About the Process
One of the exciting aspects of psychotherapy is the wide variety of
approaches available for use in the course of therapy.Whatever
degree a psychotherapist has, he or she usually is trained in a variety
of clinical skills and is competent with a range of theoretical
In addition to their professional license, some psychotherapists are
in one or a variety of specialty areas. Certification in specialty
is not a requirement of professional licensure and is not regulated by
the licensing boards.
|Individual therapy is perhaps the most common therapeutic approach and is often used in conjunction with other approaches; e.g., couples therapy or group therapy. Individuals come to therapy for a wide range of reasons: some people seek resolution for particular life problems; some people simply want the supportive environment of an unbiased third party; some people want to heal from past experiences that were traumatic; some people want help in pursuing meaningful life aspirations.Within the framework of individual therapy, your psychotherapist can use techniques from one or a variety of theoretical orientations. Particular therapeutic approaches will vary depending on whether you are a child, adolescent or adult client.|
|Couples therapy is used when
a need to address an incident or problem that has created stress in
relationship. Couples may enter therapy seeking to resolve problem
and/or to address the decision of whether to remain together as a
or to separate; sometimes couples find therapy can be a helpful adjunct
when they already have decided to separate. Couples may want to enhance
or "fine tune" particular aspects of their relationship: couples
can facilitate the process of renewing a commitment or "reinvigorating"
a relationship. People who are in newly-forming relationships also may
seek couples therapy to help them define their relationship, clarify
level of commitment or address preventive concerns.
Within this framework, both members of a couple attend joint therapy sessions. The focus usually addresses expectations, relationship patterns, communication dynamics, and issues related to problem-solving. Sometimes a couple's psychotherapist sees the partners individually, especially when it is important to address childhood issues.
|Family therapy is appropriate when there is a need to address problems or issues that affect all the members of the family or when there are concerns with the dynamics of how family members interact with one another. While family therapists employ a variety of treatment approaches, family therapy is consistent in emphasizing the entire family as a unit. Although family therapy can provide an effective treatment approach for individuals as well as the entire family, this approach to therapy focuses more on inter-relational issues than on an individual's internal concerns.|
|There are many ways group therapy
can be helpful
for individuals, couples and families. Group therapy offers a setting
which members learn and practice new ways of thinking, feeling and
to others. In general, therapy groups explore difficulties in
situations which help clients focus on significant relationships and
feedback from other group members about their interactional
Groups can be organized around specific problems such as sexual abuse or eating disorders. They also can be organized according to the type of client, such as adolescents, men, women, couples or parents. All groups try to lessen members' sense of isolation and enhance relationships. Group therapy can be effective as a primary therapy or as an adjunct to other types of therapy.