Types of Therapies

image 107Psychologists usually draw on one or more psychotherapy theory. The particular theory acts as a roadmap guiding us through the process of understanding clients and their problems as well as developing solutions.

Individual Psychotherapy

Individual psychotherapy focuses on initial diagnosis, determining the origins of emotions, behavior and symptoms, and helping the client to develop coping mechanisms which will help them deal with their problems and concerns.

Most individual psychotherapies fall into one of six major categories:

  • Psychodynamic

    Psychodynamic therapies focus on changing problem behaviors, feelings and thoughts by discovering the “unconscious” meanings ad motivations.

  • Behavior

    Behavior therapies focus on the role of learning in the development of normal and abnormal behaviors.

  • Cognitive

    Cognitive therapy emphasizes how people think instead of what they do. This approach looks at dysfunctional thinking as leading to dysfunctional emotions and behaviors. So, by changing the thoughts, the behaviors and feelings are improved.

  • Cognitive Behavior

    Cognitive Behavior therapy focuses on both thoughts and behaviors as the key to change.

  • Humanistic

    Humanistic therapies emphasizes the capacity for every person to make rational choices and develop into their maximum potential.

  • Integrative, Holistic, or Multimodal Approaches

    Many therapists do not just practice using one approach but rather they blend the elements from various approaches in order to address the clients needs.

Family Therapy

In contrast to individual therapy, a therapist working from a family system model would discuss the ways in which the family functions together, what rules are in place, who makes most of the decisions in the family and so on. Parents and siblings would participate in sessions in which the focus would be on aspects of family relationships and function that may be affecting the client’s emotions and/or behavior.

While there are many different branches of family systems therapy, they all agree that familial involvement can be very beneficial to the therapeutic process – regardless of whether the problem is believed to be with just one individual or with the entire group.

Evidence Based Treatment (EBT)

Research studies have shown that some treatments work better than others for specific problems that children and adolescents experience. EBT’s are treatment approaches that are based on scientific evidence and shown to be most effective. Some examples of EBT’s include cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). You can find more information on EBT’s by visiting effectivechildtherapy.org .