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Introduction to Psychotherapy. Sadia Zafar Dr. Bilal Durrani Naila Islaam. Historical background: Beliefs and treatment of the mentally ill. people with psychological disorders were subjected to such techniques as “skull-holes” and “placement in insane asylums.”

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introduction to psychotherapy

Introduction to Psychotherapy

Sadia Zafar

Dr. Bilal Durrani

Naila Islaam

historical background beliefs and treatment of the mentally ill
Historical background: Beliefs and treatment of the mentally ill
  • people with psychological disorders were subjected to such techniques as “skull-holes” and “placement in insane asylums.”
  • Only in recent historical times have people received decent, effect therapy for their psychological problems and disorders.
the definition of therapy
The Definition of Therapy:

Psychotherapy is a word deriving from Ancient Greek,psyche(meaning "breath; spirit; soul") &therapia("healing; medical treatment").

  • It is defined as the establishment of a helping relationship between a patient and a trained professional in which he or she attempts to treat and to remedy the client’s psychological difficulties.
the definition of therapy1
The Definition of Therapy:
  • Psychotherapy involves the treatment of:

disturbed thoughts;

(2) disturbed emotions;

(3) disturbed behaviors;

(4) interpersonal and life situation difficulties; and

(5) biomedical disturbances.

professionals who provide psychotherapy
Professionals Who Provide Psychotherapy
  • Clinical Psychologists
    • Ph.D. in psychology, conducts testing, diagnosis, treatment, counseling & research
  • Psychiatrists
    • M.D., does a residency in psychiatry and can prescribe medications.
  • Psychiatric Nurses:
    • Trained nurses, usually with additional specialized training in psychiatric problems.
reasons for seeing a mental health professional murstein fontaine 1993
Reasons for seeing a mental health professional(Murstein & Fontaine, 1993)

Major Depression (21%)Relationship and couple problems (17%)Child rearing problems (19%)Difficulty in social and work relations (5%)Suicidal thoughts (5%)Alcohol/Drug dependence (3%)Obsessions (3%)Sexual dysfunctions (3%)Weight loss/Eating disorders (3%)Spousal/partner abuse (2%)Psychotic symptoms (2%)

types of therapy
Types of Therapy
  • There are 4 main types of therapy:
    • Psychodynamic.
    • Humanistic.
    • Behavioral-Learning.
    • Cognitive.
    • Group therapy
    • Family & couple therapy
the psychodynamic approach to therapy
The Psychodynamic Approachto Therapy:
  • Psychodynamic Therapy: emphasizes the role of unconscious conflict.
  • Therapy Focus: bring the conflict to consciousness.
  • Source of the problem: childhood problems and unconscious conflicts.
  • Techniques of therapy: psychoanalysis, free association, and dream analysis.
  • Psychological component emphasized: suppressed emotions.
the humanistic approach to therapy
The Humanistic Approachto Therapy:
  • Empathy:
    • Looks at life from the client’s perspective.
    • Active involvement in the client’s world by imagining what it would be like to be the client.
  • Genuineness:
    • Shows honesty with client.
    • Requires therapists to let their inner feelings appear open and honest during therapy.
  • Unconditional positive regard:
    • Shows warmth and caring for the client.
    • Caring acceptance of the client’s individuality regardless of what the client says or does.
the cognitive approach to therapy
The Cognitive Approachto Therapy:
  • Cognitive Therapy: emphasizes the role of maladaptive and dysfunctional thinking.
  • Therapy Focus: restructure/change maladaptive and dysfunctional thinking.
  • Source of the problem: maladaptive thinking.
  • Techniques of therapy: client conducts self-statement modification; stress-inoculation.
  • Psychological component emphasized: thoughts.
the cognitive orientation to therapy
The Cognitive Orientation to Therapy:
  • Three types of Cognitive Therapy:
    • Stress-Inoculation therapy.
    • Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy.
    • Cognitive Therapy.
cognitive therapies rational emotive behavior therapy
Cognitive Therapies:Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy
  • In this, client learns to challenge and change dysfunctional-irrational thinking and, ultimately, behavior.
  • A. Ellis focuses on restructuring cognitions that are based on dysfunctional-irrational beliefs.
  • Challenge dysfunctional-irrational beliefs:

“I must be perfect or no one will love me!”

“I must be thoroughly competent, adequate, and successful in all possible respects if I am to be worthwhile.”

“It is horrible when things do not turn out the way I want them to.”

cognitive behavior therapy examples of thinking errors
Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Examples of thinking errors
  • Overgeneralization:
    • One person rejects your request for a date and you conclude that anyone you approach will also reject you.
  • Magnification/minimization:
    • You miss exercising for two days and you tell yourself, “I’ll never get in shape”.
  • Arbitrary Inference:
    • Your girlfriend is late picking you up and you suspect she wants to break up with you.
psychological therapies cognitive therapies
Psychological Therapies Cognitive Therapies

Activating Event - Beliefs - Consequences

the behavioral learning approach to therapy
The Behavioral-Learning Approachto Therapy:
  • Behavioral-Learning Therapy: emphasizes the role of inappropriate learning.
  • Therapy Focus: identify and correct specific undesirable behaviors.
  • Source of the problem: inappropriate learning.
  • Techniques of therapy: systematic desensitization and behavior modification.
  • Psychological component emphasized: behaviors.
behavioral learning approaches to therapy
Behavioral (Learning) Approachesto Therapy:

Classical Conditioning Therapies:

1. Systematic Desensitization: This approach uses progressive relaxation, the construction of an anxiety hierarchy, andcounter-conditioning.

2. Aversion Therapy: The goal of aversion therapy is to make a formerly pleasurable, but maladaptive, behavior become unpleasant.

behavior learning therapies abnormal behaviors can be unlearned
Behavior (Learning) Therapies:Abnormal behaviors canbeunlearned.

(1) Systematic Desensitization: A relaxation response is repeatedly paired with a stimulus that evokes anxiety in the hope that the anxiety will be alleviated.

  • Client relaxes while thinking aboutincreasingly more threatening images of phobic object.
      • Dog phobic remains relaxed while imagining a dog in the room, licking her hand, in her lap.

(2) Aversion Therapy: Pair an unpleasant stimulus with an object that causes an inappropriate response.

    • Show a pedophile pictures of a child while delivering a shock.
group therapies
Group Therapies:
  • Therapy in which people discuss problems with a group.
  • Psychotherapy with 4 - 8 clients.
  • Some advantages over individual therapy:
    • Experience interacting with other group members.
    • Discovering that others experience similar problems.
    • Receiving support and advice from other members.
how are therapy groups constructed
How are therapy groups constructed?

Groups may be,


Similar diagnosis


a mix of individuals

  • The number of group members ranges from five to 12.
family therapy
Family Therapy
  • In family therapy, the family system as a whole--not just one family member identified as having the “problem”--is treated.
  • Family therapy deals with problems involving family structure and family interaction patterns.
  • Many family therapists assume that family members fall into rigid roles, with one person acting as the scapegoat (i.e., as the “disturbed” family member).
marital couples therapy
Marital - Couples Therapy

couples learn about compromises and expectations.

  • Compromises: Couples learn how about the give-and-take of intimate relationships.
  • Expectations: Couples learn that they sometimes have unconscious/conscious expectations about how they expect their partners to behave:
    • expect males to: car care, lawn care, etc.
    • expect females to: clean house, child care, etc.
which of these is not psychotherapy
Which of these is not psychotherapy?
  • To counsel a couple with marital difficulties .
  • A university Counseling Center psychologist with an M.A. helping a student choose a career
  • A police officer “talking down” a suicidal teenager from a tall building .
  • A family having a loud argument in a therapist’s office
are some therapies better than others
Are Some Therapies Better Than Others?
  • All approaches are equally effective.
  • However for some disorders, certain types of therapy tend to be more successful.
    • Examples: behavioral therapy for phobias, person-centered therapy for raising self-esteem, and cognitive therapy for depression.
  • There is no universal “best” type of therapy.
perspectives on psychotherapy what is the future of psychotherapy
Perspectives on PsychotherapyWhat is the Future of Psychotherapy?

Eclectic: Borrowing ideas and techniques from different approaches