Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological treatment which has been supported through research to be effective for a range of problems including depression, anxiety disorders, and severe mental illness. CBT treatment involves changing maladaptive patterns of thinking in order to change behavioral patterns and ultimately improve mood. CBT therapists emphasize what is going on in the person’s current life, in the here and now, rather than emphasizing on past experiences. A certain amount of information about one’s history is needed, but ultimately the focus is placed on the present and future.
Psychodynamic therapy is rooted in traditional psychoanalysis, and draws from object relations, ego psychology, and self psychology. There is substantial research that focuses on the effectiveness of psychodynamic therapy to treat a wide range of disorders. The focus lies on a person’s origins and formation of psychological processes. In relational therapy, the focus is on the interpersonal dynamics that one therapists help people gain insight into their lives and present-day problems. Similar to CBT, the focus is on identifying patterns people develop over time, and working to change those that are no longer helpful. Additionally, relational therapy is post-modern, and focuses on social factors, such as class, race, gender, and culture, and examines the power struggles and other issues that develop as a result of all these factors. There is also emphasis on the impact these factors have on the relationships in a person’s life.
Integrative Therapy utilizes aspects of CBT and psychodynamic therapy as needed to best suit the individual and is a client-centered approach. It is a progressive form of therapy that combines tools from different methodologies to best tailor treatment to each individual client.