Approaches to therapy

Art therapy

Taking an alternative approach to counselling, art therapy encourages clients to use artistic methods to communicate their issues as well as words. This may be in the form of a painting, a sculpture or even a simple drawing. The aim of art therapy is to examine the resulting pieces of art and to interpret their meaning.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction, to help a person change and overcome problems in desired ways. Psychotherapy aims to improve an individual's well-being and mental health, to resolve or mitigate troublesome behaviours, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions, and to improve relationships and social skills.

Behavioural therapy

The principle idea behind behavioural therapy is that our behaviour is learnt and can essentially be unlearnt. This leads behavioural therapy to focus more on the present as opposed to looking back to the past. This type of therapy is therefore best used with those looking to change their behaviour - for example sufferers of addiction or those with a phobia.

Cognitive therapy

The way we think often leads to changes in our behaviour, and cognitive therapy looks to reconcile issues where they begin - in our thoughts. The therapy looks to address any skewed ways of thinking that may be occurring, and eventually aims to replace them with healthier, more positive thought patterns.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT looks to combine both cognitive therapy and behavioural therapy in order to tackle the thought process and the resulting behaviour. Focussing on the present, CBT is a practical therapy that aims to break down problems into smaller, more manageable issues. This therapy is especially useful for those with more specific problems as it addresses each emotion separately.

Humanistic therapies

The humanistic approach is holistic in style, looking at factors such as free will, creativity and human potential. The therapy type encourages self-exploration, with many varieties focusing on the 'here and now'. Therapies that fall under this umbrella include Human Givens therapy, person-centred therapy and Gestalt therapy.

Psychoanalysis

One of the oldest therapies used in psychology, it was Freud who founded the psychoanalytic technique. The therapy takes a different approach to behavioural and cognitive therapies as it perceives our thoughts to be out of our conscious control. Instead, psychoanalysis believes any psychological issues stem from childhood and need to be addressed in order to be resolved.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is an attachment-based and problem-focused treatment for depression and relationship problems. In this approach, the focus of therapy is on current relationships and interpersonal events that contribute to the onset and/or maintenance of depression or other symptoms of psychological distress.

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