Psychotherapy is a set of techniques believed to cure or to help solve behavioral and other psychological problems in humans. The common part of these techniques is direct personal contact between therapist and patient, mainly in the form of talking. Owing to the nature of these communications, there are significant issues of patient privacy and/or client confidentiality.

Table of contents
1 Schools and Approaches
2 List of Psychotherapeutic Modalities
3 List of techniques used in psychotherapy
4 Related topics
5 References
6 External links

Schools and Approaches

While behaviour is often a target of the work, many approaches value the notion of "psyche" in the root of the word. This is especially true of the psychodynamic schools of psychotherapy, which today include Jungian therapy and Psychodrama. Other approaches focus on the link between the mind and body and try to access deeper levels of the psyche through manipulation of the physical body. Examples are Rolfing, Pulsing and Postural Integration.

Psychoanalysis is the original type of psychotherapy, but many other theories and techniques are used by psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers. Techniques for group therapy have been developed.

A distinction can be made between those psychotherapies that employ a medical model and those that employ a humanistic model. In the medical model the client is seen as unwell and the therapist employs their skill to help them back to health. An example would be Freudian psychotherapy. In the humanistic model the therapist facilitates learning in the individual and the clients own natural process draws them to a fuller understanding of themselves. An example would be Gestalt therapy.

A common form of psychotherapy is cognitive behavioural therapy. This is particularly common where the form of psychotherapy is dictated by the demands of insurance companies who wish to see a financially limited commitment.

A computer program called ELIZA has been built to perform an automated and extremely simplified version of Rogersian psychotherapy.

List of Psychotherapeutic Modalities

In the Twentieth Century a bewildering range of Psychotherapies sprang up in western societies.

The following is only a partial list:

  • Please add to this list

List of techniques used in psychotherapy

The following techniques may be employed in psychotherapy although which are used will depend on the nature of the therapy

  • Paradoxical intention
  • Reflective Listening
  • Regression
  • Role play
  • Sand play
  • Unconditional positive regard
  • Validation
  • Working through Projections
  • Working through Transference

  • please add to this list

Related topics

See also:


An introduction to Psychodynamic schools

  • Anthony Bateman, Dennis Brown, Jonathan Pedder (Authors) Introduction to Psychotherapy: An Outline of Psychodynamic Principles and Practice ; Routledge ; ISBN 0415205697 ; June, 2000

An introduction to Humanistic schools

  • John Rowan; 'Ordinary Ecstacy' : Brunner-Routledge ;ISBN 0415236320 ; March 2001

External links

UK Council for Psychotherapy

European Association for Psychotherapy