Types of Therapy


From the BACP website:

Counselling and psychotherapy are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking therapies. They are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change or enhance their wellbeing. Some of the more common therapies or types of counselling include:

Person-centred therapy

Devised by Carl Rogers, this therapy is based on the idea that a client enters into a relationship with a counsellor where the client is allowed to freely express any emotions and feelings.This enables the client to come to terms with the negative feelings that may have caused emotional problems, and develop personal skills. The objective is for the client to become able to see themselves as a person with power and freedom to change.

Humanistic therapy

Coming from the ‘personal growth movement’ this approach encourages people to think about their feelings and take responsibility for their thoughts and actions. The emphasis is on self-development and achieving one’s potential. A ‘client-centred’ or ‘non-directive’ approach is often used and the therapy can be described as ‘holistic’ or looking at the person as a whole. The client’s creative instincts may be used to explore and resolve personal issues. 

Gestalt therapy

The name of this therapy is derived from the German word for ‘organised whole’. Developed by Fritz Perls, Gestalt therapy focuses on the whole of the client’s experience, including feelings, thoughts and actions. The client gains self-awareness by analysing behaviour and body language and talking about their feelings. This approach often includes acting out scenarios and dream recall.

Relationship Counselling

Relationship counselling encourages the parties in a relationship to recognise repeating patterns of distress and to understand and manage troublesome differences that they are experiencing.

The relationship involved may be between members of a family, a couple, or even work colleagues. 

Counselling for Depression

Counselling for Depression is a manualised form of psychological therapy as recommended by NICE (NICE, 2009) for the treatment of depression. It is based on a person-centred, experiential model and is particularly appropriate for people with persistent sub-threshold depressive symptoms or mild to moderate depression. Clinical trials have shown this type of counselling to be effective when 6 - 10 sessions are offered. However, it is recognised that in more complex cases which show benefit in the initial sessions, further improvement may be observed with additional sessions up to the maximum number suggested for other NICE recommended therapies such as CBT, that is, 20 sessions.