What Are the Three Main Approaches to Psychotherapy

What Are the Three Main Approaches to Psychotherapy

In recent years, online therapy has been a more effective and convenient alternative to face-to-face therapy. Various new types of online counseling are emerging such as text-based chats, telepathy, video conferencing, and other ways of virtual therapy which are helping in changing the mode of receiving mental health services by the individuals. The therapeutic interventions in this field are evolving wherein some approaches and modalities can blend more easily with the online mode than others.

Various therapeutic orientations can be chosen depending on the concerns and goals set up. Client-centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy are popularly used forms of online therapy. Other therapies such as Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy, Gestalt Therapy including others can also be used with the online mode with some modifications.

Approaches to therapy fall into the following broad categories:

1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most frequently and commonly used style of treatment for mental health. Cognitive therapists believe that dysfunctional thinking can lead to dysfunctional emotions and behavior. Therefore, by changing the thoughts of the individual, they can change how they feel and what they do. Similar to face-to-face sessions, CBT online will address:

  • The connection between emotions, behavior, and feelings.
  • Addressing the negative impact of distorted beliefs on mood.
  • More beneficial behavior patterns that can improve symptoms.

CBT is an effective approach for numerous mental health concerns such as anxiety, addiction, depression, behavioral compulsions including others.

2. Humanistic therapy

Humanistic therapy emphasizes an individual’s capacity to make rational choices and to be able to develop to their maximum potential. There are three types of humanistic therapy such as:

  • Gestalt Therapy emphasizes “organismic holism” which is called the importance of accepting responsibility for themselves and being aware of the here and now.
  • Client-centered therapy rejects the idea of therapists being the authorities on their client’s inner experience. Instead, these therapists tend to help their clients to change by emphasizing their care, concerns, and interest.
  • Existential Therapy focuses on self-determination, free will, and the search for meaning. 

3. Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

Solution Focused Brief Therapy or SFBT emphasizes the individual’s present and future circumstances and goals rather than on their past experiences. In this approach, the concerns and symptoms due to which the individual is coming to therapy aren’t targeted much.

This approach aims to equip individuals who are experiencing difficultly in finding the tools which can be used immediately to manage the concerns and to be able to cope up with the challenges as well, is grounded in the belief that individuals may already have the skills required to create the change in their lives, but often need help in identifying and developing those skills.

Other therapies used could be:

1. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a subversion of CBT which can be an effective approach to a variety of conditions and symptoms such as:

•          Self-injury

•          Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

•          Suicidal Thoughts

•          Borderline Personality Disorder

•          Eating disorders like Anorexia and Bulimia

Online DBT can help in building the new skills that are related to regulating one’s emotions, tolerating stress, and improving relationships.

2. Psychodynamic and Psychoanalysis Therapies focus on changing the problematic feelings, behavior, and thoughts by discovering the client’s unconscious meanings and motivations. Clients learn about themselves by exploring their interactions in the therapeutic relationship.

3. Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy is focused on the idea that how we feel is largely influenced by how we think and helps in identifying those self-defeating thoughts and feelings and emphasizing challenging the rationality of those thoughts and feelings while replacing the dysfunctional ones with healthy and more productive beliefs.

This approach focuses on the present time to help you understand how unhealthy thought patterns and beliefs create emotional distress which, in turn, leads to unhealthy actions and behaviors that interfere with your current life goals.

Integrative Therapy is a combined approach to therapy that brings together various elements of specific therapies. Therapists using this approach take the view that there is no single approach that can treat each client in all situations but rather, each needs to be considered as a whole and the approach or techniques must be tailored based on needs and personal circumstances.

Also, the approach aims to promote healing and facilitate wholeness to ensure that all levels of an individual’s being and functioning of all physical, emotional, and mental health are maximized to their full extent and potential wherein the client must be committed to self-exploration and open to identifying of factors in life which are perpetuating problems, and/or causing the current concerns.

Online mental health counseling is considered to be similar with face to face counseling as the therapists or counselors often use the same techniques. Using the online mode to interact, the therapist may work with you to:

  • Understanding the history of mental health concerns in depth
  • Discussing the experiences, symptoms, and goals of the therapy.
  • Identifying the needs of the client and then creating an action plan.
  • Providing a comprehensive online mental health therapy that aims to address the whole individual and not just the disorder or concerns related to daily life.
  • Recommend you the helpful services beyond telepathy for mental health.

The therapist may also employ various internet-based tools for successful counseling or they may rely on the telephonic/video-based mode to help you achieve your goal of therapy. Mental health therapy can help in shrinking the unwanted symptoms of psychological disorders, help to sort out or deal with the concerns of daily life which can hinder the well being of the individual, or they may help in improving in the areas of individual’s well being such as:

  • Public speaking
  • Concerns related to relationships
  • Stress management
  • Self-esteem and confidence
  • Parenting skills
  • Anger Management
  • And other psychological concerns such as Depression and Anxiety

For individuals who are hoping to improve their mental and emotional well-being to be happy in their life, online mental health counseling can prove to be a great solution.

Seeking help is a sign of courage. Don't let self-limiting beliefs hold you back from a life you deserve. Avail online therapy to become happier and better. Learn how



Scroll to Top