The main theraputic approaches - An Overview

For those with an interest in psychotherapy, whether from a client or professional perspective, I thought I would briefly cover the main approaches used in therapy.  These are just intended as an overview and you can find many more details about them online.

Many peoples idea of counselling and psychotherapy is of a therapist sitting there, listening to a patient.  In essence, this is correct, however there are many different ways in which a therapist can interpret and respond to their patient.  For some, they may focus on the use of interpretation, image and dream analysis or childhood trauma.  Others prefer to allow the client to do a majority of the analysis and interpretation themselves and give little input.  And others prefer a more behavioural based method of working including setting tasks, activities and homework.  There are then further approaches which take different elements and combine them in an integrated or eclectic approach.    

A therapist will usually have one favoured method which they will use for a majority of the time.  There are no hard or fast rules about which approaches should be used with which client or which is more beneficial.  It is believed by many professionals that it is not so much the chosen approach that determines the success of the treatment, but more how much the therapist believes in their chosen method. 

Over the course of the coming blog posts, I shall be looking at:

  • Psychoanalysis

  • Person Centred Therapy (PCT)

  • Behavioural Therapy

  • Transactional Analysis

  • Gestalt     

If you have any questions about any of the approaches or if you have a different method you would like to discuss, please leave a comment or feedback!