Emotional and mental illness.
In dysfunctional families, children must learn to cope with unbearable situations or events, and often develop classical symptoms in doing so. Therapists attempt to identify destructive behavior and emotions, and select suitable treatment options. In Section 1 below, we’ll outline several common mental illnesses and respective therapies. Moving on to developmental psychology, the investigation of human evolution and enlightenment, Section 2 below focuses on systems of understanding, notably Tibetan Buddhism, Zen, Vedic Mythology, and the induction of trance states, whether via clinical hypnotherapy, hallucinogens, or African drumming and dance rituals.
Psychoanalysis is based on changing problematic behaviors, feelings, and thoughts by discovering their unconscious meanings and motivations. Psychoanalytically oriented therapies are characterized by a close working partnership between therapist and patient. Patients learn about themselves by exploring their interactions in the therapeutic relationship. While psychoanalysis is closely identified with Sigmund Freud, it has been extended and modified since his early formulations. Jungian therapy focuses on the collective unconscious, dream archetypes, and symbolic representation.
Brief Therapy places emphasis on a specific problem and direct intervention. In brief therapy as outlined by Milton Erickson, the therapist treats clinical and subjective conditions faster by precise observation, and temporary suspension of disbelief in the patient to consider new perspectives. Rather than a prolonged analysis of historical causes, the primary approach of brief therapy is to help the client to view the present from a more holistic context and to utilize more functional understandings, not necessarily at a conscious level. By becoming more versatile in the present, successful clients will undergo spontaneous changes. Brief therapy is highly strategic, exploratory, and solution-based rather than problem-oriented.
Behavioral Therapy focuses on learning’s role in developing both normal and abnormal behaviors. Ivan Pavlov made important contributions to behavior therapy by discovering classical conditioning, or associative learning. Desensitizing is classical conditioning in action. A therapist might help a client with a phobia through repeated exposure to whatever it is that causes anxiety. Operant conditioning relies on rewards and punishments to shape people’s behavior.
Cognition is the branch of psychology that studies mental processes including problem solving, perception, memory, and learning. As part of the larger field of cognitive science, this branch of psychology is related to other disciplines including neuroscience, philosophy, and linguistics. Noam Chomsky criticized the behaviorists’ notions of stimulus, response, and reinforcement. Psychologists make inferences about mental processes from shared phenomena. English neuroscientist Charles Sherrington and Canadian psychologist Donald O. Hebb used experimental methods to link psychological phenomena with the structure and function of the brain. With the rise of computer science and artificial intelligence, analogies were drawn between the processing of information by humans and by machines.
Humanistic Therapy emphasizes people’s capacity to make rational choices and develop to their maximum potential. Concern and respect for others are also important themes. Client-centered therapy rejects the idea of therapists as authorities on their clients’ inner experiences. Instead, therapists help clients change by emphasizing their concern, care and interest. Gestalt therapy emphasizes what it calls “organismic holism,” the importance of being aware of the here and now and accepting responsibility for yourself. Existential therapy focuses on free will, self-determination and the search for meaning.
Family Therapy is a form of psychotherapy where two or more clients work with one or more therapists or counselors. This methods is a popular format for support groups, where family members can learn from each others’ experience and offer advice. This method is also more cost effective than individual psychotherapy, and sometimes more effective.