Humanistic Therapy

Coming from the "personal growth movement" this approach encourages people to think about their feelings and take responsibility for their thoughts and actions.  Emphasis is on self-development and achieving highest potential. "Client-Centred" or "Non-Directive" approach is often used and the therapy can be described as "holistic" or looking at person as a whole.  The client's creative instincts may be used to explore and resolve personal issues.

Gestalt Therapy

The name is derived from the German for "organized whole".  Developed by Fritz Perls, it focuses on the whole of the client's experience, including feelings, thoughts and actions.  The client gains self-awareness in the `here and now' by analysing behaviour and body language and talking about bottled up feelings.  This approach often includes acting out scenarios and dream recall.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a specific way of intentionally paying attention. One negative thought can lead to a chain reaction of negative thoughts.  This approach encourages people to be aware of each thought, enabling the first negative thought to be 'caught' so that is seen as just a 'thought' and not a fact. This breaks the chain reaction of negative thoughts giving a mental 'space' in which the person can re-centre themselves in the present. Mindfulness-based therapists can work with individuals and groups and will usually integrate mindfulness into another modality, in which they are already trained. Mindfulness is likely to appeal to therapists who have developed a long-term meditation practice. 

Systemic Therapies

These are the therapies which have, as their aim, a change in the transactional pattern of members of a system.  It can be used as the generic term for family therapy and marital therapy.

Relationship Therapy

Relationship counselling enables the parties in a relationship to recognise repeating patterns of distress and to understand and manage troublesome differences that they are experiencing. The relationship involved may be between, for example, members of a family (see also Family Therapy) or a couple, or work colleagues.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

This promotes positive change rather than dwelling on past problems. Clients are encouraged to focus positively on what they do well and to set goals and work out how to achieve them.  As little as 3 or 4 sessions may be beneficial.