This form of therapy is based on the assumption that a person is having emotional problems because of unresolved, generally unconscious conflicts, often stemming from childhood. The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior. The client is encouraged to talk about childhood relationships with parents and other significant people, the primary focus being to reveal the unconscious content of a client's psyche in an effort to alleviate psychic tension.
This pragmatic therapy aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure in the present. The particular techniques of CBT vary according to the particular kind of issues at hand, but may include keeping a diary of significant events and associated feelings, thoughts and behaviors; questioning and testing assumptions and beliefs that might be unhelpful and unrealistic; gradually facing activities which may have been previously avoided; and trying out new ways of behaving and reacting during daily life. A focus on relaxation and distraction techniques is also common.
This is a type of treatment for patients which focuses on past and present social roles and interpersonal interactions. The goal of IPT is helping the individual improve their communication patterns and how they relate to others. During treatment, the therapist generally chooses one or two problem areas in the patient's current life to focus on. Examples of areas covered are disputes with friends, family or co-workers, grief and loss and role transitions, such as retirement or divorce. IPT does not attempt to delve into inner conflicts resulting from past experiences. Rather it attempts to help the patient find better ways to deal with current problems.
Supportive therapy is used primarily to reinforce a patient’s ability to cope with stressors through a number of key activities, including attentively listening and encouraging expression of thoughts and feelings; assisting the individual to gain a greater understanding of their situation and alternatives; helping to buttress the individual’s self-esteem and resilience; and working to instill a sense of hope. Generally, deeper examination of the individual’s history and probing of underlying motivation is avoided. Supportive psychotherapy is a common form of therapy that may be provided over the short or long term, depending on the individual and the specific set of circumstances.