Introduction to Therapeutic Orientations

A therapist sits across from a patient in a counseling session. A therapist sits across from a patient in a counseling session.


In the past century, a number of psychotherapeutic orientations have gained popularity for treating mental illnesses. This module outlines some of the best-known therapeutic approaches and explains the history, techniques, advantages, and disadvantages associated with each. The most effective modern approach is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). We also discuss psychoanalytic therapy, person-centered therapy, and mindfulness-based approaches. Drug therapy and emerging new treatment strategies will also be briefly explored.

Learning Objectives

  1. Become familiar with the most widely practiced approaches to psychotherapy.
  2. For each therapeutic approach or perspective, consider: history, goals, key techniques, and empirical support.
  3. Consider the impact of emerging treatment strategies in mental health.


 

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