Throughout the history of psychology, various modalities of intervention have been developed that have responded to the different ways of conceiving the problems of the human being that have emerged over the years.
Thus, since the beginning of the use of the scientific method in psychology, there have been on the one hand Behavioral Therapies (First Generation), Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies (Second Generation) and finally Contextual or Third Generation Therapies. .
Each of these currents focused on one aspect or another of the person and on the different theories on which they were based, all with the aim of recognizing the facets that make up the life and behavior of the human being. . In this direction, let’s see what exactly third generation therapies are for.
What do we mean by third generation therapies?
Contextual or third generation therapies are strongly influenced by the contributions of psychologist Steven C. Hayes, particularly in Functional contextualisma philosophy based on the scientific method that emphasizes the context of the person as the key to success when treating any disorder.
Functional contextualism could be defined as a tendency that proposes to directly influence the behavior and functioning of the person through the study of observable phenomena and variables present in their daily context. It focuses on how actions and spaces play a role in the process of trying to achieve goals.
Thus, in contextual therapies little emphasis is placed on the need to alleviate or eliminate discomfortbut by making the person accept the vagaries of life in a way that does not lead to self-sabotage, by adapting to their context and by developing a way of life compatible with their true interests and objectives personal (related to the resources and skills of the people available).
Some of the contextual aspects of the person that can be studied and modified are their verbal behavior, the moral values that make up their personality or their way of speaking to themselves (inner monologue).
The contextual or third generation approach it is one of the most used in psychological consultations around the worldboth because it is based on a scientific philosophy founded on empirics, and because of its great variety of existing modalities within the same current.
What are the different types of third generation therapies used for?
Currently we can find 4 main types of contextual therapies, all of them very effective and that can help us treat one or another of the psychological alterations, depending on the particular needs of each client.
1. Mindfulness-Based Therapy
Mindfulness or full attention is a technique for managing attentional concentration whose objective is that the person can focus their attention on the present moment and be able to explore what is happening inside in real time, without being carried away by obsessions linked to memories of the past or estimates of what is could happen in the future future
This technique also has a powerful scientific basis, so it can be used in all types of studies and experiments. In addition to this, it incorporates a series of transcendental meditation strategies that have proven to be widely effective and which they broke away from the Buddhist and Hindu religious traditions in which they drew inspiration.
The main bases of Mindfulness as a contextual therapy for self-exploration and self-regulation are the total attention and focus on the feelings present as they are, the radical acceptance of one’s experiences and the experience of these in an active way, by involving oneself in one’s own objectives and experiences are essential
2. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavior therapy integrates various elements of cognitive behavioral therapy with the conceptual foundations of contextual therapies, and is based on the acquire psychosocial skills which help the person to live better.
In DBT, the therapist validates the feelings of the person being treated, but at the same time helps them train and learn a series of more adaptive skills that will make them happier in their daily life.
This therapy It was originally designed to treat borderline personality disorderbut it is also commonly used in people with emotional instability, mood disorders, people with suicidal behavior, or people with borderline personality disorder.
3. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Acceptance and Compromise therapy is primarily based on language as the basis for any psychological problem or disorder that people may have.
Through the learning of various techniques for restructuring his own language that the therapist teaches the client, the latter will learn to improve your psychological flexibility; that is to say the ability to live and accept the present moment and to adapt to the situations that he experiences on a daily basis.
4. Functional Analytical Psychotherapy (FAP)
Functional Analytical Psychotherapy emphasizes the importance of the therapeutic relationship and the behaviors displayed by the client in consultation, in order to obtain a change in the person and lead him to overcome his psychological disorders.
In functional analytical psychotherapy, the therapist will reinforce these positive behaviors, thoughts or impressions taking into account the context and particularities of each patient, and will detect the most problematic or unsuitable so that the client can analyze them, enhance them and ultimately be able to modify them.
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