How Different Types Of Psychotherapy Work

Types of psychotherapy are diverse and varied, although many come from the same roots of research which was carried out in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

There are therapies which concentrate on past causes for mental conditions which exist in the present time, and therapies which ignore the past completely to concentrate on choices which need to be made now and in the future.

Both types of therapy can succeed in situations which are suited to them, and there are some mental conditions which need to be treated in a specific way.

psychotherapy approaches

The typical psychotherapist as portrayed in films and other media will always be trying to get the patient to relive an incident from within their past, which is causing difficulty in the present time.

This is a perfectly legitimate methodology, and one which has been proven to work over more than a century.

There are, however, degrees of repression which are difficult to remove with this type of conscious therapy. The use of hypnosis with therapy is one possible way to get round this, by allowing the therapist to connect directly with the inner mind of the patient and the past painful incident.

Not all therapy has to be carried out this way, and it is not necessarily the right way to treat every case. There are many people who have no obvious deep trauma incident in their past but they are still somehow feeling disconnected from reality.

They need an alternative method for trying to further their lives by making correct choices in the present and future, and this is possible through techniques such as existential psychotherapy.

Some more complex cases will leave even a trained practitioner uncertain as to the right type of therapy to use, while others will benefit from a combination therapy.


The different types of psychotherapy are all taught within the same college courses, giving anyone majoring in psychotherapy the right base from which to build their career.

Some will want to specialize exclusively in one type of therapy, and this approach is far more likely to be successful for practitioners who are based in major urban areas, and who have access to other specialists who can complement the therapies they have to offer.

Others will want to have a range of therapies which they can apply themselves, giving themselves the chance to create a program tailored to each specific patient.

Therapists who use a multi-therapy approach will need to have an effective method for diagnosis before they begin treating the patient. If there are incidents buried within the inner mind which have negative emotional charges attached to them, then these will have to be uncovered and dealt with before any other therapy could hope to be effective.

This means that some form of regression therapy will need to be used, so that these incidents can be brought to the fore and somehow dealt with. Hypnosis is a tool which has been used with consistent success in cases such as this.

Many types of psychotherapy are usable in situations where the patient does not have this type of buried trauma, but where they are clearly uncertain as to the type of future they should be aiming for.

This type of therapy will only work in situations where the past has already been mentally dealt with, but where this is the case it can be effective with only a limited number of sessions.

It is the rapport which can be established between the patient and the practitioner which is the key to the success of this type of exploratory therapy, indeed with any types of psychotherapy.

Author: Marc Knox