Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Symptoms, Education, Depth

     I'm coming more and more to the conclusion that therapy is less about what theory the therapist decides to employ overall, but move when he or she decides to use it.  Since I haven't written in this for a while, I forget about what I have previously written; my apologies if I repeat messages.  I think that a successful therapist is a journeyman of a couple of different therapeutic disciplines or orientations.  To practice otherwise would be to decrease effectiveness and the amount of clients able to be seen.
     It seems like there are three stages to successful therapy:  1) Symptoms, 2) Education, 3) Depth.  As I've previously written, one difference between the Wellness Model and the Medical Model is the fact that the former endeavors to make the person better than they were when they were normal.  I think that numbers two and three attempt to do this.  Number one adheres more strictly to the medical model, strictly controlling symptoms.
     Perhaps I should explain this progression first.  Number one is Symptoms, should be a therapy that helps immediately control the negative behavior that brings the client into the office.  The most base example of this is behaviorism.  Through behavioral techniques, controlling presenting symptoms would be possible.  If this were the starting point in therapy, it almost seems to me that the process of joining would be secondary to the work at hand.  The therapeutic relationship would stagnate until further along in therapy.  
     Number two is Education.  What I meant here is that a possible re-education may have to occur.  Two examples of this, depending on the presenting problem, would be CBT or emotion-focused therapy.  I think that both of these types of therapy attempt to teach skills to clients that they can use later in their lives.  Not only can they use specific skills, but I think that both of these theories would push the client to create new general means of thinking or feeling.
     The third step would be Depth.  Obviously this level of therapy would institute theories like existentialism or psychodynamics.  The main goal would be to really find the root of whatever issue is plaguing the client.