Broadly, there are 3 modalities of psychotherapy: Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies: Person-Centred/humanistic therapies; and Psychoanalytic/Psychodynamic psychotherapies.
This is a form of usually short term therapy, where the stance is one of therapist and client working together to establish common goals, and adopting a problem-solving approach to issues facing the client - for example to confront fears, compulsions, anxieties - by questioning, challenging and seeking to control troubling thoughts and beliefs, and to
change associated behaviour. The focus is on immediate problems, with a view to providing practical solutions, often involving homework, together with the co-construction of plans
for implementing change.
The focus is not on specific problem solving, but rather a supportive and non-judgemental environment in which one is encouraged to speak freely with a view to coming to terms
with difficult feelings and experiences. The therapist may or may not share personal experiences with the client, depending on whether the therapist considers this to be
helpful to the client or not. The focus is not so much on “problem solving” but rather
meaning-making to enable one to move on.
This is based upon the most complex of psychological approaches, namely Psychoanalysis, and is the most ambitious in its aims and scope. It typically involves longer term therapy, where the therapist will be more neutral, but where they will be listening very closely to
tune in to hidden or unconscious communications of client who will be talking completely openly and spontaneously to explore patterns of thinking, behaviours and beliefs that have hindered or tainted the client’s experience over (perhaps) their entire life.