Psychotherapy and Counselling

A theory of psychotherapy acts as a roadmap for psychologists: It guides them through the process of understanding clients and their problems and developing solutions. There are different kinds of psychotherapies that all psychologists use.Psychologists generally draw on one or more theories of psychotherapy.

1. Psychodynamic psychotherapy

This approach focuses on changing problematic behaviours, feelings, and thoughts by discovering their unconscious meanings and motivations. Psychoanalytically oriented therapies are characterized by a close working partnership between therapist and patient. Patients learn about themselves by exploring their interactions in the therapeutic relationship.

2. Behaviour therapy

This approach focuses on learning's role in developing both normal and abnormal behaviours. Behavioural therapy is an umbrella term for types of therapy that treat mental health disorders. This form of therapy seeks to identify and help change potentially self-destructive or unhealthy behaviours. It functions on the idea that all behaviours are learned and that unhealthy behaviours can be changed. The focus of treatment is often on current problems and how to change them. Types of Behavioural Therapy

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy- It combines behavioural therapy with cognitive therapy. Treatment is focussed on how someone’s thoughts and beliefs influence their actions and moods. It often emphasises on a person’s current problems and how to solve them. The long-term goal is to change a person’s thinking and behavioural patterns to healthier ones.
  • System desensitization- System desensitization relies heavily on classical conditioning. It’s often used to treat phobias. People are taught to replace a fear response to a phobia with relaxation responses. A person is first taught relaxation and breathing techniques. Once mastered, the therapist will slowly expose them to their fear in heightened doses while they practice these techniques.
  • Exposure therapy- Exposure therapy is a technique in behaviour therapy used to treat anxiety disorders. It involves the exposure of the patient to the feared object or context without any danger, in order to overcome their anxiety and/or distress. The exposure therapist identifies the cognitions, emotions and physiological arousal that accompany a fear-inducing stimulus and then tries to break the pattern of escape that maintains the fear. This is done by exposing the patient to progressively stronger fear-inducing stimuli.
  • Behaviour Modification (for children) - It relies on the principles of Operant Conditioning. It is mainly used to treat behavioural issues in children and teens. This type of learning relies on rewards and punishments to shape people's behaviour.

3. Mindfulness based Cognitive Therapy

It teaches individuals to develop a mindful relationship promoting a psychological flexibility that encourages healthy contact with thoughts, reconnection with the here and now, realisation of personal values, and commitment to behaviour change.

4. Integrative or holistic therapy

Many therapists don't tie themselves to any one approach. Instead, they blend elements from different approaches and tailor their treatment according to each client's needs.

5. Group therapy

Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves one or more therapists working with several people at the same time. This type of therapy is widely available at a variety of locations including private therapeutic practices, hospitals, mental health clinics, and community centres.

6. Couples counselling- Marital Counselling

is a form of psychological therapy used to treat relationship distress for both individuals and couples.The purpose of couple’s therapy is to restore a better level of functioning in couples. The reasons for distress can include poor communication skills, incompatibility, or a broad spectrum of psychological disorders. The focus of couple’s therapy is to identify the presence of dissatisfaction and distress in the relationship, and to devise and implement a treatment plan with objectives designed to improve or alleviate the presenting symptoms and restore the relationship to a better and healthier level of functioning. Couples therapy can assist persons who are having complaints of intimacy, sexual, and communication difficulties.

7. Family Therapy

Family therapy is a type of psychological counselling (psychotherapy) that helps family members improve communication and resolve conflicts. It tends to view change in terms of the systems of interaction between family members. It emphasizes family relationships as an important factor in psychological health.

8. Solution-focused brief therapy

Solution-focused therapy is an approach to psychotherapy based on solution-building rather than problem-solving. Solution-focused brief therapy is considered a time-limited approach, however the technique is often incorporated into other long-term therapy types and effects can be long-lasting.

9. Supportive Psychotherapy

It is a psychotherapeutic approach that integrates psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural, and interpersonal conceptual models and techniques. The objective of the therapist is to reinforce the patient's healthy and adaptive patterns of thought behaviours in order to reduce the intra-psychic conflicts, in supportive therapy the therapist engages in a fully emotional, encouraging, and supportive relationship with the patient as a method of furthering healthy defense mechanisms, especially in the context of interpersonal relationships.