Types of Psychotherapy

Treatment Approaches


Adlerian psychotherapy was founded by Alfred Adler (an ex-associate of Freud who rejected Freud's notion that sex is the root of all psychological problems.) It takes a positive view of human nature: We are all goal-oriented creatures who are striving for social connectedness, and we are in control of our destiny. Many personal difficulties, Adler believed, stem from feelings of inferiority-he in fact coined the term "inferiority complex."An Adlerian therapist will identify, explore, and challenge a client's current beliefs about their life goals. He or she will gather family history and will use information about a client's behavior patterns to help the client set new, socially satisfying,and attainable goals. These could relate to any realm of life and could include developing parenting or marital skills, or ending substance abuse. Once these healthier objectives are set, the therapist may also assign homework, set up contracts with the client,and make suggestions on how the client can reach his or her new goals. Source: Psychology Today

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Christian Counseling

Christian counseling works by recognizing the close connection between a person's emotional or psychological well-being and their faith. It allows clients to bring their whole selves into therapy in order to develop coping strategies that align with their personal beliefs. Christian counseling draws upon the principles of Christianity to help individuals navigate mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, relationship problems, grief, or anger. It is important to note that not all Christian counselors are licensed therapists. While some integrate evidence-based psychological principles into their practice, others may not. Source: Psychology Today

Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy stresses the role of thinking in how we feel and what we do. It is based on the belief that thoughts, rather than people or events, cause our negative feelings. The therapist assists the client in identifying, testing the reality of, and correcting dysfunctional beliefs underlying his or her thinking. The therapist then helps the client modify those thoughts and the behaviors that flow from them. CBT is a structured collaboration between therapist and client and often calls for homework assignments. CBT has been clinically proven to help clients in a relatively short amount of time with a wide range of disorders, including depression and anxiety. Source: Psychology Today

Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT)

Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) may assist individuals who struggle with mood disorders, anxiety, or feelings of shame and self-criticism, often stemming from early experiences of abuse or neglect. Through exercises like role-playing, visualization, meditation, and activities that promote gratitude for everyday life, CFT teaches clients about the mind-body connection and guides them in practicing awareness of their thoughts and bodily sensations. This helps clients cultivate self-compassion and compassion for others, which can help regulate their emotions and foster a sense of safety, self-acceptance, and comfort. Source: Psychology Today

Culturally Sensitive

Culturally sensitive therapists provide therapy that is culturally sensitive. They understand that people from different backgrounds have different values, practices, and beliefs, and are sensitive to those differences when working with individuals and families in therapy. Source: Psychology Today


Gestalt therapy seeks to integrate the client's behaviors, feelings, and thinking, so that their intentions and actions may be aligned for optimal mental health. The therapist will help the client become more self aware, to live more in the present, and to assume more responsibility for taking care of themself. Techniques of gestalt therapy include confrontation, dream analysis, and role playing. Source: Psychology Today


The humanistic method takes a positive view of human nature and emphasizes the uniqueness of the individual. Therapists in this tradition, who are interested in exploring the nature of creativity, love, and self-actualization, help clients realize their potential through change and self-directed growth. Humanistic therapy is also an umbrella term for gestalt, client-centered therapy, and existential therapy. Source: Psychology Today

Interpersonal (IPT)

IPT is a short-term psychotherapy in which therapist and client identify the issues and problems of interpersonal relationships. They also explore the client's life history to help recognize problem areas and then work toward ways to rectify them.There are specific Interpersonal therapies, such as Imago therapy, which focus on intimate relationships.Interpersonal therapy is not to be confused with transpersonal psychology, which is the study of states in which people experience a deeper sense of who they are, or a sense of greater connectedness with others, nature or spirituality. Source: Psychology Today


An intervention is a planned attempt by the family and friends of the subject to, in effect, get them to seek help for an addiction (i.e. drugs, medications, gambling) or other serious problem. Interventionists (as they are sometimes called) or intervention specialists often work with treatment facilities in order to provide the patient after-care that will be necessary. Source: Psychology Today

Jungian (analytical therapy)

Jungian or analytical therapy, developed by Carl Jung, seeks to help people access their unconscious to develop greater self-realization and individuation. Jung, a psychoanalyst, sought to understand the psyche via dreams, art, mythology, world religion and philosophy. The Jungian therapist helps the patient find more meaning in their life, with respect for the mysterious nature of the soul. Source: Psychology Today

Mindfulness-Based (MBCT)

For clients with chronic pain, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and other health issues such as anxiety and depression, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, or MBCT, is a two-part therapy that aims to reduce stress, manage pain, and embrace the freedom to respond to situations by choice. MCBT blends two disciplines--cognitive therapy and mindfulness. Mindfulness helps by reflecting on moments and thoughts without passing judgment. MBCT clients pay close attention to their feelings to reach an objective mindset, thus viewing and combating life's unpleasant occurrences. Source: Psychology Today

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a method of therapy that works to engage the motivation of clients to change their behavior. Clients are encouraged to explore and confront their ambivalence. Therapists attempt to influence their clients to consider making changes, rather than non-directively explore themselves. Motivational Interviewing is frequently used in cases of problem drinking or mild addictions. Source: Psychology Today


Multicultural awareness is an understanding and sensitivity of the values, experiences, and lifestyles of minority groups. Differences in race, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, are all tackled by Multicultural counseling. In the counseling setting, the counselor recognizes that the client is different from the counselor and treats the client without forcing the client to be like him or her. Source: Psychology Today

Narrative Therapy

Narrative Therapy uses the client's storytelling to indicate the way they construct meaning in their lives, rather than focusing on how they communicate their problem behaviors. Narrative Therapy embraces the idea that stories actually shape our behaviors and our lives and that we become the stories we tell about ourselves. There are helpful narratives we can choose to embrace as well as unhelpful ones. Although it may sound obvious, the power of storytelling is to elevate the client--who is the authority of their narrative--rather than the therapist, as expert. Source: Psychology Today


Person-centered therapy uses a non-authoritative approach that allows clients to take more of a lead in discussions so that, in the process, they will discover their own solutions. The therapist acts as a compassionate facilitator, listening without judgment and acknowledging the client's experience without moving the conversation in another direction. The therapist is there to encourage and support the client and to guide the therapeutic process without interrupting or interfering with the client's process of self-discovery. Source: Psychology Today

Positive Psychology

Unlike traditional psychology that focuses more on the causes and symptoms of mental illnesses and emotional disturbances, positive psychology emphasizes traits, thinking patterns, behaviors, and experiences that are forward-thinking and can help improve the quality of a person's day-to-day life. These may include optimism, spirituality, hopefulness, happiness, creativity, perseverance, justice, and the practice of free will. It is an exploration of one's strengths, rather than one's weaknesses. The goal of positive psychology is not to replace those traditional forms of therapy that center on negative experiences, but instead to expand and give more balance to the therapeutic process. Source: Psychology Today

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) offers valuable support in identifying and challenging self-defeating thoughts and actions. REBT focuses on present issues, revealing how unhealthy thoughts hinder personal and professional goal attainment. REBT can be beneficial for addressing various negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, guilt, problems with self-worth, and extreme or inappropriate anger. It also aids in changing self-defeating behaviors like aggression, unhealthy eating, and procrastination. REBT utilizes diverse methods and tools, including positive visualization, reframing thoughts, self-help materials, and assigned homework, to reinforce progress between sessions. Source: Psychology Today

Reality Therapy

Reality therapy is a client-centered form of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy that focuses on improving present relationships and circumstances, while avoiding discussion of past events. This approach is based on the idea that our most important need is to be loved, to feel that we belong, and that all other basic needs can be satisfied only by building strong connections with others. Reality therapy teaches that while we cannot control how we feel, we can control how we think and behave. The goal of reality therapy is to help people take control of improving their own lives by learning to make better choices. Source: Psychology Today

Solution Focused Brief (SFBT)

Solution-focused therapy, sometimes called "brief therapy," focuses on what clients would like to achieve through therapy rather than on their troubles or mental health issues. The therapist will help the client envision a desirable future, and then map out the small and large changes necessary for the client to undergo to realize their vision. The therapist will seize on any successes the client experiences, to encourage them to build on their strengths rather than dwell on their problems or limitations. Source: Psychology Today

Trauma Focused (TF-CBT)

Trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) helps people who may be experiencing post-traumatic stress after a traumatic event to return to a healthy state. Source: Psychology Today

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