Emotional problems, fears, traumas, personal crisis, relationship troubles, childhood disorders… There are many reasons why people decide to see a psychotherapist. However, it never hurts to know the different therapeutic strategies within your reach.
Let’s look at the main psychological therapies and what each one offers.
On the other hand, other therapeutic practices are included in cognitive-behavioral therapies. We should take a look at them.
One of the best known psychological therapies is undoubtedly the one that follows the theoretical model created by Sigmund Freud almost a century ago. Even though it’s known by the general population, it’s necessary to know its dynamics, principles, and objectives before choosing to begin a therapy within this framework.
Let’s look at some of its traits.
These are the main psychological therapies within this approach.
Dynamic interpersonal therapy helps us improve our relationships with others.
It doesn’t last long, and
it helps us understand certain problematic bonds that we may have with certain people. 7. Jungian therapy
Jungian therapy or Jung analysis is another type of psychological therapy which is very useful in treating addictions, depression, and anxiety, and even to favor one’s personal
Carl Jung’s goal was to delve into the individual’s unconscious through the archetypes inscribed in their dreams and even in their artistic expressions.
This type of therapy is based on the conversation between the therapist and the patient.
The goal is to establish a relationship of trust, equality, support, and collaboration between the two. Dream analysis is performed, along with word association tests and creative activities.
C. Humanistic therapies
Humanistic therapies are popular nowadays and are very much appreciated. They’re useful and preferred by professionals and people in general due to the great variety of techniques used and the therapeutic strategies they’re based on.
Carl Rogers was the father of this approach. We already talked about this human behavior expert above.
He sought, above all else, to bring optimism to psychotherapy, to favor our personal growth and get us closer to change in order to reach our maximum human potential.
These are some of the characteristics of this type of psychological therapy:
Instead of deepening our suffering or traumas, humanistic therapy is more concerned with providing alternatives to these states.
It enables us to be active agents of change. It also seeks to offer us a more hopeful vision of ourselves. Humanistic therapists believe in the goodness of human beings, in well-being and health as natural tendencies. Thus,
the ultimate purpose is, therefore, to help us put aside those “deviations” that sometimes take us away from that magical point of balance. To find the true meaning of our lives. In the humanistic model, the present is valued as the perfect moment to solve problems.
The past, unlike in psychoanalysis, ceases to be so important.
8. Existential therapy
Existential therapy helps us find meaning, a vital purpose. It does so by urging us to reflect upon our own existence. It helps us accept responsibilities and new personal challenges in order to reach success.
This therapy views emotional difficulty, inner conflicts, and our fears as stones that serve as obstacles towards our goals. Also, all of this is done in our “here and now.” Existential therapists offer strategies to live more authentically, find meanings to our lives, and leave aside superficial things. Or, at least,
it helps us try. 9. Gestalt therapy
The goal of Gestalt therapy is to work on our self-awareness to solve our problems with greater confidence. Also, for the patient to leave aside personal anxiety and worries. To reach personal freedom and acquire enough determination to reach their maximum potential.
Gestalt therapy was developed towards the end of the 1940s by Fritz Perls. He assumed, for example, that each person was a whole, where thoughts, sensations, emotions, or actions couldn’t ever occur in isolation.
The therapist would attempt to always make his clients comfortable, to be participants at all time in order to see their own resistance and be completely aware of the importance of their emotions, thoughts, ideas, memories, etc… Creative techniques are used to aid in self-discovery.
Clients are also encouraged to have a responsibility to themselves and to society itself.
10. Client-centered therapy
Client-centered therapy helps us understand our needs in order to boost our personal growth. We’re referring to one of the most interesting psychological therapies in this field. Here, the humanistic therapist will help us clarify our needs and boost the values that identify us. Plus, aid in our acceptance and work on our strengths.
Likewise, it’s important to remember that this is a non-directive type of therapy.
The client, not the therapist, carries out a great part of the therapeutic process. During the whole process, three key dimensions prevail:
empathy, unconditional positive acceptance, and authenticity or congruence.
11. Brief therapy: focused problem resolution
As the name indicates, this therapy doesn’t last long and seeks to change some type of dysfunctional thought, improve the relationship between couples or a family, or help the client find their emotional and social balance.
Thus, instead of focusing on the person’s weaknesses or limitations,
focused problem resolution therapy seeks to boost our strengths and potential in order to help us move forward. The therapy is based on a set of questions that facilitates the process of reflection and self-knowledge.
12. Transactional analysis
Transactional analysis is a very effective therapy to improve psychological well-being and facilitate restructuring and personal change.
It’s also noteworthy that this approach is commonly used in many psychiatric hospitals for the treatment of various disorders.
It was founded by Eric Berne towards the end of the 1950s.
Transactional analysis or therapy is based on the theory that each individual has three states of ego: parent-like, adult-like, and child-like. Thus, the purpose of the therapist is to help the patient make use of a more inclusive personality based on these psychological transactions. Thus, for example,
adult-like represents the most rational part of the self, child-like is linked to the spontaneous, and parent-like to the normative and ethical aspects… 13. Transpersonal psychology
Transpersonal psychology is an approach developed by Abraham Maslow is the 1960s.
His goal was to help his patients discover the true meaning of their lives, resolving their needs based on the hierarchy established by this vital purpose or meaning.
In this branch of psychology, aspects such as conscience, spirituality, deep inner knowledge, compassion, and universal brotherhood are emphasized.
The therapist has a very specific role. He must have an open mind, great respect, innocence, and the ability to be amazed.
He must show his patient that everything the patient transmits is new and valuable. Thus, the methodology used to impulse this peculiar therapeutic process is a mix of spiritual traditions, where one of the following dynamics is commonly used:
“Encounters” with one’s inner child. Symbolic art.
D. Artistic therapies
It’s possible that among all of the different types of psychological therapies,
the general public dismisses this type of approach, which can be so cathartic, liberating, and healing at the same time. Just as we mentioned in the beginning, when you’re looking for some type of therapeutic strategy, it’s very important to identify what you want and which therapeutic mechanism could best suit you.
Artistic expression is a channel, a universe of possibilities where we can shape our emotions, liberate them, encourage our self-discovery, and give a different approach to many of our problems.
Let’s look at the different kinds of artistic therapies within our reach. 13. Artistic psychotherapy
Art therapy or artistic psychotherapy uses tools such as canvases, paint, or clay to get people to express their inner worlds. This way, people exteriorize problems and conflicts, which could later spill out in other ways.
The good thing about this kind of therapy is that it offers the patient a form of expression which might be much more natural for them. This allows them to say more and hide less.
14. Drama therapy
This type of therapy uses dramatic arts to confer relief and favor physical and emotional integration.
It uses theatric improvisations or specific scripts to get the individual to delve into their personal universe, improve their social skills, and acquire greater confidence. 15. Music therapy
Music therapy is a very versatile type of creative therapy. It is as intense as it is healing. The changes produced are almost immediate, and
this is something that is very often seen in patients with autism spectrum disorder, dementia, or anxiety. The individual responds immediately and experiences a whole torrent of emotions and sensations.
E. Other types of psychological therapies
As you have seen,
a big part of psychological therapies can fit into 4 very clear approaches. However. there are a lot more options within our reach that are worthing learning about. 16. Systemic therapy
Family therapy or systemic therapy is very useful in groups of people that are united by a family bond. The goal is to improve the relationship itself and the communicative style. Also, it seeks to fix the complex interactions which tarnish the cohesion of this group of people.
Usually, the therapy focuses, above all, on the “index patient”. That is to say, on the member of the family who presents some type of clinical disorder or problematic behavior. 17. Interpersonal psychotherapy
Interpersonal psychotherapy is a therapeutic discipline which seeks to improve the quality of our interactions and styles of communication.
The fundamental belief of interpersonal psychotherapy is that many of our psychological symptoms are the results of those complex, harmful, or ambivalent interactions, which generate a high degree of anxiety.
Sometimes, even our own inability to interact better with others intensifies negative states.
Hence, the purpose is to offer the patients tools to improve these dimensions.
18. Psychosexual therapy
In psychosexual therapy,
a good professional would help you openly and sincerely explore, reflect upon, and analyze your sexual problems. Oftentimes, there are many emotional blocks within the couple that need to be resolved.
It’s possible that many of you have heard of Jacob Levy Moreno’s psychodrama. Even more, you may have practiced some dynamics in your workplaces.
We’re referring to
a type of group psychotherapy where dramatic expression, theatric plays, or body movement are applied. These are therapeutic tools used to improve your relationships with others and your self-confidence. Also, it’s a very enriching invitation to be spontaneous and which usually yields good results in group dynamics.
To conclude, keep in mind that there are undoubtedly many more psychological therapies. Nevertheless,
the ones mentioned here are the most widely used, the ones which yield the greatest benefits, and which can offer us the best results. So, don’t hesitate to try any of these psychological therapies if you need to. We all have the right to feel better, enjoy a greater sense of well-being, and to grow as people.