The twentieth century brought a lot of news concerning psychotherapies. Besides the relatively vast number of therapies that were defined, they also suffered a lot of changes with regards to the approaches, the efficiency and the method or combinations of methods that are used to bring cure to whomever needs it. Some of them can even be self applied, others are very effective and can be used in small groups, of two or three individuals and others concern larger groups. Besides the self induced therapy, in every other case a professional therapist is involved and often he or she uses elements from more therapeutic areas, in order to achieve the required result, when and if the situation allows it.
The main difference between older and newer therapies is that the first ones usually function on well established structure and have ethics and professional codes, unlike some of the newer ones which either do not have these defined yet or do not desire to do so.
There are a number of mechanisms that psychotherapy uses in order to function.
The first system ever to be known as psychotherapy by itself is the psychoanalytic one. It is based on verbal expression of the patient feelings, desires and thoughts, so that the therapist can discover inner, unconscious conflicts.
Behavioral therapy tries to change some behavior patterns in order to trigger emotional and cognitive improvements.
The cognitive behavioral therapy has a goal not to improve some things, whatever they might be, but target precisely the negative elements of one’s life and, by localizing their causes in the mind or soul of the patient tries to change them for better.
Similar, but lighter than psychoanalysis, psychodynamic is still an instance of the depth psychology, which aims to bring as much as possible from the unconscious of the patient into his conscious part, as well as to level any tension might be stored in his or her psyche.
Existential therapy refers to a system of negative thoughts which imply the lack of meaning of the individual due to the truth that human beings are the only ones in the world. This therapy has philosophical roots, being similar to the known phenomenology and can be overcome by helping the patient create his or her own system of values and meanings.
The third force in psychology is the Humanistic therapy, which was a result of the existence of psychoanalysis and behaviorism. Unlike those two, humanistic approach doesn’t work in the direction of pathology, but the positive growth. The emphasis in this case is the same as in the philosophical existentialism, the subjective interpretations of reality and circumstances, rather than determinism, creating a perfect environment where the tendency of maximizing the potential reaches the highest limits possible.
The brief therapy, which is called like this in an attempt to depict a combination of approaches of psychotherapy, is really straight-forward and bases on direct intervention, after a specific issue has been identified.
A more exotic therapy is the body therapy, which stresses the fact that mental events are connected to physical details and phenomena and can manifest through a combination of body massage and talking.