Psychotherapy: the treatment of emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal problems through the use of psychological techniques designed to encourage understanding of problems and modify troubling feelings, behaviors, or relationships. (Hockenbury, 548) A collective term for all therapeutic treatments that use psychological rather than physical or physiological means. (Collin, 343) A classification of treatments for mental disorders where the emphasis is on on nonphysical treatments, such as talking about a problem and modifying behavior. (Cardwell, 198)
Couples Therapy: focuses on helping people who are in a committed relationship. Applies to any couple, whether they are married or unmarried. Emphasizes improving communication, increasing intimacy, and strengthening the relationship bond. (Hockenbury, 567-569) Psychotherapy used specifically for unmarried couples, of mixed or same sex. A form of psychotherapy involving the husband and wife and directed to improving the marital relationship. (MeSH) Also referred to as ‘marital therapy.’
Gestalt Therapy: emphasizes that we perceive whole objects or figures (‘gestalts’) rather than isolated bits and pieces of sensory information. The German word ‘gestalt’ means a unified whole, form, or shape. (Hockenbury, 107) (Based on the idea that) our personal sense of reality is created through our perception; through the ways in which we view our experiences, not the events themselves. Uses the tenets of individual experience, perception, and responsibility (both for ones thoughts and feelings) to encourage personal growth by establishing a sense of internal control. A person is forced to take direct responsibility for how he or she acts and reacts, regardless of what may seem to be happening. (Collin, 115) Editor's note ‘gestalt psychology’ was founded by the Austro-Hungarian psychologist Max Wertheimer. Gestalt therapy was developed by Fritz Perls, a German born psychiatrist and psychotherapist.
Group Therapy: a form of therapy in which two or more patients participate under the guidance of one or more psychotherapists for the purpose of treating emotional disturbances, social maladjustments, and psychotic states. (MeSH) Involves one or more therapists working simultaneously with a small group of clients. Often an important part of the treatment programs for hospital inpatients. Cost effective. Therapist can observe an individual’s interactions with others. Possible support and encouragement provided by the other group members. (Hockenbury, 566-567) The value of this type of therapy is the opportunity for gaining insight from others into one's life experience. (NCIt)
Family Therapy: a type of therapy in which the whole family talks with a professional counselor to solve family problems. (NCIt) Therapies that treat a whole family, rather than one person, on the assumption that problems lie in the interrelationships within the family system. (Collin, 341) Treats the family as a unit. Goal is to alter and improve the ongoing interactions among family members. (Hockenbury, 566-567) A form of group psychotherapy. It involves treatment of more than one member of the family simultaneously in the same session. (MeSH)
Motivational Interviewing (MI): designed to help clients overcome the mixed feelings, or reluctance, they might have about committing to change. Usually lasting only a session or two, MI is more ‘directive’ than traditional client-centered therapy. (Hockenbury, 555)
Nondirective Therapy: (strategy in which) the therapist must not direct the client, make decisions for the client, or pass judgment on the client’s thoughts or feelings. (Hockenbury, 553) A procedure in which the therapist refrains from directing the client, but instead reflects back to the client what the latter has said, sometimes restating the client's remark. (MeSH)
Short-Term Dynamic Therapy: typically time-limited therapy. Has specific goals, and involves an active, rather than neutral, role for the therapist. (Hockenbury, 552)