Types of Therapy

Transcencia Therapies

Person Centred Counselling

Development having started by Carl Rogers in the 1950’s, this approach is based on the belief that individuals are generally trustworthy, capable of self-reflection and capable of fulfilling their potential (self-actualisation), given the correct environment.

Your therapist will helps you by providing such an environment, through the therapeutic relationship.

Your therapist must fulfil some core conditions to support you to move towards self-actualisation: they must be congruent (genuine and authentic), they must show unconditional positive regard for you and they must be empathic.

Your therapist will focus on you, rather than on their problems, focusing on the immediate, and remaining present. Iin this environment, you will gradually and unconsciously incorporates these conditions into your own self-image.

Advantages  are that Person Centred Counselling can help individuals of all ages with a wide range of problems, and has also been incorporated into teaching, childcare and patient care.  This therapy can help individuals reconnect with their inner selves and overcome any limitations.

Disadvantages include that it can take time for the client to internalise the core conditions, and it can been seen as too optimistic to think that people can reach their full potential just through therapy as it doesn’t take into account geo, socio, or political factors.

Cognitive Therapies

As we grow up we learn important rules about how we understand ourselves and other people.  We use these rules to make sense of ourselves and the world around us. We form positive and negative views of ourselves.

Positive beliefs include "I am loved", "I am confident", "I am successful", "I am valued", while negative beliefs include "I am unlovable", "I am a bad person", "I am a failure", "I am stupid".

When we are feeling overwhelmed, the negative beliefs that we have about ourselves can become more exaggerated, more believable and more difficult to dismiss.

What we think can affect how we feel emotionally, what we do and how we act.  Cognitive therapies are based on the theory that negative thoughts flood the mind spontaneously, which Aaron Beck termed “automatic thoughts”.

Automatic thoughts fall into three categories: ideas about ourselves, thoughts about the world, and thoughts about the future.

The more you think about these thoughts, the more real and valid they become.

When an individual is in distress, they are unable to recognise that their thoughts are inaccurate - therapy aims to help individuals identify and replace distorted thoughts and beliefs.  A common type of cognitive therapy is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT. 

CBT breaks the problem down into smaller areas: thoughts, feelings and actions & physical sensations - these elements are interconnected and often work together to keep you in negative spirals. CBT aims to show you other ways of reacting, in order to break out of negative cycles.

Advantages are it’s measurable, it works well with specific goal and it is time limited.  It also requires the individual to be independent from the therapist, and to do the work for themselves. 

Disadvantages are that the focus on positive thinking can feel superficial for some people, who feel that their problems have minimised, and their emotions downplayed.  It doesn’t work for everyone, and for those that it does work they often need “top-up sessions” after a period of time.

Systemic Psychotherapy (Family Therapy)

Systemic or family therapy works with families and those who are in close relationships with each other to bring about change and is rooted in systems theory. This theory can be applied to individuals, couples, and organisations as well as families and is based on the belief that relationships within a family are crucial to the emotional health of each member, and that crucial times of transition (births, adolescence, leaving home, marriage, death) can cause pain and distress which affects relationships and puts a strain on the family unit.

Work and school-related problems, psychosexual difficulties and parent-child conflict can also be explored through family therapy. Therapists often work alongside other professionals where there are specific conditions such as ADHD, eating disorders, addictions, etc.

Advantages – helps to resolve long-standing problems that may be affecting the family, it’s useful for addressing a wide range of problems and health conditions, it is sensitive to diverse cultures, relationships and beliefs.  It also considers the needs and problems of each individual member as well as the family as a whole. There is also the opportunity for the family to hear multiple  perspectives when working with a team.

Disadvantages – sometimes other family members do not agree to come along or it can be difficult to get everyone in one place at the same time.  Also individual members may not feel comfortable discussing certain things in front of other family members.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Originated with Dr Joseph Breuer and Sigmund Freud, this approach focuses on the complexities of interpersonal relationships.  It is based on the premise that every person is individual and their difficulties are unique, and also that there are factors that lay outside our awareness that influence our thoughts and our behaviour (unconscious thoughts). 

What happens when we were babies, children, teenagers affects the way in which we see the world, the relationships that we have with others and the way we feel about ourselves in relation to others.  Your therapist will explore past experiences  and help you to understand how you are influenced  by those things you’re not aware of (your unconscious).  Your therapist also makes use of the relationship that develops between themselves and you to learn how the client relates to other people in your life (transference).

Advantages are that it attempts to address deep-rooted causes of distress, and it’s benefits are very widespread over a number of areas, and long lasting.  It works well with general distress, and personality difficulties, such as repeated challenges in relationships

Disadvantages are that it can take a longer period of time, and some people do not like going back to their childhood, nor do they like the relationship that develops with the therapist.