Psychotherapy  

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"By the term psychotherapy is signified all that was formerly embraced under the term "moral treatment," and also every means and every possible agency which primarily affects the psychical rather than the physical organization of the patient in a curative direction."--A Text-Book on Mental Diseases (1897) by Theodore H. Kellogg


"They don't realize that we are bringing them the plague "


"It is often observed that psychoanalysis only flourishes in Protestant countries and presumably fills the same need as confession does in Catholic countries. But there are other resemblances. The fee fulfills the function of the tithe, the transference of the repentance, the long, long schedule of visits, of penance, and the reintegration of personality fulfills the same function as the absolution. The training analysis, where a fledgling psychoanalyst is analyzed by a fully qualified one, corresponds to the laying on of hands in ordination." --Eros Denied (1964) by Wayland Young


"Some years ago, I heard something that was to change the course of my professional life and the lives of my patients. What I heard may change the nature of psychotherapy as it is now known -- an eerie scream welling up from the depths of a young man lying on the floor during a therapy session. I can liken it only to what one might hear from a person about to be murdered. This book is about that scream and what it means in terms of unlocking the secrets of neurosis."--The Primal Scream (1970) by Arthur Janov


"The interpretation of dreams is the via regia to a knowledge of the unconscious in the psychic life."--The Interpretation of Dreams (1899) by Sigmund Freud


"Comte married Caroline Massin in 1825. In 1826, he was taken to a mental health hospital, but left without being cured – only stabilized by French alienist Jean-Étienne Dominique Esquirol – so that he could work again on his plan. He would later attempt suicide in 1827 by jumping off the Pont des Arts."--Sholem Stein

This page Psychotherapy is part of the psychology series  Illustration: The Heart Has Its Reasons (c.1887) by Odilon Redon
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This page Psychotherapy is part of the psychology series
Illustration: The Heart Has Its Reasons (c.1887) by Odilon Redon

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Psychotherapy (also psychological therapy or talking therapy) is the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction with adults, to help a person change behavior and overcome problems in desired ways. Psychotherapy aims to improve an individual's well-being and mental health, to resolve or mitigate troublesome behaviors, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions, and to improve relationships and social skills. There are also numerous types of psychotherapy designed for children and adolescents, such as play therapy. Certain psychotherapies are considered evidence-based for treating some diagnosed mental disorders. Others have been criticized as pseudoscience.

History

Psychotherapy can be said to have been practiced through the ages, as medics, philosophers, spiritual practitioners and people in general used psychological methods to heal others.

In the Western tradition, by the 19th century, a moral treatment movement (then meaning morale or mental) developed based on non-invasive non-restraint therapeutic methods. Another influential movement was started by Franz Mesmer (1734–1815) and his student Armand-Marie-Jacques de Chastenet, Marquis of Puységur (1751–1825). Called Mesmerism or animal magnetism, it would have a strong influence on the rise of dynamic psychology and psychiatry as well as theories about hypnosis. In 1853, Walter Cooper Dendy introduced the term "psycho-therapeia" regarding how physicians might influence the mental states of patients and thus their bodily ailments, for example by creating opposing emotions to promote mental balance. Daniel Hack Tuke cited the term and wrote about "psycho-therapeutics" in 1872, in which he also proposed making a science of animal magnetism. Hippolyte Bernheim and colleagues in the "Nancy School" developed the concept of "psychotherapy" in the sense of using the mind to heal the body through hypnotism, yet further. Charles Lloyd Tuckey's 1889 work, Psycho-therapeutics, or Treatment by Hypnotism and Suggestion popularized the work of the Nancy School in English.

Also in 1889 a clinic used the word in its title for the first time, when Frederik van Eeden and Albert Willem van Renterghem in Amsterdam renamed theirs "Clinique de Psycho-thérapeutique Suggestive" after visiting Nancy. During this time, travelling stage hypnosis became popular, and such activities added to the scientific controversies around the use of hypnosis in medicine. Also in 1892, at the second congress of experimental psychology, van Eeden attempted to take the credit for the term psychotherapy and to distance the term from hypnosis.

In 1896, the German journal Zeitschrift für Hypnotismus, Suggestionstherapie, Suggestionslehre und verwandte psychologische Forschungen changed its name to Zeitschrift für Hypnotismus, Psychotherapie sowie andere psychophysiologische und psychopathologische Forschungen, which is probably the first journal to use the term. Thus psychotherapy initially meant "the treatment of disease by psychic or hypnotic influence, or by suggestion".

Sigmund Freud visited the Nancy School and his early neurological practice involved the use of hypnotism. However following the work of his mentor Josef Breuer—in particular a case where symptoms appeared partially resolved by what the patient, Bertha Pappenheim, dubbed a "talking cure"—Freud began focusing on conditions that appeared to have psychological causes originating in childhood experiences and the unconscious mind. He went on to develop techniques such as free association, dream interpretation, transference and analysis of the id, ego and superego. His popular reputation as the father of psychotherapy was established by his use of the distinct term "psychoanalysis", tied to an overarching system of theories and methods, and by the effective work of his followers in rewriting history.

Many theorists, including Alfred Adler, Carl Jung, Karen Horney, Anna Freud, Otto Rank, Erik Erikson, Melanie Klein and Heinz Kohut, built upon Freud's fundamental ideas and often developed their own systems of psychotherapy. These were all later categorized as psychodynamic, meaning anything that involved the psyche's conscious/unconscious influence on external relationships and the self. Sessions tended to number into the hundreds over several years.

Behaviorism developed in the 1920s, and behavior modification as a therapy became popularized in the 1950s and 1960s. Notable contributors were Joseph Wolpe in South Africa, M.B. Shapiro and Hans Eysenck in Britain, and John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner in the United States. Behavioral therapy approaches relied on principles of operant conditioning, classical conditioning and social learning theory to bring about therapeutic change in observable symptoms. The approach became commonly used for phobias, as well as other disorders.

Some therapeutic approaches developed out of the European school of existential philosophy. Concerned mainly with the individual's ability to develop and preserve a sense of meaning and purpose throughout life, major contributors to the field (e.g., Irvin Yalom, Rollo May) and Europe (Viktor Frankl, Ludwig Binswanger, Medard Boss, R.D.Laing, Emmy van Deurzen) attempted to create therapies sensitive to common "life crises" springing from the essential bleakness of human self-awareness, previously accessible only through the complex writings of existential philosophers (e.g., Søren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre, Gabriel Marcel, Martin Heidegger, Friedrich Nietzsche). The uniqueness of the patient-therapist relationship thus also forms a vehicle for therapeutic inquiry. A related body of thought in psychotherapy started in the 1950s with Carl Rogers. Based also on the works of Abraham Maslow and his hierarchy of human needs, Rogers brought person-centered psychotherapy into mainstream focus. The primary requirement was that the client receive three core "conditions" from his counselor or therapist: unconditional positive regard, sometimes described as "prizing" the client's humanity; congruence [authenticity/genuineness/transparency]; and empathic understanding. This type of interaction was thought to enable clients to fully experience and express themselves, and thus develop according to their innate potential. Others developed the approach, like Fritz and Laura Perls in the creation of Gestalt therapy, as well as Marshall Rosenberg, founder of Nonviolent Communication, and Eric Berne, founder of transactional analysis. Later these fields of psychotherapy would become what is known as humanistic psychotherapy today. Self-help groups and books became widespread.

During the 1950s, Albert Ellis originated rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Independently a few years later, psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck developed a form of psychotherapy known as cognitive therapy. Both of these included relatively short, structured and present-focused techniques aimed at identifying and changing a person's beliefs, appraisals and reaction-patterns, by contrast with the more long-lasting insight-based approach of psychodynamic or humanistic therapies. Beck's approach used primarily the socratic method, and links have been drawn between ancient stoic philosophy and these cognitive therapies.

Cognitive and behavioral therapy approaches were increasingly combined and grouped under the umbrella term cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in the 1970s. Many approaches within CBT are oriented towards active/directive yet collaborative empiricism (a form of reality-testing), and assessing and modifying core beliefs and dysfunctional schemas. These approaches gained widespread acceptance as a primary treatment for numerous disorders. A "third wave" of cognitive and behavioral therapies developed, including acceptance and commitment therapy and dialectical behavior therapy, which expanded the concepts to other disorders and/or added novel components and mindfulness exercises. However the "third wave" concept has been criticized as not essentially different from other therapies and having roots in earlier ones as well. Counseling methods developed include solution-focused therapy and systemic coaching.

Postmodern psychotherapies such as narrative therapy and coherence therapy do not impose definitions of mental health and illness, but rather see the goal of therapy as something constructed by the client and therapist in a social context. Systemic therapy also developed, which focuses on family and group dynamics—and transpersonal psychology, which focuses on the spiritual facet of human experience. Other orientations developed in the last three decades include feminist therapy, brief therapy, somatic psychology, expressive therapy, applied positive psychology and the human givens approach. A survey of over 2,500 US therapists in 2006 revealed the most utilized models of therapy and the ten most influential therapists of the previous quarter-century.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Psychotherapy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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