Approaches to Psychotherapy and Existential Theory

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By bonniecole
Words 1597
Pages 7
Approaches to Psychotherapy and Existential Theory

Bonnie Cole

Abstract

This paper seeks to explain the concept of psychotherapy, and the dominant psychotherapeutic methods used for the treatment of individuals. These methods are: psychoanalytic, humanist, behavioral, and cognitive (jointly called cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT). I further explore existential psychotherapy, as it is the method I found most appealing in my research. I included quotations from several journal articles, and from our textbook, “Discovering Psychology, Fifth Edition”.

Approaches to Psychotherapy and Existential Theory

Psychotherapy is an official term that normally goes by different names: counseling, treatment, psychiatric therapy, even head shrinking. They all mean the same thing, and have a common goal. Psychotherapy seeks, through the use of trained professionals, to help individuals improve their mental health using a variety of different approaches. A much more comprehensive definition can be found in the textbook Discovering Psychology, Fifth Edition, which states that psychotherapy is:

“The treatment of emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal problems through the use of psychological techniques designed to encourage understanding of problems and modify troubling feelings, behaviors, or relationships” (Hockenbury, 2011).

The etymological meaning, is derived from the Greek words “ψυχή (psycho)”, meaning “breath” or “life”, and “θεραπεία (therapy)”, meaning “service” or “healing”. This is the definition I prefer, as it sums up in few words what the practice of psychotherapy entails.

While psychotherapy has a primary goal, it is achieved in a variety of techniques. The most…...

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