In the world of psychotherapy services, there are different approaches or modalities of intervention; they are paradigms based on different techniques and objectives when it comes to helping patients.
How do you know which one to choose if you are looking for professional psychological support? Let’s see a summary of these different therapeutic approaches.
The different approaches to psychological therapy
If you are wondering how to choose the therapeutic specialization that is best for you, the first thing to know is that there is no reason to worry: as long as the professional or the team of professionals is trained to intervene. about the problem that affects you. is enough.
The task of choosing the form of intervention and the techniques to be used is part of the work of professionals. mental health, and you need to focus on what you want to overcome.
That said, if you want to get a feel for the most commonly used treatment approaches, keep reading: here’s a look at their main features.
1. Cognitive behavioral therapy
As the name suggests, cognitive behavioral therapy aims to lead the patient towards improvement by allowing him to adapt through changes in his way of behaving and thinking.
It is one of the most used and effective forms of psychological intervention. facing a wide variety of problems, and part of the behavioral therapy methods developed in the mid-twentieth century, while adding tools to act also in the mental processes most closely related to subjectivity.
2. Contextual therapies
Contextual therapies are based on the propositions of cognitive behavioral therapy but take their approaches further, which is why they are also called third generation therapies.
Although in this category are grouped various types of therapies with their own tools and goals, they generally have in common the idea of not always striving for the complete elimination of symptoms, but the most important in them is to improve the good. being the patient not trying to avoid emotional pain (as this gives more power to this source of discomfort) and also the idea that much of the solution to a problem is to go beyond the individual and focus on their social and cultural context. One of the most important representatives of this group is acceptance and commitment therapy.
Mindfulness, or mindfulness, is a very versatile therapeutic resource and relatively easy to learn and apply. Therefore, it is used in very different contexts, and it is even common for contextual therapies to rely on it.
It is a set of practices that promote a calm state of consciousness in which, at the same time, we learn not to dismiss feelings that we normally think of as “negative”, and we also learn not to be obsessed with what we want to achieve at any cost.. These are exercises inspired by the ancient Vipassana meditation, although in this case the nature of what is done is not religious in nature, but is aimed at achieving therapeutic goals (therefore its use is also more systematic than meditation. traditional).
4. Form of therapy
Gestalt therapy is one of the variants of therapies based on humanistic psychology. The latter is inspired by two complementary psychological currents: humanist philosophy, on the one hand, and existentialist philosophy, on the other.
Because of that, the humanist approach is based on the idea that everyone must work to give meaning to their life project, In good times and also in bad times, because we should not wait for “from the outside” to come up with a plan on what to do.
Thus, this set of forms of psychological intervention emphasizes the importance of the patient’s subjectivity and his ability to make sense of what is happening to him. For this reason, Gestalt therapy is characterized by the offer of tools allowing to become aware of one’s emotions and to resign them to give them a constructive outcome according to the context in which one lives and to one’s own values and interests.
5. Psychodynamic therapy
Psychodynamic therapy receives influences from the psychodynamic model of the mind initially developed by Sigmund Freud, Although it has more specific and short and medium term objectives than the proposed intervention of the father of psychoanalysis. This form of intervention has been shown to be effective, among others, with cases of borderline personality disorder and with some cases of depression.
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- Field, TA, Beeson, ET, Jones, LK (2015), The New ABCs: A Practitioner’s Guide to Neuroscience-Informed Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 37 (3): pp. 206-220.
- Hayes, SC (2004). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Relational Framework Theory and Third Wave of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy. Behavioral therapy, 35, 639 – 665.
- Olivares, J. and Méndez, FX (2008). Behavior modification techniques. Madrid: New library.
- Siegel, D. (2010). Brain and mindfulness. Barcelona: Paidós.