Types of Therapy

Adlerian Therapy is a growth model. It stresses a positive view of human nature and that we are in control of our own fate and not a victim to it. We start at an early age in creating our own unique style of life and that style stays relatively constant through the remained of our life. That we are motivated by our setting of goals, how we deal with the tasks we face in life, and our social interest. The therapist will gather as much family history as they can. They will use this data to help set goals for the client and to get an idea of the clients' past performance. This will help make certain the goal is not to low or high, and that the client has the means to reach it. The goal of Adlerian Therapy is to challenge and encourage the clients' premises and goals. To encourage goals that are useful socially and to help them feel equal. These goals maybe from any component of life including, parenting skills, marital skills, ending substance-abuse, and most anything else. The therapist will focus on and examine the clients' lifestyle and the therapist will try to form a mutual respect and trust for each other. They will then mutually set goals and the therapist will provided encouragement to the client in reaching their goals. The therapist may also assign homework, setup contracts between them and the client, and make suggestions on how the client can reach their goals.

Existential Therapy focuses on freedom of choice in shaping one's own life. Teaches one is responsible to shape his / her own life and a need for self-determination and self-awareness. The uniqueness of each individual forms his / her own unique personality, starting from infancy. Existential therapy focuses on the present and on the future. The therapist try's to help the client see they are free and to see the possibilities for their future. They will challenge the client to recognize that he / she themselves were responsible for the events in their life. This type of therapy is well suited in helping the client to make good choices or in dealing with life.

Gestalt Therapy integrates the body and mind factors, by stressing awareness and integration. Integration of behaving, feelings, and thinking is the main goal in Gestalt therapy. Client's are viewed as having the ability to recognize how earlier life influences may have changed their life's. The client is is made aware of personal responsibility, how to avoid problems, to finish unfinished matters, to experience thing in a positive light, and in the awareness of now. It is up to the therapist to help lead the client to awareness of moment by moment experiencing of life. Then to challenge the client to accept the responsibility of taking care of themselves rather then excepting others to do it. The therapist may use confrontation, dream analysis, dialogue with polarities, or role playing to reach their goals. This may include treatment of crisis intervention, marital / family therapy, problem in children's behavior, psychosomatic disorders, or the training of mental health professionals.

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Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Rational-emotive therapy is a highly action-oriented and deals with the client's cognitive and moral state. This therapy stresses the clients ability of thinking on their own and in their ability to change. The rational-emotive therapist believes that we are born with the ability of rational thinking but that my fall victim to irrational thinking. They stress the clients ability to think, in making good judgments, and in taking action. The therapist will use directed therapy. The therapist believes that a neurosis is a result of irrational behavior and irrational thinking. The Rational-emotive and Cognitive-behavioral therapist believe the clients problems are rooted in childhood and in their belief system, that was formed in childhood. Therapy will include method is solving and dealing with emotional or behavior problems. The therapist will help the client to eliminate any self-defeating outlooks they may have and to view life in a rational way. The therapist will never have a personal relationship with the client. The therapist will think of the client as a student and themselves as the teacher.

Reality Therapy The reality therapist teaches the client ways to control the world around them and how to meet their personal needs. They believe that the client can and will change their life for the better. The reality therapist focuses on the what and the why of the clients actions. They point out what the client doing and in getting them to evaluate it. A behavioral or emotional problem is a direct result of the clients believe and feelings about themselves. The therapist will help the client evaluate their behaviors and feelings, to challenge them to become more effective at meeting their needs.

Transactional Analysis focus on the clients cognitive and behavior functioning. The therapist helps the client evaluate their past decisions and how those decisions affect their present life. They believe self-defeating behavior and feelings can be overcome by an awareness of them. The therapist believes that the clients personality is made up of the parent, adult, and child. They believe that it is important for the client to examine past decisions to help their make new and better decisions.

next: The Theory of Support Groups ~ back to: Mental Illness Overview ToC

Last Updated: 07 December 2015
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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