Carl                                                                             Sigmund                                                                       Alfred

                                                            VARIOUS TREATMENT MODALITIES        

Below is a brief outline of theories developed over the last century. Hopefully, your therapist is trained in a variety of
techniques and can select what will most suit you.


Use of electronic systems to monitor internal processes such as heart rate, brain waves, or perspiration to help an 
individual become aware of their physiological responses and learn to have more control over them.

Cognitive therapy

Cognitive therapy is based on the belief that faulty thinking patterns and belief systems cause psychological problems 
and that changing our thoughts improves our mental and emotional health and results in changes in behavior. Cognitive 
therapy is designed to help you identify and change distorted thought (cognitive) patterns that can lead to feelings and 
behaviors that are troublesome, self-defeating or self-destructive. It's based on the premise that how you interpret your 
experiences in life determines the way you feel and behave. Like behavior therapy, cognitive therapy focuses on your 
current problem, rather than addressing underlying or past issues or conflicts. Unlike behavior therapy, however, your 
experiences are an important part of the cognitive therapy process. Often cognitive therapy will work in conjunction 
with behavioral therapy and you may see the term "Cognitive-Behavioral".

Cognitive-Behavior therapy

Cognitive-Behavior therapy combines features of both cognitive and behavioral therapies.  Negative beliefs and 
behaviors are replaced with healthy positive ones.  The treatment is based on the premise that ones own thoughts, 
rather than external situations determine  their behavior.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), also known as electroshock, is a treatment in which seizures are electrically induced in 
anesthetized patients for therapeutic effect. Today, ECT is most often used as a treatment for major depression which has 
not responded to other treatment, and is also used in the treatment of mania and other disorders. First introduced in the 
1930s , it gained widespread use as a form of treatment in the 1940s and 50s. Today, an estimated 1 million people 
worldwide receive ECT every year, usually in a course of 6-12 treatments administered 2 or 3 times a week.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)

Technique of restructuring thought patterns and associations related to traumatic events and memories and other 
sources of emotional  distress.  Francine Shapiro developed EMDR when she discovered that rapid-eye movements 
combined with focusing on disturbing thoughts and memories produced a "working through" of the underlying emotional 

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a form of behavior therapy that deliberately exposes you to the very thing that you find upsetting 
or disturbing.  It's especially useful for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. 
Under controlled circumstances,  exposure to the event or things that trigger your obsessive thoughts or traumatic 
reactions can help you learn to cope with them effectively.

Family Systems

Family systems looks at the entire family as a complex system having its own language, roles, rules, beliefs, needs, 
and patterns.  Each family member plays a part in the system and family systems therapy helps an individual discover 
how his or her family operated, that person’s role in the system, and how it affects the individual’s relationship with the 
current family and relationships outside the family.  Within this category there are various theories and approaches to family 

Adlerian (Individual Psychotherapy)

Treatment methods for adults are aimed at uncovering the hidden purpose of symptoms using the therapeutic functions
of insight and meaning. Adler was concerned with the overcoming of the superiority/inferiority dynamic and was one
the first psychotherapists to discard the analytic couch in favor of two chairs. This allows the clinician and patient to
together more or less as equals.  Therapeutic methods were not limited to treatment after-the-fact but extend to the
realm of
prevention by preempting future problems in the child.  Prevention strategies include encouraging and promoting
interest, belonging, and a cultural shift within families and communities that leads to the eradication of pampering,
and especially corporal punishment.

Jungian Therapy (Analytic)

The focus of therapy is to help individuals access more of their inner world (unconscious) and develop greater 
self-realization and individuation. Carl. G. Jung's theory is psychoanalytic, but differs from traditional Freudian theory in 
that Jung added the concepts of individuation (human potential), which includes transcendence and spirituality. People are seen 
in a positive light and therapy considers the soul, which seeks to be nurtured by something larger than the self.

Freudian Therapy (Psychoanalytic)

Psychoanalysis is a long-term, intensive therapy that often involves several sessions a week with a psychoanalyst for 
several years. Based on the belief that true change and growth comes from bringing unconscious thoughts, motivations, feelings, 
and experiences into consciousness so that behavior and thought is based on current reality. Key concepts are that 
behavior is determined by unconscious motivations, irrational forces, instinctual drives, and psychosexual events occurring 
during the first 6 years of life. Classical psychoanalysis is an intensive and long term process with a focus on transference 
(transferring eelings about and reactions to past significant others onto the therapist) and uncovering unconscious material 
through dream analysis and free association.

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) arose from experiences in the application of Buddhist meditation techniques in
medicine. It was specifically developed to reduce the number of relapses in patients with major depression. MBCT uses
psychoeducation and encourages the patients to practice mindfulness meditation. A core goal is to develop metacognitive awareness,
which is the ability to experience cognitions and emotions as mental events that pass through the mind and may or may not be related
to external reality. The focus is not to change 'dysfunctional' thoughts but to learn to experience them as internal events separated
from the self.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Psychodynamic psychotherapy, based on psychoanalytic theory, focuses on increasing awareness of unconscious 
thoughts  and behaviors, developing new insights into your motivations, and resolving neurotic conflict.  It's less intense and 
less frequent than psychoanalysis and is usually done sitting face to face with a therapist. 

Psychodynamic psychotherapy includes a variety of therapeutic techniques, such as exploring the past, confronting 
beliefs and actions, and  supportive exploration of thoughts and behavior. Awareness of the link between a feeling, thought, 
symptom or behavior and an unconscious meaning or motivator leads to modification of unwanted behavior or thoughts.

Psychopharmacologic Medication

In the latter half of the 20th century, research into new psychopharmacologic drugs exploded, with many new drugs being 
discovered, created, and tested. Many once-popular drugs are now out of favor, and there are fashions in psychiatric drugs 
as with any other kind of drug.

Only since the 1950s has the use of psychiatric drugs to restore mental health or at least limit aberrant behavior, been a 
part of medical therapeutics, when a number of new classes of pharmacological agents were discovered, notably tranquillizers
and antidepressants.

There are six main groups of psychiatric medications.

  • Antidepressants: used to treat clinical depression and anxiety

  • Stimulants: used to treat disorders such as ADHD and narcolepsy

  • Antipsychotics: used to treat psychosis such as schizophrenia

  • Mood Stabilizers: used to treat bipolar disorder

  • Anxiolytics: used to treat anxiety disorders

  •  Depressants used as sedatives

RET (Rational Emotive Therapy)

RET is based on the assumption that our emotions result from our beliefs, interpretations, and reactions to life events.  
It remains a type of cognitive therapy based more on thinking and doing than with the expression of feelings.

Rogerian Therapy (Client-Centered)

Clients are believed to be in the best position to resolve their issues if the therapist can establish a warm, accepting, and 
safe environment in which the individual feels free to talk about his/her issues and can gain insight into them.  This type 
of therapy is non-directive because the therapist typically does not give advice or make interpretations.


Based on  Freudian and Jungian psychology,  Heinz Kohut, its founder, postulated that narcissism and grandiosity in the 
infant is healthily managed by “self object” experiences which can be idealizing, mirroring, or twinning experiences.  The 
experience of the infant is the most important and it is the primary caretaker’s responsibility to respond to the infant in an
affirming and validating manner. The relationship between client and therapist is most important, like that of mother and 
child, and the healing comes with the resolution, understanding and working through of that relationship.


Solution-focused treatment presumes that most psychological problems are present only intermittently. Solution-focused 
therapy helps the patient notice when symptoms are diminished or absent and use this knowledge as a foundation for 
recovery. If a patient insists that the symptoms are constant and unrelieved, the therapist works with him or her to find 
exceptions and make the exceptions more frequent, predictable, and controllable. Therapy builds on solutions already 
available to the patient.


Common Reasons to Consider Therapy 

Choosing a Therapist

Personal Philosophy & Qualifications

Treatment Modalities & Specialties 

Fees, Health Insurance & Time

Fancy Downtown Office & Links    

How a Psychologist Differs from a Psychiatrist

The "Stigma" of OutsideHelp   

How Psychotherapy Works   

How Long Therapy Takes

Isn't Therapy for Crazy People?

Couple Therapy

Group Therapy

Cogmed Working Memory Training  

What's Unique About Cogmed?

Different Treatment Modalities


                                                                                                         Carolbeth Shansky Ph.D

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