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What are the Different Approaches to Psychotherapy?

Updated: Oct 14

What are the Different Approaches to Psychotherapy?

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when addressing mental health concerns such as anxiety, despair, or a lack of motivation. For those just starting, the field of psychotherapy can feel overwhelming. Therapeutic methods can be found in plenty. The following is a brief introduction to four of the most common types of therapy.

4 approaches to psychotherapy 

  1. Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy, often known as a psychoanalytic treatment, is one of the earliest theories in psychology. This method aims to alter dysfunctional patterns of thought and action by delving into their hidden causes and origins.

Psychologists that employ this strategy often look into the client’s past to determine what factors may be at play in the presenting problems. The therapy’s primary objective is to help the patient recognize the way their past experiences shape their present actions. The aim is to gain self-awareness through introspection, even if that entails revisiting painful memories of past relationships, traumas, or unresolved issues.

The therapist-client interaction is sometimes very intimate in psychoanalytic therapy. Typically, the therapist and client work together to identify a single problem to treat, which provides the treatment with focus and direction.

  1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

The central tenet of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the belief that one’s external conduct can affect one’s internal thought processes. Cognitive therapists argue that irrational and unhelpful thoughts are the root of irrational and counterproductive feelings and actions. Due to the time-sensitive nature of teaching clients the tools, they’ll need to change their maladaptive thought patterns, so cognitive behavioral therapy is a very urgent form of treatment.

Cognitive-behavioral treatments, in contrast to psychodynamic approaches, place a strong emphasis on the here and now. Current issues and mental patterns are given more attention in this form of treatment. Changing your mind is the first step toward altering your emotions and behavior. Modifying the unhelpful mental images you create in response to a particular circumstance can change your response to that circumstance.

  1. Humanistic Therapy

Humanistic therapy is an upbeat form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the unique qualities of each patient. Self-awareness and the pursuit of personal growth are essential components of this treatment. This treatment focuses on the many admirable qualities of the patient being treated. This method focuses on the client’s inherent capacity for growth and development.

Humanistic treatment emphasizes living in the moment and taking full responsibility for one’s actions. The therapist’s role is not that of an authoritarian figure but rather one who encourages growth via genuine interest and concern. In addition to these tenets, the humanistic treatment emphasizes the client’s right to make choices and the individual’s quest for personal significance. In this therapy, the therapist and patient discuss problems, concentrating on the patient’s current emotional state rather than revisiting the patient’s past.

  1. Eclectic Therapy

Eclectic therapy incorporates a wide range of methods to provide individualized care. Eclectic therapists don’t stick to just one plan but combine several to find what works best for each patient. The strategy shifts from client to client and frequently employs various techniques to address a single issue. Since eclecticism does not adhere to any one theory, critics say it can result in the psychologist leading the client in the dark. Eclectic therapists, on the other hand, claim they can better help their patients since they are less constrained.

Final Thoughts

Although beginning psychotherapy may fill you with apprehension, you have nothing to worry about. Numerous schools of thought and methods have contributed to the development of psychotherapy‘s many distinct approaches. Finding a psychologist who specializes in the areas where you need help and has credible qualifications should be your top priority.

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