Assignment: Limitations of Psychotherapy Approaches Assignment
Requires lengthy training for therapists and much time and expense for clients. The model stresses biological and instinctual factors to the neglect of social, cultural, and interpersonal ones. Its methods are less applicable for solving specific daily life problems of clients and may not be appropriate for some ethnic and cultural groups. Many clients lack the degree of ego strength needed for regressive and reconstructive therapy. It may be inappropriate for certain counseling settings.
Weak in terms of precision, testability, and empirical validity. Few attempts have been made to validate the basic concepts by scientific methods. Tends to oversimplify some complex human problems and is based heavily on common sense.
Many basic concepts are fuzzy and ill-defined, making its general framework abstract at times. Lacks a systematic statement of principles and practices of therapy. Has limited applicability to lower functioning and nonverbal clients and to clients in extreme crisis who need direction.
Possible danger from the therapist who remains passive and inactive, limiting responses to reflection. Many clients feel a need for greater direction, more structure, and more techniques. Clients in crisis may need more directive measures. Applied to individual counseling, some cultural groups will expect more counselor activity.
Limitations of Psychotherapy Approaches Assignment
Techniques lead to intense emotional expression; if these feelings are not explored and if cognitive work is not done, clients are likely to be left unfinished and will not have a sense of integration of their learning. Clients who have difficulty using imagination may not profit from certain experiments.
Major criticisms are that it may change behavior but not feelings; that it ignores the relational factors in therapy; that it does not provide insight; that it ignores historical causes of present behavior; that it involves control by the therapist; and that it is limited in its capacity to address certain aspects of the human condition.
Cognitive behavior therapy
Tends to play down emotions, does not focus on exploring the unconscious or underlying conflicts, de-emphasizes the value of insight, and sometimes does not give enough weight to the client’s past. CBT might be too structured for some clients.
Choice theory/ Reality therapy
Discounts the therapeutic value of exploration of the client’s past, dreams, the unconscious, early childhood experiences, and transference. The approach is limited to less complex problems. It is a problem-solving therapy that tends to discourage exploration of deeper emotional issues.
A possible limitation is the potential for therapists to impose a new set of values on clients—such as striving for equality, power in relationships, defining oneself, freedom to pursue a career outside the home, and the right to an education. Therapists need to keep in mind that clients are their own best experts, which means it is up to them to decide which values to live by. Limitations of Psychotherapy Approaches Assignment.
There is little empirical validation of the effectiveness of therapy outcomes. Some critics contend that these approaches endorse cheerleading and an overly positive perspective. Some are critical of the stance taken by most postmodern therapists regarding assessment and diagnosis, and also react negatively to the “not-knowing” stance of the therapist. Because some of the solution-focused and narrative therapy techniques are relatively easy to learn, practitioners may use these interventions in a mechanical way or implement these techniques without a sound rationale.
Family systems therapy
Limitations include problems in being able to involve all the members of a family in the therapy. Some family members may be resistant to changing the structure of the system. Therapists’ self knowledge and willingness to work on their own family-of-origin issues is crucial, for the potential for countertransference is high. It is essential that the therapist be well trained, receive quality supervision, and be competent in assessing and treating individuals in a family context.
Limitations of the Approaches
Overview of Contemporary Counseling Models
Psychoanalytic therapy Founder: Sigmund Freud. A theory of personality development, a philosophy of human nature, and a method of psychotherapy that focuses on unconscious factors that motivate behavior. Attention is given to the events of the first six years of life as determinants of the later development of personality.
Adlerian therapy Founder: Alfred Adler. Key Figure: Following Adler, Rudolf Dreikurs is credited with popularizing this approach in the United States. This is a growth model that stresses assuming responsibility, creating one’s own destiny, and finding meaning and goals to create a purposeful life. Key concepts are used in most other current therapies.
Experiential and Relationship-Oriented Therapies
Existential therapy Key figures: Viktor Frankl, Rollo May, and Irvin Yalom. Reacting against the tendency to view therapy as a system of well-defined techniques, this model stresses building therapy on the basic conditions of human existence, such as choice, the freedom and responsibility to shape one’s life, and self-determination. It focuses on the quality of the person-to-person therapeutic relationship.
Person-centered therapy Founder: Carl Rogers; Key figure: Natalie Rogers. This approach was developed during the 1940s as a nondirective reaction against psychoanalysis. Based on a subjective view of human experiencing, it places faith in and gives responsibility to the client in dealing with problems and concerns. Limitations of Psychotherapy Approaches Assignment.
Gestalt therapy Founders: Fritz and Laura Perls; Key figures: Miriam and Erving Polster. An experiential therapy stressing awareness and integration; it grew as a reaction against analytic therapy. It integrates the functioning of body and mind and places emphasis on the therapeutic relationship.
Cognitive Behavioral Approaches
Behavior therapy Key figures: B. F. Skinner, and Albert Bandura. This approach applies the principles of learning to the resolution of specific behavioral problems. Results are subject to continual experimentation. The methods of this approach are always in the process of refinement. The mindfulness and acceptance-based approaches are rapidly gaining popularity.
Cognitive behavior therapy Founders: Albert Ellis and A. T. Beck. Albert Ellis founded rational emotive behavior therapy, a highly didactic, cognitive, action-oriented model of therapy, and A. T. Beck founded cognitive therapy, which gives a primary role to thinking as it influences behavior. Judith Beck continues to develop CBT; Christine Padesky has developed strengths-based CBT; and Donald Meichenbaum, who helped develop cognitive behavior therapy, has made significant contributions to resilience as a factor in coping with trauma.
Choice theory/Reality Founder: William Glasser. Key figure: Robert Wubbolding. This short-term approach is based therapy on choice theory and focuses on the client assuming responsibility in the present. Through the therapeutic process, the client is able to learn more effective ways of meeting her or his needs.
Systems and Postmodern Approaches
Feminist therapy This approach grew out of the efforts of many women, a few of whom are Jean Baker Miller, Carolyn Zerbe Enns, Oliva Espin, and Laura Brown. A central concept is the concern for the psychological oppression of women. Focusing on the constraints imposed by the sociopolitical status to which women have been relegated, this approach explores women’s identity development, self-concept, goals and aspirations, and emotional well-being.
Postmodern approaches A number of key figures are associated with the development of these various approaches to therapy. Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg are the cofounders of solution-focused brief therapy. Michael White and David Epston are the major figures associated with narrative therapy. Social constructionism, solution-focused brief therapy, and narrative therapy all assume that there is no single truth; rather, it is believed that reality is socially constructed through human interaction. These approaches maintain that the client is an expert in his or her own life. Limitations of Psychotherapy Approaches Assignment.
Family systems therapy A number of significant figures have been pioneers of the family systems approach, two of whom include Murray Bowen and Virginia Satir. This systemic approach is based on the assumption that the key to changing the individual is understanding and working with the family.