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SELF HELP SERIES: The History of Psychotherapy


I Suppose one could say it all began with Freud, because he formalized sitting down and talking with clients and applying his view of the psyche to explain and teach and shape their thinking. So too we’re Freud’s students, on the one hand Jung expanded on looking into the psyche and discovering not the Id as Freud but the anima or opposite. Utilizing art Jung brought expression from the client. From Freud and Jung a vast side track of lengthy in-depth psychoanalysis. Still existing today it’s quite for the elite, requiring years of visits. Adler was the birth of social psychology.


Next brought a plethora of wide and varied techniques from talk therapy, to Carl Rogers just listening, with an occasional “Uh Hum.” Erickson liked to wrestle with patients. Maslow had his “Hierarchy of Needs.” From specialities arising to meet most every problem from personal depression, anxiety, relationships, etc., etc.shelves in libraries are filled with specific therapeutic techniques. Not to mention psychiatry which grew out of medicine and has landed in bed with big Pharma. Not to knock psychiatry that much, but if you go to one, you will end up with an authoritative lecture at best and a pill. Avoid psychiatry except in cases of where schizophrenia, bipolar and where you need a six month prescription of an SSRI to aid with depression. You see research has shown time and again that Behavioral Therapy with a short term use of an SSRI is by far more successful in treating depression than an SSRI pill alone.


Which brings us to modern day behavioral psychotherapy and the Father of modern psychotherapy, Albert Ellis. Dr. Ellis devised Ration Emotive Therapy (RET), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which is the basis for all psychotherapy today. It is hands down more effective than any other psychotherapy and practiced or taunted in one form or another by virtually 90% of clinical psychologist, LPCs, Social Workers. Albert Ellis is/was the Father of Modern Psychotherapy (RIP).

There is one more category of cognitive behavioral therapy that has opened up - Telehealth or Teletherapy. Be your own judge. And make sure your insurance will cover it. Beware, insurances have very poor coverage of psychological help.

Essentially, look for a psychologist who uses CBT (cognitive Behavioral Therapy) whatever the subspecialty (anxiety, depression, panic attacks, ADHD, relationships, behavioral problems, etc.), and you can expect five visits or less over three months and your done.


May I suggest don’t be shy. If your roof leaks, call a roofer. If your plumbing leaks, call a plumber, and so on and so forth. If you need psychological help ask your primary physician who are the three best psychologists in town. call and ask what are their specialties. Ask for an estimation of how many visits are involved. Therapy should not be open-ended.


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