Therapies Available - Theoretical Approaches
Different people throughout time have had many and varied views as to the best way of approaching the emotional and mental health issues in others. Here is a list of a few of them with a brief description of what they hope to achieve:
Adlerian therapy – Originated by Alfred Adler, Adlerian therapists help their clients to view themselves, others and the world around them differently. Through dialog, encouragement and an attempt to change your thought/behaviour process, they aim to make life and society a less daunting community.Behavioural therapy – This therapy does not look at the causes of a condition; the therapist is only interested in attempting to help you re-learn behavioural responses that have been imprinted earlier in life. This therapy is recognised as being effective in such conditions as phobias, obsessive compulsive disorders and addictions.
Brief therapy – As the name suggests, this therapy relies on a small number of initial sessions utilising cognitive behavioural therapy with a follow-up session some time afterwards to establish how you are progressing with the management of your condition.Cognitive therapy – Cognitive therapy originates from the premise that every reaction is based on a learned response to a stimulus. Therefore, to change the way we think and behave all we need to do is to teach our minds to respond differently to things. Used to help manage or cure many phobias, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, etc.
Cognitive analytical therapy – A combination of cognitive therapy and psychotherapy used to help those with destructive behavioural patterns to change their ways. This is achieved through a steady process of re-educating the brain through such methods as diary keeping and progress charts to identify achievements and weaknesses.
Cognitive behavioural therapy – A combination of cognitive and behavioural therapies to enable those with emotional health problems to analyse their thought processes and relax when the anxiety starts to take over.
Eclectic counselling – Based on the theory that the best therapy for a client is formulated through an analysis of the client themselves and not the condition, an eclectic therapist will choose from a selection of therapies to determine what would work best for an individual.Existential counselling – Existentialists believe that we all create our own destiny, therefore existential counselling aims to give back to a client control over their own lives, who have relinquished it to a condition or ailment.
Gestalt therapy – Developed by Fritz Perls in the mid 20th century. It was widely adopted in the 1960s and 1970s, but more recently eclipsed by the rise of cognitive theory. Gestalt therapy works on the feelings and thoughts of the here and now, not the past. The aim is to give people the power to look forward in their lives and not back.Humanistic psychotherapy – Routed in the healing power of self-development, humanistic psychotherapy is a “holistic” healing therapy that encourages personal growth to counter behavioural issues.
Integrative counselling – This is the term used when a therapist utilises several theoretical approaches which converge to work together on their client.
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) – This gathered quite a following in the 1980s and attempts to help people with emotional or behavioural issues by changing the way they process their thoughts about things. The basis of the theory is that we all create a unique picture of the world based on the way our minds interpret what our five senses tell us.Person-centred counselling – Also known as “Rogerian” counselling as it was developed by Carl Rogers. The idea is that a safe environment and good relationship between counsellor and client will encourage the client to open up and discuss their inner feelings, and this action alone can result in the client feeling empowered and better able to cope with their problems. The theory is that we all have it within ourselves to achieve great things and heal ourselves; all it needs is the right environment to encourage that to happen.
Primal therapy – The theory is that suppressed birth or infant traumas can re-surface many years later in a mental or emotional health problem. This therapy takes the client back to the time of the trauma and helps them come to terms with it.Psychoanalysis – Based on the work of Sigmund Freud, the belief is that childhood memories and traumas can sink deep into the subconscious mind and affect the way you think and behave later in life. Therapy can be lengthy and difficult, but for those with distressing conditions it may offer an outlet for frustrations, and expressing them fully to the therapist is often encouraged.
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy – Derived from psychoanalysis, this theory is based around childhood experiences which affect the way we think and act in our adult life. Relationships with parents, friends and authority figures are an important part of this, as they can have great influence over the way we interact with others.Psychosynthesis – Developed by Dr Roberto Assagioli in the mid 20th century, this theory encourages mental wellbeing through personal mental, physical and spiritual growth.
Re-birthing – Not for the faint hearted. The theory is that trauma felt during birth will negatively affect you in later life; a therapist will take you back to re-experience these emotions whilst showing you breathing techniques that will help you relax.Solution-focused brief therapy – As with Brief therapy (above), this is a short set of sessions (maybe 3 or 4). The aim is to focus on positive aspects of your life and set realistic goals to make your life better.
Systemic therapies – This is the group term for family or marital therapies which attempt to change how each of the parties relates to the other.Transactional analysis – This theory believes that within all of us is a child, adult and parent self. Different ones will dominate in different circumstances and our reactions are determined by them. A therapist can help you control the choice of the most appropriate self to react with.
Transpersonal therapy – This is the group term for any therapy which promotes a healthy change through a greater awareness of self, realisation of potential or spirituality.