Various Approaches to Therapy

Thursday, March 31, 2011 by Annada Hypes

My previous blog entries have been about what psychotherapy is like and how to get the most out of it. Now here’s a more specific look at the various approaches to therapy.

Therapy is shown to be effective in helping alleviate distress. In clinical trials, most psychotherapy is superior to no treatment or a placebo. (In this case, a placebo just means contact with an empathetic therapist who does not give an actual treatment). For anxiety and depression, research has found that psychotherapy is as effective as medication, and without the negative effects medication can cause. Sometimes, using medication and therapy together is most helpful. We know therapy can be helpful. So how does it actually work? There are all kinds of approaches to therapy. Three main approaches include humanistic, cognitive/behavioral, and psychodynamic.
  • Psychodynamic therapies. This approach focuses on changing problematic behaviors, feelings, and thoughts by discovering their underlying meanings and motivations.  This approach is often used to address unhealthy family dynamics and relationships with others.
  • Cognitive and/or Behavior therapies. This approach focuses on changing one’s behaviors and thoughts to change one’s mood. This approach is often used to address phobias, anxiety, and depression.
  • Humanistic therapies. This approach focus’s on the therapist’s relationship with the client to help the client recognize his or her innate good nature, capacity to make rational choices, and potential for a fulfilling life. This approach is used to address a number of difficulties.
In addition to these three approaches, many therapists adopt an “eclectic” or “integrated” approach to therapy. That is, they pick and choose or combine approaches to best meet each client’s unique needs. Now that you know about various approaches to therapy, you can collaborate with your current or future therapist about which approach you think may work well for you or your child.

Child and Family Development offers psychological therapy and testing for children and families in Charlotte. Our therapists use a range of approaches, depending on the needs of the client. Presenting problems often include depression, anxiety, AD/HD, family conflict, learning disabilities, and academic concerns.

Portions of this post were adapted from The Encyclopedia of Psychology, edited by A. Kadzin (2000). See more at:

Does the public school recognize dyslexia?

Monday, September 14, 2009 by Mary Froneberger
Parents are often confused about their dyslexic child's eligibility for special education services. In North Carolina and South Carolina, dyslexia is not an area of eligibility for special education services. However, dyslexia is a condition listed in the definition of Specific Learning Disabilities by the Individual with Disabilities Improvement Act, 2004. 

    'Specific learning disability' means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which disorder may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. Such term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. Such term does not include a learning problem that is primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage." United States Code (20 U.S.C. §1401 [30])

Nevertheless, just because a child is diagnosed with dyslexia, does not mean they will automatically receive special education services. The child must still be referred for consideration of eligibility at the school by either the parent or teacher. In many school districts in NC and SC, the Response to Intervention model is used before children are tested for eligibility. Moreover, it is likely that only if the dyslexic child's academic weakness is significantly hindering them at school that they will be found eligible for services. This will be supported by the child's performance in the classroom as well as the results of the child's psychological-educational evaluation.

As an Educational Specialist with Child and Family Development in Charlotte, I evaluate and diagnose children with dyslexia as well as offer treatment and parent consultation services for special education eligibility.

Visit our website to learn more about Education Therapy and our comprehensive evaluation process.

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