Ancient Wisdom in a Modern Era
Psychotherapy - Counseling
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helped to develop the general orientation now called psychodynamic therapy, which includes the various therapies based on Freud's essential principle of making the unconscious conscious.

Many theorists, including Anna Freud, Alfred Adler, Carl Jung, Karen Horney, Otto Rank, Erik Erikson, Melanie Klein, and Heinz Kohut, built upon Freud's fundamental ideas and often formed their own differentiating systems of psychotherapy. These were all later termed under a more broad label of psychodynamic, meaning anything that involved the psyche's conscious/unconscious influence on external relationships and the self. Sessions tended to number into the hundreds over several years.

Behaviorism developed in the 1920s, and behavior modification as a therapy became popularized in the 1950s and 1960s. Notable contributors were Joseph Wolpe in South Africa, M.B. Shipiro and Hans Eysenck in Britain, and B.F. Skinner in the United States.
Psychotherapy is an interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients in problems of living. This usually includes increasing individual sense of well-being and reducing subjective discomforting experience. Psychotherapists employ a range of techniques based on experiential relationship building, dialogue, communication and behavior change and that are designed to improve the mental health of a client or patient, or to improve group relationships (such as in a family).

Forms of psychotherapy

Most forms of psychotherapy use only spoken conversation, though some also use various other forms of communication such as the written word, artwork, drama, narrative story, or therapeutic touch. Psychotherapy occurs within a structured encounter between a trained therapist and client(s). Purposeful, theoretically based psychotherapy began in the 19th century with psychoanalysis; since then, scores of other approaches have been developed and continue to be created.

Therapy is generally used to respond to a variety of specific or non-specific manifestations of clinically diagnosable crises. Treatment of everyday problems is more often referred to as counseling (a distinction originally adopted by Carl Rogers) but the
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History of psychotherapy

In an informal sense, psychotherapy can be said to have been practiced through the ages, as individuals received psychological counsel and reassurance from others. Purposeful, theoretically-based psychotherapy was probably first developed in the Middle East during the 9th century by the Persian physician Rhazes, who was at one time the chief physician of the Baghdad hospital. In the West, however, serious mental disorders were generally treated as demonic or medical conditions requiring punishment
and confinement until the advent of moral treatment approaches in the 18th Century. This brought about a focus on the possibility of psychosocial intervention - including reasoning, moral encouragement and group activities - to rehabilitate the "insane".

Many 18th century treatments for psychological distress were based on pseudo-scientific ideas, such as Phrenology.

Although modern, scientific psychology is often dated at the 1879
term is sometimes used interchangeably with "psychotherapy".

Psychotherapeutic interventions are often designed to treat the patient in the medical model, although not all psychotherapeutic approaches follow the model of "illness/cure". Some practitioners, such as humanistic schools, see themselves in an educational or helper role. Because sensitive topics are often discussed during psychotherapy, therapists are expected, and usually legally bound, to respect client or patient confidentiality.

Systems of psychotherapy

There are several main systems of psychotherapy
Cognitive behavioral
Brief therapy (sometimes called "strategic" therapy, solution focused brief therapy)
Systemic Therapy (including family therapy & marriage counseling)
Integrative Psychotherapy
opening of the first psychological clinic by Wilhelm Wundt, attempts to create methods for assessing and treating mental distress existed long before. The earliest recorded approaches were a combination of religious, magical and medical perspectives. In the 1800s, one could have his or her head examined, literally, using phrenology, the study of the shape of the skull developed by respected anatomist Franz Joseph Gall. Other popular treatments included physiognomy—the study of the shape of the face—and mesmerism, developed by Franz Anton Mesmer—designed to relieve psychological distress by the use of magnets. Spiritualism and Phineas Quimby's "mental healing" technique that was very like modern concept of "positive visualization" were also popular.

While the scientific community eventually came to reject all of these methods, academic psychologists also were not concerned with serious forms of mental illness. That area was already being addressed by the developing fields of psychiatry and neurology within the asylum movement and the use of moral therapy. It wasn't until the end of the 19th century, around the time when Sigmund Freud was first developing his "talking cure" in Vienna, that the first scientifically clinical application of psychology began—at the University of Pennsylvania, to help children with learning disabilities.

Psychoanalysis was perhaps the first specific school of psychotherapy, developed by Sigmund Freud and others through the early 1900s. Trained as a neurologist, Freud began focusing on problems that appeared to have no discernible organic basis, and theorized that they had psychological causes originating in childhood experiences and the unconscious mind. Techniques such as dream interpretation, free association, transference and analysis of the id, ego and superego were developed.

Although clinical psychologists originally focused on psychological assessment, the practice of psychotherapy, once the sole domain of psychiatrists, became integrated into the profession after the Second World War. Psychotherapy began with the practice of psychoanalysis, the "talking cure" developed by Sigmund Freud. Soon afterwards, theorists such as Alfred Adler and Carl Jung began to introduce new conceptions about psychological functioning and change. These and many other theorists
Behavioral therapy approaches relied on principles of operant conditioning, classical conditioning and social learning theory to bring about therapeutic change in observable symptoms. The approach became commonly used for phobias, as well as other disorders. Because behaviorism denied or ignored internal mental activity, this period represents a general slowing of advancement within the field of psychotherapy.

Some therapeutic approaches developed out of the European school of existential philosophy. Concerned mainly with the individual's ability to develop and preserve a sense of meaning and purpose throughout life, major contributors to the field (e.g., Irvin Yalom, Rollo May) and Europe (Viktor Frankl, Ludwig Binswanger, Medard Boss, R.D.Laing, Emmy van Deurzen) attempted to create therapies sensitive to common 'life crises' springing from the essential bleakness of human self awareness, previously accessible only through the complex writings of existential philosophers (e.g., Søren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre, Gabriel Marcel, Martin Heidegger, Friedrich Nietzsche). The uniqueness of the patient-therapist relationship thus also forms a vehicle for therapeutic enquiry.

A related body of thought in psychotherapy started in the 1950s with Carl Rogers. Based in existentialism and the works of Abraham Maslow and his hierarchy of human needs, Rogers brought person-centered psychotherapy into mainstream focus. Rogers' basic tenets were unconditional positive regard, genuineness, and empathic understanding, with each demonstrated by the counselor. The aim was to create a relationship conducive to enhancing the client's psychological well being, by enabling the client to fully experience and express themselves. Others developed the approach, like Fritz and Laura Perls in the creation of Gestalt therapy, as well as Marshall Rosenberg, founder of Nonviolent Communication, and Eric Berne, founder of Transactional Analysis. Later these fields of psychotherapy would become what is known as humanistic psychotherapy today. Self-help groups and books became widespread.

During the 1950s, Albert Ellis developed Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). A few years later, psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck developed a form of psychotherapy known as cognitive therapy. Both of these included short, structured and present-focused therapy aimed at changing a person's distorted thinking, by contrast with the long-lasting insight-based approach of psychodynamic or humanistic therapies. Cognitive and behavioral therapy approaches were combined during the 1970s, resulting in Cognitive behavioral therapy. Being oriented towards symptom-relief, collaborative empiricism and modifying peoples core beliefs, the approach gained widespread acceptance as a primary treatment for numerous disorders. A "third wave" of cognitive and behavioral therapies developed, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Dialectical behavior therapy, which expanded the concepts to other disorders and/or added novel components.

Since the 1970s, other major perspectives have been developed and adopted within the field. Perhaps the two biggest have been Systems Therapy—which focuses on family and group dynamics—and Transpersonal psychology, which focuses on the spiritual facet of human experience. Other important orientations developed in the last three decades include Feminist therapy, Somatic Psychology, Expressive therapy, and applied Positive psychology. Clinical psychology in Japan developed towards a more integrative socially-orientated counseling methodology. Practice in India developed from both traditional metaphysical and ayurvedic systems and Western methodologies.

With the advent of more robust research findings regarding psychotherapy, there is growing evidence that most of the major therapies are about of equal effectiveness, with the key common element being a strong therapeutic alliance. Because of this, more training programs and psychologists are now adopting an eclectic orientation. This integrative movement attempts to combine the most effective aspects of all the schools of practice.

    Timeline of psychotherapy    

ca. 1550 BCE - Ancient Egyptians codified their knowledge of psychiatry, medicine, and surgery in the Ebers Papyrus and the Edwin Smith Papyrus. The former mentioned dementia and depression, while the latter gave detailed instructions for various neurosurgical procedures. The power of magic (suggestion) was recognized as complementary to medicine.
ca. 500 BCE - Siddhartha Gautama founded the psychotherapeutic practices of Buddhism on the principle that the origin of mental suffering is ignorance, that the symptoms of ignorance are attachment and craving, and that attachment and craving can be ended by following the Eightfold Path.
ca. 400 BCE - Hippocrates taught that melancholia (depression) is caused by an excess of black bile, one of the four humours. Ancient Greek therapy for disorders of mood involved adjustment of the humours, to bring them into balance.
ca. 300 BCE - Composition of the Huangdi Neijing began in China. This medical work emphasized the relationship between organs and emotions, and formalized the theory of Qi (life-force) and the balancing of the primal forces of Yin and Yang.
Middle Ages
ca. 900 - Psychotherapy was first developed in the Middle East by al-Razi (Rhazes), who was at one time the chief physician of the Baghdad hospital.

Eighteenth century
1770 - Johann Joseph Gassner initiated a therapeutic practice using a precursor of hypnotherapy and exorcism.
1774 - Franz Mesmer described the therapeutic properties of "animal magnetism" (hypnotherapy), and began a clinical practice.
1785 - Marquis de Puységur founded the Société Harmonique des Amis Réunis to train specialists in Mesmerism (hypnotherapy).
1793 - Jean-Baptiste Pussin, working with Philippe Pinel, began releasing incarcerated mental patients from chains and iron shackles in the first movement for the humane treatment of the mentally ill.

Nineteenth century
1801 - Philippe Pinel published the first psychological approach to the treatment of the insane. The work appeared in English translation in 1806, as Treatise on Insanity.
1813 - Abbé Faria identified the central role of suggestion in "animal magnetism" (hypnotherapy).
1826 - Justinus Kerner began treatment of patients with a combination of "animal magnetism" (hypnotherapy) and exorcism.
1870 - Jean-Martin Charcot began clinical research into hysteria (conversion disorder) at the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris.
1884 - Jean-Martin Charcot explained demonic possession as a form of hysteria (conversion disorder), to be treated with hypnotherapy.
1885 - Pierre Janet began therapeutic practice and research in Le Havre.
1886 - Sigmund Freud began therapeutic practice and research in Vienna.
1892 - Foundation of the American Psychological Association (APA), headed by G. Stanley Hall.
1896 - Development of the first psychological clinic at the University of Pennsylvania, marking the birth of clinical psychology.

Twentieth century
1900 - Sigmund Freud published Interpretation of Dreams, marking the beginning of Psychoanalytic Thought.
1906 - The Journal of Abnormal Psychology founded by Morton Prince.
1911 - Alfred Adler left Freud's Psychoanalytic Group to form his own school of thought, Individual Psychology, accusing Freud of overemphasizing sexuality and basing his theory on his own childhood.
1913 - Carl Jung departed from Freudian views and developed his own theories citing Freud's inability to acknowledge religion and spirituality. His new school of thought became known as Analytical Psychology.
1913 - Jacob L. Moreno applied Group Psychotherapy methods in Vienna. His methods, which emphasized spontaneity and interaction, later became known as Psychodrama and Sociometry.
1921 - Jacob L. Moreno conducted the first large scale public Psychodrama session at the Komoedienhaus, Vienna. He moved to New York in 1925.
1933 - Wilhelm Reich published his influential book Character Analysis.
1936 - Karen Horney began her critique of Freudian psychoanalytic theory with the publication of Feminine Psychology.
1942 - Carl Rogers published Counseling and Psychotherapy, suggesting that respect and a non-judgmental approach to therapy is the foundation for effective treatment of mental health issues.
1943 - Albert Hofmann writes his first report about the hallucinogenic properties of LSD, which he first synthesized in 1938. LSD was practiced as a therapeutic drug throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
1945 - The Journal of Clinical Psychology founded.
1949 - Boulder Conference outlined the scientist-practitioner model of clinical psychology, looking at the M.D. versus Ph.D. used by medical providers and researchers, respectively.
1951 - Carl Rogers published his major work, Client-Centered Therapy.
1951 The seminal work of "Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality" is published, co-authored by Fritz Perls, Paul Goodman, and Ralph Hefferline.
1952 - The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was published by The American Psychiatric Association marking the beginning of modern mental illness classification.
1953 - B.F. Skinner outlined behavioral therapy, lending support for behavioral psychology via research in the literature.
1953 - Code of Ethics for Psychologists developed by the American Psychological Association.
1954 - Abraham Maslow helped to found Humanistic psychology and later developed his famous Hierarchy of Needs.
1957 - Albert Ellis began teaching the methods of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.
1960 - Thomas Szasz inaugurated the anti-psychiatry movement with the publication of his book, The Myth of Mental Illness.
1960 - R. D. Laing published The Divided Self which saw mental illness as an expression or communication of the individual and so represented valid descriptions of lived experience or reality rather than as symptoms of some separate or underlying disorder.
1962 - The Esalen Institute founded at Big Sur California , acting as a focus for the development of many branches of Humanistic psychology.
1967 - Aaron Beck published a psychological model of depression, suggesting that thoughts play a significant role in the development and maintenance of depression.
1968 - DSM II published by the American Psychiatric Association.
1968 - First Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) professional degree program in Clinical Psychology established in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
1969 - California School of Professional Psychology established as first freestanding school of professional psychology.
1969 - Joseph Wolpe published The Practice of Behavior Therapy.
1970 - Arthur Janov published his book The Primal Scream, which outlined his theory of the trauma-based Primal therapy.
1971 - Vladimir Bukovsky documented the psychiatric imprisonment of sane political prisoners in the USSR.
1980 - DSM III published by the American Psychiatric Association.
1994 - DSM IV (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Twenty-first century
2000 - The DSM-IV-TR, was published in May 2000 in order to correct several errors in DSM-IV, and to update and change diagnostic codes to reflect the ICD-9-CM coding system.

General issues of psychotherapy

Psychotherapy can be seen as an interpersonal invitation offered by (often trained and regulated) psychotherapists to aid clients in reaching their full potential or to cope better with problems of life. Psychotherapists usually receive a benefit or remuneration in some form in return for their time and skills. This is one way in which the relationship can be distinguished from an altruistic offer of assistance.

Psychotherapy often includes techniques to increase awareness for example, or to enable other choices of thought, feeling or action; to increase the sense of well-being and to better manage subjective discomfort or distress. Psychotherapy can be provided on a one to one basis or in group therapy. It can occur face to face, over the telephone or the internet. Its time frame may be a matter of weeks or over many years. It can be seen as ultimately about agency and the meaning of life. Psychotherapy can also be seen as a social construct that cannot occur in a power vacuum nor without reference to semiotics (meaning systems and symbols) - irrespective of how practitioners may describe their work or research its effects. Therapy may address specific forms of diagnosable mental illness, or everyday problems in relationships or meeting personal goals. Treatment of everyday problems is more often referred to as counseling (a distinction originally adopted by Carl Rogers) but the term is sometimes used interchangeably with "psychotherapy".

Psychotherapists employ a range of techniques to influence or pursuade the client to adapt or change in the direction the client has chosen. These can be based on clear thinking about their options; experiential relationship building; dialogue, communication and adoption of behavior change strategies. Each is designed to improve the mental health of a client or patient, or to improve group relationships (such as in a family). Most forms of psychotherapy use only spoken conversation, though some also use various other forms of communication such as the written word, artwork, drama, narrative story, or therapeutic touch. Psychotherapy occurs within a structured encounter between a trained therapist and client(s). Because sensitive topics are often discussed during psychotherapy, therapists are expected, and usually legally bound, to respect client or patient confidentiality.

Psychotherapists are often trained, certified, and licensed, with a range of different certifications and licensing requirements in every jurisdiction. Psychotherapy may be undertaken by clinical psychologists, social workers, marriage-family therapists, expressive therapists, trained nurses, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, mental health counselors, school counselors, or professionals of other mental health disciplines. Psychiatrists have medical qualifications and may also administer prescription medication. The primary training of a psychiatrist focuses on the biological aspects of mental health conditions, with some training in psychotherapy. Psychologists have more training in psychological assessment and research and, in addition, a great deal of training in psychotherapy. Social workers have specialized training in linking patients to community and institutional resources, in addition to elements of psychological assessment and psychotherapy. Marriage-Family Therapists have training similar to the social worker, and also have specific training and experience working with relationships and family issues. Licensed professional counselors (LPCs) generally have special training in career, mental health, school, or rehabilitation counseling. Many of the wide variety of training programs are multiprofessional, that is, psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health nurses, and social workers may be found in the same training group. Consequently, specialized psychotherapeutic training in most countries requires a program of continuing education after the basic degree, or involve multiple certifications attached to one specific degree.

    Specific schools and approaches    

Scientific validation of different psychotherapeutic approaches
In the psychotherapeutic community there has been discussion of evidence-based psychotherapy, e.g..

Virtually no comparisons of different psychotherapies with long follow-up times have been carried out. The Helsinki Psychotherapy Study is a randomized clinical trial, where patients are monitored for 12 months after the onset of study treatments, of which each lasted approximately 6 months. The assessments are to be completed at the baseline examination and during the follow-up after 3, 7, and 9 months and 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 years. The final results of this trial are yet to be published since follow-up evaluations will continue up to 2009.

Psychoanalysis was the earliest form of psychotherapy, but many other theories and techniques are also now used by psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, personal growth facilitators, occupational therapists and social workers. Techniques for group therapy have been developed.

While behaviour is often a target of the work, many approaches value working with feelings and thoughts. This is especially true of the psychodynamic schools of psychotherapy, which today include Jungian therapy and Psychodrama as well as the psychoanalytic schools. 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.

Gestalt Therapy
Gestalt Therapy is a major overhaul psychoanalysis. In its early development it was called "concentration therapy" by its founders, Frederick and Laura Perls. However, its mix of theoretical influences became most organized around the work of the gestalt psychologists; thus, by the time Gestalt Therapy, Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality (Perls, Hefferline, and Goodman) was written, the approach became known as "Gestalt Therapy."

Gestalt Therapy stands on top of essentially four load bearing theoretical walls: phenomenological method, dialogical relationship, field-theoretical strategies, and experimental freedom. Some have considered it an existential phenomenology while others have described it as a phenomenological behaviorism. Gestalt therapy is a humanistic, holistic, and experiential approach that does not rely on talking alone, but facilitates awareness in the various contexts of life by moving from talking about situations relatively remote to action and direct, current experience.

Group Psychotherapy
The therapeutic use of groups in modern clinical practice can be traced to the early years of the 20th century, when the American chest physician Pratt, working in Boston, described forming 'classes' of fifteen to twenty patients with tuberculosis who had been rejected for sanatorium treatment[citation needed]. The term 'group therapy', however, was first used around 1920 by Jacob L. Moreno, whose main contribution was the development of psychodrama, in which groups were used as both cast and audience for the exploration of individual problems by reenactment under the direction of the leader. The more analytic and exploratory use of groups in both hospital and out-patient settings was pioneered by a few European psychoanalysts who emigrated to the USA, such as Paul Schilder, who treated severely neurotic and mildly psychotic out-patients in small groups at Bellevue Hospital, New York. The power of groups was most influentially demonstrated in Britain during the Second World War, when several psychoanalysts and psychiatrists proved the value of group methods for officer selection in the War Office Selection Boards. A chance to run an Army psychiatric unit on group lines was then given to several of these pioneers, notably Wilfred Bion and Rickman, followed by S. H. Foulkes, Main, and Bridger. The Northfield Hospital in Birmingham gave its name to what came to be called the two 'Northfield Experiments', which provided the impetus for the development since the war of both social therapy, that is, the therapeutic community movement, and the use of small groups for the treatment of neurotic and personality disorders.

Medical and non-medical models
A distinction can also 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 the client back to health. The extensive use of the DSM-IV, the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders in the United States, is an example of a medically-exclusive model.

In the humanistic model, the therapist facilitates learning in the individual and the client's own natural process draws them to a fuller understanding of themselves. An example would be gestalt therapy.

Some psychodynamic practitioners distinguish between more uncovering and more supportive psychotherapy. Uncovering psychotherapy emphasizes facilitating the client's insight into the roots of their difficulties. The best-known example of an uncovering psychotherapy is classical psychoanalysis. Supportive psychotherapy by contrast stresses strengthening the client's defenses and often providing encouragement and advice. Depending on the client's personality, a more supportive or more uncovering approach may be optimal. Most psychotherapists use a combination of uncovering and supportive approaches.

Cognitive therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on modifying everyday thoughts and behaviors, with the aim of positively influencing emotions. The therapist helps clients recognise distorted thinking and learn to replace unhealthy thoughts with more realistic substitute ideas. This approach includes Dialectical behavior therapy.

Expressive therapy
Expressive therapy is a form of therapy that utilizes artistic expression as its core means of treating clients. Expressive therapists use the different disciplines of the creative arts as therapeutic interventions. This includes the modalities dance therapy, drama therapy, art therapy, music therapy, writing therapy, among others. Expressive therapists believe that often the most effective way of treating a client is through the expression of imagination in a creative work and integrating and processing what issues are raised in the act.

Integrative Psychotherapy
Integrative Psychotherapy represents an attempt to combine ideas and strategies from more than one theoretical approach. These approaches include mixing core beliefs and combining proven techniques. Forms of integrative psychotherapy include Multimodal Therapy, the Transtheoretical Model, Cyclical Psychodynamics, Systematic Treatment Selection, Cognitive Analytic Therapy, Internal Family Systems Model, and Multitheoretical Psychotherapy. In practice, most experienced psychotherapists develop their own integrative approach over time.

Adaptations for children
Counseling and psychotherapy must be adapted to meet the developmental needs of children. Many counseling preparation programs include a courses in human development. Since children often do not have the ability to articulate thoughts and feelings, counselors will use a variety of media such as crayons, paint, clay, puppets, bibliocounseling (books), toys, et cetera. The use of play therapy is often rooted in psychodynamic theory, but other approaches such as Solution Focused Brief Counseling may also employ the use of play in counseling. In many cases the counselor may prefer to work with the care taker of the child, especially if the child is younger than age four.

The therapeutic relationship

Research has shown that the quality of the relationship between the therapist and the client has a greater influence on client outcomes than the specific type of psychotherapy used by the therapist (this was first suggested by Saul Rosenzweig in 1936). Accordingly, most contemporary schools of psychotherapy focus on the healing power of the therapeutic relationship. This research is extensively discussed (with many references) in Hubble, Duncan and Miller (1999)(quotes in this section are from this book) and in Wampold (2001).

A literature review by M. J. Lambert (1992) estimated that 40% of client changes are due to extratherapeutic influences, 30% are due to the quality of the therapeutic relationship, 15% are due to expectancy (placebo) effects, and 15% are due to specific techniques. Extratherapeutic influences include client motivation and the severity of the problem:

For example, a withdrawn, alcoholic client, who is "dragged into therapy" by his or her spouse, possesses poor motivation for therapy, regards mental health professionals with suspicion, and harbors hostility toward others, is not nearly as likely to find relief as the client who is eager to discover how he or she has contributed to a failing marriage and expresses determination to make personal changes.

In one study, some highly motivated clients showed measurable improvement before their first session with the therapist, suggesting that just making the appointment can be an indicator of readiness to change. Tallman and Bohart (1999) note that:
Outside of therapy people rarely have a friend who will truly listen to them for more than 20 minutes (Stiles, 1995) ... Further, friends and relatives often are involved in the problem and therefore do not provide a "safe outside perspective" which may be required. Nonetheless, as noted above, people often solve their problems by talking to friends, relatives, co-workers, religious leaders, or some other confidant in their lives, or by thinking and exploring themselves.

Confidentiality is an integral part of the therapeutic relationship and psychotherapy in general.

Effectiveness and criticism

There is considerable controversy over which form of psychotherapy is most effective, and more specifically, which types of therapy are optimal for treating which sorts of problems.

The dropout level is quite high, one meta-analysis of 125 studies concluded that mean dropout rate was 46.86%. The high level of dropout has raised some criticism about relevance of psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy outcome research—in which the effectiveness of psychotherapy is measured by questionnaires given to patients before, during, and after treatment—has had difficulty distinguishing between the success or failure of the different approaches to therapy. Not surprisingly, those who stay with their therapist for longer periods are more likely to report positively on what develops into a longer term relationship.

As early as 1952, in one of the earliest studies of psychotherapy treatment, Hans Eysenck reported that two thirds of therapy patients improved significantly or recovered on their own within two years, whether or not they received psychotherapy.

Many psychotherapists believe that the nuances of psychotherapy cannot be captured by questionnaire-style observation, and prefer to rely on their own clinical experiences and conceptual arguments to support the type of treatment they practice.
In 2001 Bruce Wampold, Ph.D. of the University of Wisconsin published "The Great Psychotherapy Debate". In it Wampold, a former statistician studying primarily outcomes with depressed patients, reported that:

1.psychotherapy can be more effective than placebo, single treatment modality has the edge in efficacy,
3.factors common to different psychotherapies, such as whether or not the therapist has established a positive working alliance with the client/patient, account for much more of the variance in outcomes than specific techniques or modalities.

Some report that by attempting to program or manualize treatment psychotherapists may actually be reducing efficacy, although the unstructured approach of many psychotherapists cannot appeal to patients motived to solve their difficulties through the application of specific techniques different from their past "mistakes."

Critics of psychotherapy are skeptical of the healing power of a psychotherapeutic relationship. Since any intervention takes time, critics note that the passage of time, without therapeutic intervention, can result in psycho-social healing despite the absence of counseling.

Critics note the many resources available to a person experiencing emotional distress—the friendly support of friends, peers, family members, clergy contacts, personal reading, research, and independent coping—indicating that psychotherapy is inappropriate or unneeded by many. These critics note that humans have been dealing with crisis, navigating problems and finding solutions long before the advent of psychotherapy.

Some psychotherapeutics have answered to scientific critique saying that psychotherapy is not a science since it is a craft.

Further critiques have emerged from feminist, constructionist and discursive sources. Key to these is the issue of power. In this regard there is a concern that clients are persuaded—both inside and outside of the consulting room—to understand themselves and their difficulties in ways that are consistent with therapeutic ideas. This means that alternative ideas (e.g., feminist, economic, spiritual) are sometimes implicitly undermined. Critics suggest that we idealise the situation when we think of therapy only as a helping relation. It is also fundamentally a political practice, in that some cultural ideas and practices are supported while others are undermined or disqualified. So, while it is seldom intended, the therapist-client relationship always participates in society's power relations and political dynamics.

List of psychotherapies

This is an alphabetical List of Psychotherapies. It is an incomplete list and new or minor approaches are still being added.

This list contains some approaches that may not call themselves a psychotherapy but have a similar aim, of improving mental health and well being through talk and other means of communication.

In the 20th century a great number of psychotherapies have been created. All of these face continuous change, both in popularity, methods and effectiveness. Sometimes they are self-administered, either individually, in pairs, small groups or larger groups. However, usually a professional practitioner will use a combination of therapies and approaches, often in a team treatment process that involves reading, talking and reporting with other professional practitioners.

The older established therapies usually have a code of ethics, professional associations, training programs, and so on. The newer and innovative therapies may not yet have established these structures or may not wish to.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Adlerian therapy, Analytical psychology, Art Therapy, Attack therapy, Attachment Therapy, Autogenic training

Behavior modification, Behavior therapy, Biodynamic psychotherapy, Bioenergetic analysis, Biofeedback, Bionomic psychotherapy, Body Mind Psychotherapy, Body psychotherapy, Brief therapy

Classical Adlerian Psychotherapy, Characteranalytic vegetotherapy, Child Psychotherapy, Client-centered psychotherapy counseling, Co-Counseling, Cognitive analytic psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Coherence therapy, Collaborative therapy (Collaborative Language Systems), Concentrative movement therapy, Contemplative Psychotherapy, Conversational Model (The), Core Energetics, Core process psychotherapy

Dance therapy, Depth Psychology, Daseins analytic psychotherapy, Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy (DNMS), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Dreamwork, Drama therapy, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Encounter groups, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy, Existential therapy, Exposure and response prevention, Expressive therapy, Family Constellations, Family therapy, Feminist therapy, Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP), Focusing, Freudian psychotherapy

Gestalt therapy, Gestalt Theoretical Psychotherapy, Group Analysis, Group therapy

Hakomi , Holistic psychotherapy, Holotropic Breathwork, Humanistic psychology, Human givens psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy

IBP Integrative Body Psychotherapy, Integral psychotherapy, Integrative Psychotherapy, Intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems Model, Interpersonal psychoanalysis, Interpersonal psychotherapy

Jungian psychotherapy


Marriage counseling, Milieu Therapy, Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Method of Levels (MOL), Morita Therapy, Multimodal Therapy, Multitheoretical Psychotherapy, Music therapy

Narrative Therapy, Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Nonviolent Communication, Object Relations Psychotherapy


Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Pastoral counseling/therapy, Person-centered (or Client-Centered or Rogerian) psychotherapy, Personal construct psychology (PCP), Play therapy, Positive psychology, Positive psychotherapy, Postural Integration, Primal integration, Primal therapy, Process Oriented Psychology, Provocative Therapy, Psychedelic psychotherapy, Psychoanalytic psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, Psychodrama, Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Psychological astrology, Psychosynthesis, Psychosystems Analysis, Pulsing (bodywork)

Radix therapy, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), Rational Living Therapy (RLT), Rebirthing-Breathwork, Re-evaluation Counseling, Reiki, Relationship counseling, Relational-Cultural Therapy, Reprogramming, Reality therapy, Rubenfeld Synergy, Reichian psychotherapy, Rolfing

Self Relationship (or Sponsorship), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, SHEN Therapy, Social Therapy, Solution focused brief therapy, Somatic Psychology, Sophia analysis, Systematic desensitization, Systematic Treatment Selection (STS), Systemic Constellations, Systemic Therapy

T Groups, Thought Field Therapy, Transactional Analysis (TA), Transactional Psychotherapy (TP), Transpersonal psychology, Twelve-step programs

Unitive Psychotherapy