Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is more of a short term, goal oriented psychotherapy approach that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem solving. Its goal is to help a person become aware of personal thought patterns that may be contributing to challenging or unconstructive life issues; provide support and tools for the person to change those unhelpful or inaccurate patterns of thinking or behavior toward more constructive patterns and so altering the way a person feels and interacts in the world.
The basis of CBT is the concept that thoughts, rather than people or events, cause our negative feelings and experiences. CBT assumes that thoughts precede feelings and one’s reference point. Less than accurate self-beliefs repeatedly performed over time can lead to negative emotions including depression. By recognizing one’s patterns of unhelpful thoughts and reevaluating their validity, an individual can choose thoughts that are more helpful and more reflective of fact. CBT is a defined as an active partnership between therapist and client and often calls for homework assignments. CBT has been clinically proven to help clients in a relatively short amount of time with a wide range of issues, including depression and anxiety. CBT can be an effective tool to help anyone learn how to respond more effectively to stressful life situations.
Mindfulness Therapy is a cognitive therapy approach which helps a client to observe and identify feelings in the present moment. Coupled with cognitive based therapy, mindfulness based therapy provides an added dimension for effective approach toward wholeness. One approach helps a client to become aware of one’s thoughts and feelings and the other helps a person to then interrupt unhelpful and repetitive thought processes and work through them in a non-judgmental way and ultimately replace unhelpful habits with more helpful ones.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as “tapping” or psychological acupressure is an alternative treatment for emotional distress and other areas of focus such as sports performance. EFT uses fingertip tapping to apply pressure to certain pressure points and is coupled with specific statements regarding your current condition and that which you wish to experience or achieve. EFT began in 1980 through the work of psychologist, Roger Callahan and grew in the 1990’s under Gary Craig.
It is thought that stimulating the acupressure points coupled with scripted statements reduces the stress or conflict you feel from your issue by accepting your feelings and then allowing you to redirect yourself toward your desired state. EFT works in a similar way to mindfulness, as it can draw a person’s attention to their body, breathing and the present moment and redirecting their mind from issues or pain causing anxiety or stress.
EFT can be helpful when you have a specific issue you would like to resolve. EFT may also be beneficial to a person before an event that may be expected to cause stress or anxiety, such as a sports game, giving a speech/performance, taking an exam, surgery, preparing for an interview, etc.
Positive Psychology is a scientific approach which focuses on strengths rather than weaknesses and builds on personal assets rather than focusing solely on learned helplessness. It has been found that a relatively small change in one’s perspective can lead to quality shifts in one’s life and well-being. As an example, by adding attention to gratitude into one’s daily life, a person can purposefully cultivate inner happiness. It is important to note that unrealistic optimism can be just as harmful as acute pessimism. Positive psychology is meant to complement more traditional psychology and provide balance between positive and negative aspects of life.
Humanistic Psychology utilizes a positive approach based upon developing positive self-regard, expressing one’s authentic self and focusing more on the here and now of daily life. There is an emphasis on identifying positive traits and behaviors and tapping into one’s instincts to uncover personal wisdom, growth, healing and fulfillment. Humanistic therapy can be used to help with depression, anxiety, panic disorders and relationship issues, including family relationships. Persons having difficulty finding their purpose or reaching their true potential, who lack feelings of “wholeness,” who are searching for personal meaning, or who are not yet comfortable with themselves may also benefit from humanistic therapy.
Transpersonal Psychology is a humanistic and wholistic approach to therapy which values human growth and development and addresses all aspects of our being (spiritual, social, intellectual, emotional, physical and creative). Transpersonal psychology has the goal of enhancing the mind-body connection, consciousness, and spirituality with an emphasis on an individual as a healthy spirit in healing.
Psychodynamic Therapy is also known as insight-oriented therapy with the understanding that bringing the unconscious into conscious awareness promotes insight and resolves conflict. The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client's self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior and can be used to treat depression and especially with those who have lost meaning in their lives and have difficulty forming or maintaining personal relationships. Psychodynamic therapy helps clients find patterns in their emotions, thoughts, and beliefs in order to gain insight into their current self. In general, the therapist’s role is to aid the client in connecting the dots between their past experiences and their current problems, and leverage their internal resources to address these problems.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as “tapping” may be beneficial before an event where you want to excel such as a sports event, delivering a speech/performance, taking an exam, preparing for surgery, preparing for an interview, etc.
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