Psychological Therapy Styles

As a practiced psychological counsellor or psychotherapist, when working with a client, just as many psychologists will tell you, one style or theory is never used alone in working with a client.

When it comes to supporting a client through changes, awareness of self and others, reflecting on their emotions and shifts, psychotherapists will usually draw on several therapy styles of practice to support the client.

A brief identification of some of these psychological approaches are as follow. You will notice how these therapy styles along with a skilled counsellor work hand in hand to create the best support for their client’s progress.

Psychoanalytic Therapy

This therapy is focused on the persons insight, their unconscious motivation and the persons reconstruction of their personality. Sigmund Freud believed that a person’s personality could be developed through the unconscious factors that motivate a person’s behaviour. Freud believed the first 6 years of a person’s life determined the later part of persons personality.

This therapy is best used when a client has had intensive therapy wanting to go deeper, and those who are in pain.

Adlerian Therapy

This therapy is considered a growth model focusing on taking responsibility, creating your own destiny, while finding meaning and goals to give your life direction. Adlerian looks at the meaning, the goals, a purposeful behaviour, conscious action, belonging and social interest. This theory directive is for present behaviour in one through the study of childhood experiences.

Best results of this therapy are used in child guidance, parent and child counselling, couples / relationship and family therapy, individual counselling, correctional and rehabilitation counselling and group counselling.

Adlerian therapy best described as a preventative care model and ease a wide range of conditions that restrict growth.

Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt therapy focuses on awareness and integration. Integrating the body and mind. Using varied and sometimes personalised tools by psychologists/counsellors to assist the client on what they are experiencing now and identify the conflicting feelings. Looking at the messages beyond words, such as feelings mentioned above, body language and body responses. The international language of eyes, face, body and gestures are all used as part of the gestalt therapy.

Reality Therapy, Behaviour Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Action Therapy

Reality therapy is used in psychological works when focused on the behaviour and stress levels in association with changing the client’s behaviour. This therapy works in conjunction action therapy, behaviour therapy and cognitive therapy. A conscious approach to making permanent changes in behaviour and stresses in a person’s life where change is compulsory to make the changes. This therapy in combination with behaviour, action and cognitive therapy, classed as reality therapy, assists in the expressing of seeing how things need to shift for a client and to implement concrete changes in a cognitive process. Reality therapy is an active, didactive and directive therapy. The psychological therapist will use various techniques to assist the client to evaluate their current behaviours or stresses and helping client to identify what changes need to be implemented permanent change. This therapy was designed to teach clients choice theory in a person’s everyday living to increase effective behaviours. Reality therapy is used in group counselling, children and youth (teens) counselling, relationship, couples and family counselling and crisis counselling.

Family Systems Therapy

The idea behind family systems therapy is based on the thought the key to changing an individual you must understand and work with the family. It is believed on family system therapy to understanding the client you have to understand the surroundings that influence their development. Family systems therapy is very useful in working with couples, relationship or families distress issues. This can incorporate the poblems in communication, power struggles, or crisis situations with a family to help the individuals identify their full potential and to improve the overall functioning within the family unit. Family systems therapy is used in working with the client/s extended family and support systems within the extended family. Through helping the client identify the support through extended family it can assist the client to make greater individual changes. Family systems therapy focuses on a healthy family unit and the welfare of each family member. This therapy helps the family become empowered through the process of identifying and exploring interactional family patterns. In couples and relationships counselling, by using family systems therapy it helps the couple identify and understanding each other’s patterning and in turn increases the opportunity for the relationship conflict to resolve.


As a psychological counsellor or psychotherapist, I will use any number of the above therapies in conjunction with each other to assist the client/s through their obstacles or issues to create a desired outcome for the client.

Therapy is a slow process at the best of times as there is so many areas to unpack and sometimes these areas do not look like they may be relevant or connected to the issues or problems present initially by the client, but the most exciting part of this whole process is the amazing interrelated webbing of the mind and its perceptions, interpretations and self-confirmations.

For a client to truly benefit from their psychologist or psychotherapist counsellor, the client has to own their process and understand that to get the desired outcomes for yourself (the client), you have to be ready to do the work. It can be exhausting at times and seem irrelevant to the processing, but by doing the work, with your counsellor, will bring you to the place you want to be and your desired outcomes. Many clients have the impression by going to see a psychologist, psychotherapist or counsellor, that their life will improve. That is false thought process. The counsellor cannot change you, it’s you that can change you. A famous statement, “Happiness is a State of Mind!” starts with you!

If you are ready to do the work and push your boundaries to bring yourself to a better place for you, call me and set up a time for us together to start your journey.
0490 772957.