Sunday, March 13, 2011

Compare and Contrast Psychoanalytic, Humanistic, and Behavioral Therapy

            Psychoanalytic, Humanistic, and Behavioral are all psychotherapy which are techniques employed to improve psychological functioning and promote adjustment to life for every patients. The general goal is to help people gain greater control over and improvement in their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. These therapies are grouped together as insight therapies. Although their goals are similar, their approach is very different from each other.
            Psychoanalytic therapy is use to bring the patient’s unconscious conflicts to consciousness. This will help the patient to discover his or her reasons for his or her abnormal behaviors. Once this insight occurs, the conflicts can be resolved and the patient can change to a better behavior. According to Freud to gain insight into the unconscious, the ego must be tricked into a relaxation state. There are five methods to use in this therapy: free association, dream analysis, analyzing resistance, analyzing transference, and interpretation.
            Humanistic therapy focuses on removing obstacles that block personal growth and potential. This therapy helps the patient or client, according to Carl Rogers, to actualize their potential and relates to others in genuine ways. Humanistic therapists follow these four important qualities of communication to help the patient improve themselves: empathy, unconditional positive regard, genuineness, and active listening.
            Behavior therapy is use learning principles to eliminate maladaptive behaviors and substitute healthy ones. It focuses on the problem behavior instead of the underlying cause. The techniques or methods used in this particular therapy are: classical conditioning techniques, including systematic desensitization (patient replaces anxiety with relaxation) and aversion therapy (an aversive stimulus is paired with a maladaptive behavior); operant conditioning techniques, including shaping and reinforcement; and observational learning techniques, including modeling therapy (patient watch and imitate positive role models).

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