Multiple points of view also characterize the therapies derived from theories of personality. Most therapists take an eclectic approach, sampling from the ideas of various theories to tailor their treatment to a specific client. Each therapist, however, also may have her or his own biases, based on a particular theoretical orientation. For example, a client who often feels anxious and seeks help from a psychoanalytic therapist may find that the therapist encourages the client to explore memories of childhood experiences to discover the unconscious roots of the anxiety. Slips of the tongue, dreams, and difficulty remembering or accepting therapeutic interpretations would be viewed as important clues to unconscious processes. The same client seeking treatment from a humanistic therapist would have a different experi ence. There, the emphasis would be on current experiences, with the therapist providing a warm and supportive atmosphere for the client to explore feelings. A behavioral therapist, from the social learning orientation, would help the client pinpoint situations in which anxiety occurs and teach the client alternative responses to those situations. Again, no one form of therapy is superior for all clients. Successes or failures in therapy depend on the combination of client, therapist, and mode of treatment.
Was this article helpful?