Introduction to Psychological Therapies

  • by

Introduction to Psychological Therapies

Here is the introduction to different therapies from different psychological perspectives.

Psychodynamic perspective

Treatment consists of bringing the repressed conflicts and unfulfilled desires to consciousness from the unconscious mind, where the patient or client can deal with it.

Techniques: Free Association, Dream analysis, Analysis of resistance, Transference, and countertransference

Behavioral perspective

Behavioral therapies are based on the theory of classical conditioning and the assumption that all the behaviors of human are learned and can be unlearned. We learn faulty and abnormal behaviors from our environment and we can unlearn these behaviors and learn more acceptable and normal behaviors.

some important therapies include the following

System desensitization


Aversion therapy


Token economy

Assertive training

Bio feedback

Contingency management

Cognitive Perspective

Cognitive therapy techniques helps us treat many different kinds of disorders. Cognitive perspective is based on the assumption that how we think, how we feel and how we act are the things that comes together, for cognitive psychologist the thought, feelings and behavior all interact together. For cognitive psychologist the cause of abnormal behavior is irrational, illogical negative and passive thinking, they believe that to treat the patients we have to change their these thoughts to positive, rational, logical and optimistic thoughts.

Main therapies include:

Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

3D modal

Detecting, Discriminating, Debate


Humanistic perspective

Humanistic psychologist think that the cause of abnormal behavior is bad self image and low self esteem. When we have bad view of our selves our self esteem and we show abnormal behavior. Carl Rogers also said that when the gap between our ideal self(what we want to become) and real self(what we are) increases we get frustrated and abnormalities occur.

Humanistic therapy focus on helping the individual reach and understand their true feelings, making a sense of the meaning of life and help them create a good self image and reach self actualization.

Client-centered therapy

Most important conditions to be followed in Client centered therapy are

Congruence – The psychologist has to connect to the client on his level and do not hide behind his professional facade.

Unconditional positive regard – The therapist should show unconditional positive regard and respect towards the client. He should respect his client without caring that what religion, cast, status or ethnicity he belongs to.

Empathy – The therapist has to be involved on a personal level and feel the client’s situation very deeply. He should be able to communicate and understand the perspective of the client.

Existential perspective

According to existential perspective when we live an aimless or meaningless life, this leads to boredom which eventually leads to abnormal behavior.

Existential therapy

It includes logo therapy which was created by neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl.

According to victor:

“We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering” and that “everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances”.

Gestalt perspective

Gestalt psychologist believe that we have to be in touch with reality and nature. When we cut our self from reality and nature and don’t express our feelings and do not explore them the problem begins. We should not repress our feeling and try to find the true nature of our feelings. According to gestalt psychologist the unfinished business becomes the cause of abnormalities.

Gestalt therapies

In treatment the therapist try to inhance the pleasurable feelings and emotions. They teach the patients to find the true nature of their feelings and then express them. Therapies include:

Logo therapy

Encounter group

Family Perspective/Social Perspective

Faulty relationships with the other people cause problems. These relationships can be bad due to your own behavior or the problem can be in the other person.

Family therapy uses a range of counseling and other techniques including:


  • Structural therapy – identifies and re-orders the organisation of the family system
  • Strategic therapy – looks at patterns of interactions between family members
  • Systemic/Milan therapy – focuses on belief systems
  • Narrative therapy – restoring of dominant problem-saturated narrative, emphasis on context, separation of the problem from the person
  • Transgenerational therapy – transgenerational transmission of unhelpful patterns of belief and behaviour
  • communication theory
  • psychoeducation
  • psychotherapy
  • relationship counseling
  • relationship education
  • systemic coaching
  • systems theory
  • reality therapy
  • the genogram

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *