Psychological therapy requires more than the ability to empathize with someone. A clinical social worker must first learn the different theories of psychotherapy in order to apply the most appropriate modality.
Generally speaking, a counselor will utilize certain aspects and dynamics from more than one of these theories by the time they becoming practicing mental health professionals. The best way to understand what makes each approach unique is to highlight the five primary categories found in psychotherapy.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a therapist in Boca Raton, contact Morgan Center for Counseling and Wellbeing today. Our unique approach of integrating the most appropriate modalities into a personalized plan of treatment has proven effective over time. You can read about some approaches here counseling for anxiety, depression, and trauma.
5 Different Approaches To Psychological Therapy
Psychoanalysis / Psychodynamic
The purpose of the psychoanalysis and psychodynamic approach is to alter negative or undesirable behaviors, emotions, and thoughts by understanding what they mean or represent to the unconscious psyche. The use of this approach in psychological therapy is commonly attributed to Sigmund Freud. During a psychoanalytically oriented therapy session, the client and therapist form a therapeutic relationship that ultimately produces revelations about the individual’s interactions.
Behavior or behavioral therapy approaches are intended to discover how the mind learns to develop behaviors, good or bad. There are a variety of different areas the approach can be applied, such as associative learning and exposure therapy. The most common version of behavior therapy in use today is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT takes into account the relation between both a person’s thoughts and actions rather than keeping them separate.
Some mental health professionals use a cognitive psychological therapy approach, which draws from the conclusion that problematic thinking leads to negative feelings or dysfunctional behaviors. A cognitive therapist will have an emphasis on challenging negative thought patterns in hopes of alleviating mood disorders (anxiety, depression) or changing undesirable behaviors.
The humanistic approach refers to psychological therapy models that validate a client’s potential for making sound, rational choices. One version of this is client-centered counseling, which eliminates the idea a trained therapist has authority over others’ personal experiences while extending genuine care, concern, and interest for positive influence. Other approaches, like gestalt therapy, include an emphasis on mindfulness and self-responsibility or existential therapy for finding meaning and self-determination.
Many mental health professionals, including therapists, counselors, and psychologists, no longer remain solely committed to following a single psychological therapy approach. Rather, they will pull elements from the diverse styles in an effort to form a personalized approach that is tailored to each individual’s situational needs. In fact, statistics show that the integration of psychological therapy approaches presents the greatest number of opportunities for treating dysfunctional thinking, mood disorders, and behavioral patterns in a way that can be sustained over time.
If you are ready to take the step towards finding resolutions in order to live a happier, more fulfilling life, contact Morgan Center to schedule an appointment with a Boca Raton therapist soon.