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Psychotherapy (sometimes called “talk therapy”) is a term for a variety of treatment techniques that aim to help a person identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts, and behavior.

Types of Psychotherapy

  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Humanistic Therapy
  • Eclectic Therapy


  • Psychodynamic therapy, or psychoanalytic therapy, is one of the oldest theories of psychology.
  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a form of depth psychology.
  • Used to reveal the unconscious content of a clients psyche in an effort to alleviate psychic tension.
  • Form of psychoanalysis, but in addition.
  • Relies on the interpersonal relationship between client and therapiest.

Goals of Psychodynamic Therapy

(1) enhance the client’s self-awareness and

(2) foster understanding of the client’s thoughts, feelings, and beliefs in relation to their past experiences, especially his or her experiences as a child

How does psychodynamic therapy work?

The theories and techniques that distinguish psychodynamic therapy from other types of therapy include a focus on recognizing, acknowledging, understanding, expressing, and overcoming negative and contradictory feelings and repressed emotions in order to improve the patient’s interpersonal experiences and relationships


  • CBT is a blend of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy.
  • Cognitive therapy focuses on your moods and thoughts. Behavioral therapy specifically targets actions and behaviors.
  • This form of therapy modifies thought patterns in order to change moods and behaviors.
  • It is based on the idea that negative actions or feelings are the result of current distorted beliefs or thoughts, not unconscious forces from the past.
  • Treatment involves developing more balanced and constructive ways to respond to stressors. Ideally these new responses will help minimize or eliminate the troubling behavior or disorder.

How CBT works

CBT is a more short-term approach than psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies. Other types of therapies may require several years for discovery and treatment. CBT often requires only 10 to 20 sessions.

What disorders can CBT treat?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is widely used to treat several disorders and conditions in children, adolescents, and adults. These disorders and conditions include:

  • Antisocial behaviors
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Conduct disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • General stress
  • Personality disorders
  • Phobias
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sexual disorders
  • Sleep disorders
  • Social skill problems
  • Substance abuse


Humanistic therapy is a psychological treatment that’s based on the theory that humans are good and have the power to make their own decisions. It also recognizes that humans have certain needs that need to be met and that each can benefit from accepting responsibility for meeting those needs.


  • The goal of humanistic therapy was to help the individual achieve the joy of self- realization and promote the inherent constructive forces in human nature that support a striving for self- fulfilment.
  • Believe in free will.
  • Emphasize the uniqueness of each individual.
  • Believe that humans strive for an upper level of capabilities.
  • Humans seeks the frontiers of creativity, the highest reaches of consciousness and wisdom.


    • Active listening

Paraphrasing what the client says to show understanding

    • Unconditional positive regard

Non judgemental when the client speaks


Eclectic therapy is an open, integrative form of psychotherapy that adapts to the unique needs of each specific client, depending on the problem, the treatment goals, and the person’s expectations and motivation.

Types of Eclectic Therapy

Multimodal Therapy

Developed by Aaron Lazarus, multimodal therapy is based on social and cognitive learning theory, and it draws on techniques from numerous different mental health therapies. Eclectic therapists using a multimodal approach determine their client’s needs by assessing a number of criteria in seven modalities of being, which can be remembered by the acronym BASIC ID: behavior, affect (emotions), sensations (senses), imagery (visualization and imagination), cognition (language-based thinking), interpersonal relationships, and drugs/biology (including physical bodies and health).7 This way, they can help each client in specific and personal ways.

Cognitive-Interpersonal Therapy

This helping approach combines cognitive therapies like CBT with interpersonal therapy. It’s a methodical approach to helping people become aware of and understand their distorted thoughts about themselves and their relationships that cause problems in their lives.

Brief Eclectic Therapy

Brief eclectic therapy (BET) is a specific approach to helping clients deal with and overcome a traumatic event.5 It combines elements of CBT and psychodynamic therapy.

Cyclical Psychodynamics

This therapy combines psychodynamic therapy, CBT, systemic therapy, and experiential therapy to improve a client’s emotional experiences and help them develop new interpersonal relationship skills.

Three-Stage Model

The three-stage model provides therapists a framework of three stages of the therapeutic process. Knowing what happens during each stage helps professionals select techniques that will work for an individual client during each stage of therapy. The first stage is the exploration stage and is based on Carl Rogers’ Person-Centered Therapy. The second stage is the insight phase, based on psychoanalytic therapy, and the third stage is the action phase, based on cognitive-behavioral therapy.

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