expressing yourself through creative activities, such as drawing, painting, or sculpture. These are typically done with materials that you create yourself, such as markers, crayons, paints, and clay.

Expressing your inner thoughts and feelings in this way can help you work out things like anger management, depression, anxiety, and self-expression.

This type of counseling is particularly helpful for individuals who may feel inhibited about talking more seriously. Because these practices are often done alone, there’s less risk of being judged by the therapist.

There are many resources available online and via books where you can find guided exercises using various media. You will need some basic tools to begin practicing expressart therapy. Some professional therapists even use it as their main mode of practice!

It is very important to look into whether expressive arts therapies are right for you before trying them.

Soul therapy

One type of counseling that has been growing in popularity is called soul or spirit work. This form of psychotherapy does not focus on symptoms, but rather looking at what life lessons you are working through and how to apply these lessons to your everyday life.

This can include exploring past events, relationships, and experiences that have left an imprint on you and helping you process those memories. It also may look into beliefs and attitudes that keep you stuck or prevent you from moving forward with your life.

Soul work looks at who you are as a person beyond just your physical self-layers. For example, it would ask questions about whether you live your life with passion or if you remain empty. If you do not feel passionate about things, then maybe you need to reevaluate some parts of your life. You should not fear death because you do not seem like you care much about living.

There is a way to learn to love yourself more and there are ways to help you find that love.

Reggressive therapy

For some individuals, talking about their past experiences or feelings can actually make them feel worse and sometimes even physically unsafe. This is called counter-transference behavior.

A therapist who displays these behaviors may be called out or self-reflecting. It is important to note that most therapists have never done this, so it should not automatically be considered as a sign of poor performance as a therapist.

Instead, it may indicate something internal with you as a patient that you are experiencing. There may be underlying fears or insecurities that come up when you try to work through difficult emotions.

In those cases, your therapist may need help addressing those worries or fears. He/she may want to see other professionals for counseling or mental health treatment.