Devised by Carl Rogers, this therapy is based on the idea that a client enters into a relationship with a counsellor where the client is allowed to freely express any emotions and feelings. This enables the client to come to terms with the negative feelings that may have caused emotional problems, and develop personal skills. The objective is for the client to become able to see themselves as a person with power and freedom to change.
This therapy is based on the theory that distress which has occurred at birth or during infancy can resurface as neuroses. The therapy takes the client back to the ‘primal scene’ where trauma can be re-experienced as an emotional cleansing. When this approach is used by a therapist it is usually in addition to their main type of therapy.
This is based on the work of Sigmund Freud, who believed that unacceptable thoughts from early childhood are banished into the unconscious mind, but then influence thoughts, emotions and behaviour in later life. ‘Repressed’ feelings can surface as conflicts, depression, or through dreams or creative activities. The analyst seeks to interpret troubling feelings and relationships from the past, bringing them to the forefront of the client’s mind so that any negative feelings can be dealt with. ‘Transference’ is a method used, whereby clients are encouraged to subject their feelings about people and relationships in their life onto the analyst. This type of therapy is often used by clients suffering high levels of distress and can be a lengthy and intensive process.
This approach stresses the importance of the unconscious and past experience in shaping current behaviour. The client is encouraged to talk with their therapist about childhood relationships with parents and other significant people, and the therapist focuses on the dynamics of the client/therapist relationship. ‘Transference’; when the client projects their feelings experienced in previous significant relationships on to the therapist, is a method used in this type of therapy. The psychodynamic approach is derived from psychoanalysis, but is usually less time-intensive.
Sometimes described as ‘psychology of the soul’, this is the name given to a series of actions that lead to a change or development which encourages personal growth. This growth is achieved by bringing together someone’s emotional, mental, physical and spiritual attributes within a safe environment. Psychosynthesis is useful for people seeking a new, more spiritually oriented vision for the future.