Types of Treatment

Types of Treatment

One of the goals of therapy is to help a person stop repeating and reenacting destructive patterns and to start looking for better solutions to difficult situations. This goal is reflected in the following poem:

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson (1993)

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost. . . . I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in . . . it's a habit . . . but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street.

Two types of therapy are psychotherapy and biomedical therapy. Both types of treatment help people with psychological disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Psychotherapy is a psychological treatment that employs various methods to help someone overcome personal problems, or to attain personal growth. In modern practice, it has evolved ino what is known as psychodynamic therapy, which will be discussed later. Biomedical therapy involves medication and/or medical procedures to treat psychological disorders. First, we will explore the various psychotherapeutic orientations outlined in Table (many of these orientations were discussed in the Introduction chapter).

Type Description Example
Psychodynamic psychotherapy Talk therapy based on belief that the unconscious and childhood conflicts impact behavior Patient talks about his past
Play therapy Psychoanalytical therapy wherein interaction with toys is used instead of talk; used in child therapy Patient (child) acts out family scenes with dolls
Behavior therapy Principles of learning applied to change undesirable behaviors Patient learns to overcome fear of elevators through several stages of relaxation techniques
Cognitive therapy Awareness of cognitive process helps patients eliminate thought patterns that lead to distress Patient learns not to overgeneralize failure based on single failure
Cognitive-behavioral therapy Work to change cognitive distortions and self-defeating behaviors Patient learns to identify self-defeating behaviors to overcome an eating disorder
Humanistic therapy Increase self-awareness and acceptance through focus on conscious thoughts Patient learns to articulate thoughts that keep her from achieving her goals
Various Psychotherapy Techniques
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