Gestalt psychotherapy is a humanistic approach developed by Fritz and Laura Perls. Gestalt focuses on the present moment and the client/therapist relationship as it evolves in the here and now. The Gestalt approach brings awareness to the body and how the client may be feeling in relation to the therapist in the moment. It's a mirroring approach, through which issues are brought forth and observed for what they are. Through this horizontal unfolding and ongoing consent, the client is given the space to explore their physical and emotional awareness of what is being presented. The therapist uses a dialogic and experiential approach to allow the client the opportunity to develop multiple view points as well as increased awareness of their patterns. This increased awareness help the client create more space and options to make the changes they wish to achieve.
Reichian therapy is a pscyho-analytic and bio-energetic approach developed by Wilhelm Reich. This approach focuses on the character structures of the client. The character structures are formed between the ages of 0-7 and are observed in the physical shape of the body. In this kind of therapy, the therapist helps the client identify their character structures to better understand their emotional and physical body. These structures have been molded by their environment and are often where the trauma lies. Understanding the root of the trauma clarifies this molding of the character structures and how this then creates an "armour" which helps the client survive and endure. The therapist supports the client in understanding their character structures through a dialogic approach, This helps the client cultivate a deeper understanding of self.
This is an experiential approach, developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale, which
builds on the principals of cognitive therapy. Mindfulness involves becoming more aware of the present moment, where the client is invited to consciously pay attention to thoughts and feelings without placing any judgement upon them. This approach is supported by techniques like meditation, breath work and body scans. The therapist combines cognitive therapy, and meditation, while developing a present and non-judgmental awareness called "mindfulness." This approach is used when appropriate in a session and with the ongoing consent of the client. Mindfulness can assist with symptoms of depression and anxiety as it offers the client the ability to calm the nervous system and observe the negative thoughts from a neutral perspective. This, in turn, interrupts the automatic cyclical cognitive patterns that triggered the previous depressive episode. Through this interruption, the client has the opportunity to redirect their feelings and work through them in a healthy way.
Ericksonian hypnotherapy was developed by Milton Erickson. Unlike traditional hypnotherapy (which uses direct suggestion), Ericksonian hypnotherapy uses indirect suggestion, metaphor and story telling,
in order to help alter behaviour. Indirect suggestions are much harder to resist as they tend to be missed by the conscious mind. Because the indirect suggestion is disguised as a story or a metaphor, it works effectively and without conscious resistance. This then allows the subconscious mind to be helped without the resistance of the conscious mind. This approach is implemented with the ongoing consent of the client and only when they wish to partake in hypnotherapy.
Fun Fact: Milton Erickson is considered "the father of modern hypnotherapy" and his work is what influenced the creation of psychotherapy and other short-term therapies such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) as well as guided imagery.