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.
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.
- 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.
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: http://www.apa.org/topics/therapy/psychotherapy-approaches.aspx