Therapy Modalities

Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an action-oriented approach to psychotherapy that stems from traditional behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Clients learn to stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with their inner emotions and, instead, accept that these deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations that should not prevent them from moving forward in their lives. With this understanding, clients begin to accept their issues and hardships and commit to making necessary changes in their behavior, regardless of what is going on in their lives, and how they feel about it.

This modality includes interventions such as defusion, the observing self, acceptance, defining values, committing to action, and evaluation of committment.

Also a great book about ACT is The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris. This is a book that walks a person through insights and techniques from ACT.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term form of psychotherapy directed at present-time issues and based on the idea that the way an individual thinks and feels affects the way he or she behaves. The focus is on problem solving, and the goal is to change client's thought patterns in order to change their responses to difficult situations. It assumes that maladaptive behaviors and disturbed mood or emotions are the result of inappropriate or irrational thinking patterns, called automatic thoughts. Instead of reacting to the reality of a situation, an individual reacts to his or her own distorted viewpoint of the situation. Maladaptive, or faulty, thinking patterns cause maladaptive behavior and "negative" emotions. Treatment focuses on changing an individual's thoughts (cognitive patterns) in order to change his or her behavior and emotional state.

This modality includes interventions such as psycho-education, reframing, restructuring cognitive distortions, journaling, and role playing activities.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is a time-limited, focused, evidence-based approach. The main goal of IPT is to improve the quality of a client’s interpersonal relationships and social functioning to help reduce their distress. IPT provides strategies to resolve problems within four key areas. First, it addresses interpersonal deficits, including social isolation or involvement in unfulfilling relationships. Second, it can help patients manage unresolved grief—if the onset of distress is linked to the death of a loved one, either recent or past. Third, IPT can help with difficult life transitions like retirement, divorce, or moving to another city. Fourth, IPT is recommended for dealing with interpersonal disputes that emerge from conflicting expectations between partners, family members, close friends, or coworkers.

This modality includes interventions such as role-playing, template building, decision analysis, open-ended questions, and reflection.

Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy is a form of therapy that views people as separate from their problems. This allows clients to get some distance from the issue to see how it might actually be helping them, or protecting them, more than it is hurting them. With this new perspective, individuals feel more empowered to make changes in their thought patterns and behavior and “rewrite” their life story for a future that reflects who they are, what they are capable of, and what their purpose is, separate from their problems. Its major premise is that people’s lives and relationships are shaped by their life stories or personal narrative. People live their lives based on those stories. Some narrative themes are dominant while others that do not fit the dominant (family, religion, community, culture, society) story line are suppressed. As collaborators, the therapist and client analyze and deconstruct the client’s story to understand how social conditions and power relationships might contribute to his/her personal assumptions.

This modality includes interventions such as externalizing, mapping, relative influence questions, looking for unique outcomes, reauthoring, and writing letters.

Problem Solving Therapy (PST)

Problem-solving therapy is a cognitive–behavioral intervention geared to improve an individual's ability to cope with stressful life experiences and to foster general behavioral competence. The major assumption underlying this approach, which emanates from a cognitive–behavioral tradition, is that much of what is viewed as "psychopathology" can be understood as consequences of ineffective or maladaptive coping behaviors. In other words, failure to adequately resolve stressful problems in living can produce significant emotional and behavioral problems.

This modality includes interventions such as defining the problem, brainstorming solution, listing postive and negative of each solution, taking action, evaluating the outcome, and adjusting the solution as necessary.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) concentrates on finding solutions in the present time and exploring one’s hope for the future to find quicker resolution of one’s problems. This method takes the approach that the client know what they need to do to improve their own life and, with the appropriate coaching and questioning, are capable of finding the best solutions. Clients are the experts about the nature of the problem, the impact of the problem on the client’s life and what they believe will work to alleviate the problem. As such, clients and social workers are co-creators in finding solution-focused interventions.

This modality includes interventions such as exception questions, miracle questions, speical person questions, coping questions, scaling questions, accolades, validation, externalizing the concern, and identifying strengths.