Essay On Methods Of Therapy

2480 words - 10 pages

METHODS OF THERAPY Therapy, from a psychologist's viewpoint, has many different meanings. It can be physical or psychological, or even both. In this paper, several different aspects of therapy will be discussed. First the word therapy will be defined more clearly, and then psychotherapy and how it differs from other interactions yet is also similar. Next therapy will be examined from the Psychodynamic, Cognitive and Humanistic-Existential points of view, as well as the differences in their methods and content. I will then address Behavior therapy and some of its uses, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of Group Therapy. Finally I will look at the role of medication in treatment ...view middle of the document...

Well first of all, what I meant by "other interactions"? Some of these are Asylums, Mental Hospitals and Community Mental Health Centers. Asylums began hundreds of years ago in medieval Europe. Originating in monasteries, they were the "first institutions meant primarily for persons with psychological disorders". The big difference however between these and any psychotherapeutic ideas is that no therapy was offered. The sole purpose of these establishments was to get the people off the streets and out of the public view. Some of the residents were chained and many of them beaten. As they became more crowded the situation became worse as did the conditions of those that lived there and so the psychological disorders quickly became more acute. Asylums had nothing in common with modern ideas of psychotherapy.The next form of interaction we will discuss is that of Mental Hospitals. Over the ensuing years, these hospitals became the more accepted practice with after efforts for Humanitarian Reform, which began in the eighteenth century, became the norm. They too were well filled, indeed by Rathus states that " by the mid-1950's, more than a million people resided in state, county, Veterans Administration, or private facilities". The purposes of these Hospitals were far different than those of the old asylums and similarities can be made between these establishments and ideas of psychotherapy. As has been previously noted, psychotherapy is a form of therapy. These hospitals were designed not just as mental prisons, but as places where treatments were offered. There were still many problems however. Unlike psychotherapy where there is actual communication between the therapist and the client, patients would have been very lucky to have received such one-on-one treatment. The hospitals were overcrowded and it was not uncommon for there to be one doctor or psychiatrist to be responsible for a two or three hundred people (Ibid.). Although they were better than the asylums of old, they were still a far cry from today's forms of psychotherapy.The final form of interaction which I shall mention began in the 1960's and was called the Community Mental Health Movement. The basic idea of this movement was that people with mental problems be able to live in the community. Community Mental Health Centers were set up. With government funding, these centers made it possible for individuals to leave more normal lives and served as a transition point for those who were released from mental hospitals. According to the text, "the majority of the people with chronic psychological disorders live in the community; not the hospital". In my mind, this is the closest of the three to psychotherapy.Next we shall look at three other therapies to note their differences. These would be the Psychodynamic, Cognitive and Humanistic-Existential therapies. We shall begin with psychodynamic therapy. The method used in this form of therapy is known as psychoanalysis. The goal...


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