Discussing the Main Western Psychotherapeutic Approaches

Write a short essay discussing the main Western psychotherapeutic approaches (2,000 – 3,000 words).

            The word Psychotherapy comes from the Greek word Psyche meaning breath, spirit, or soul. And therapeia meaning to nurse or cure, so to nurse the soul. Since the earliest times healing has been happening through Amulets, Faith-healing, Witchcraft, Occultism, Pastoral Psychology, Magnetism, mesmerists, Hypnotism etc.
            The start of what we now know as Western Psychotherapy arguably came out of Sigmund Freud & Josef Breuer, Freud, a neurologist at the turn of the 20th century. He had studied with amongst others Jean Martin Charcot, Europe’s most renowned Neurologist at the time at the end of the 19th century. Charcot specialized in the study of Hysteria and its susceptibility to Hypnosis.

          At the start of the 20th century there were three major traditions that started to develop in Psychotherapy.

The first stream is Freud’s psychoanalysis (1893), biologically determined & motivated by sexual desires & aggressive drives. Freud’s purpose was exploration & analysis, not necessarily change. The focus was on the why? And it was based in the past. His first book the Interpretation of dreams was published in 1900.

The second stream is Pavlov (1902) who studied conditioned reflexes and other learning behaviours. Practitioners following in this tradition are usually referred to as learning theorists, behaviour modification specialists, or cognitive behaviour therapists. The focus was on the what? And it was based in the present & the immediate past.

The Third stream – The intellectual and ideological grandfather of this humanistic/existential tradition is Jacob Moreno. Moreno was arguably the first psychiatrist to put ‘the patient’ in a centrally responsible role in his own life drama. He worked with people to empower them to do their own healing.   Moreno was applying group...