Exploring Diversity: Racial and Ethnic Factors in Treatment: Should Therapists Be Color-Blind?
Psychotherapy: Psychodynamic, Behavioral, and Cognitive Approaches to Treatment Psychodynamic Approaches to Therapy Behavioral Approaches to Therapy Cognitive Approaches to Therapy
Biomedical Therapy: Biological Approaches to Treatment
Drug Therapy Try It! What Are Your Attitudes Toward Patient Rights? Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Biomedical Therapies in Perspective Community Psychology: Focus on Prevention Becoming an Informed Consumer of Psychology: Choosing the Right Therapist Psychology on the Web The Case of . . . Tony Scarpetta, the Man Who Couldn’t Relax Full Circle: Treatment of Psychological Disorders
Psychotherapy: Humanistic and Group Approaches to Treatment
Humanistic Therapy Interpersonal Therapy Group Therapy, Family Therapy, and Self-Help Groups Evaluating Psychotherapy: Does Therapy Work?
Facing Their Fears
For most of the 100 or so sleepy-eyed people boarding the U.S. Airways shuttle to Boston from New York on a recent hazy Saturday morning, the 35-minute flight could not have been a bigger non-event. But that was not the case for about 20 passengers clustered nervously near the gate. Many clutched puzzle books and bags of sour candy as though they held talismans. Some made nervous jokes, others sobbed quietly. “I have pills with me just in case of an emergency,” said a teenage girl who planned to distract herself on the flight with celebrity magazines. Mariasol Flouty, a 44-year-old software developer from White Plains, held fast to her Sudoku book. “I had plane-crash nightmares,” she confessed. “I woke up very tense.” No one was more terrified than Beth Brenner, a 45-year-old mother of two teenagers from Somers, N.Y. “I was hysterical last night,” she said, “but my son said, ‘You’re going to be O.K.’ ” Ms. Brenner was crying quietly on the shoulder of a counselor and staying close to her designated seatmate, Richard Bracken, a retired pilot who had flown for American Airlines for 30 years. “I’m trying to be a father figure here,” Mr. Bracken said. (Murphy, 2007, p. F-2).
The procedure that has brought together these very fearful flyers for their first trip on an airplane is just one of many approaches used to treat psychological disorders. Although treatment can take dozens of different approaches, ranging from one-meeting informal counseling sessions to long-term drug therapy to behavioral treatments such as the anxious airline passengers are experiencing, all the approaches have a common objective: the relief of psychological disorders, with the ultimate aim of enabling individuals to achieve richer, more meaningful, and more fulfilling lives. Despite their diversity, approaches to treating psychological disorders fall into two main categories: psychologically based and biologically based therapies. Psychologically based therapy, or psychotherapy, is treatment in which a trained professional—a therapist—uses psychological techniques to help someone overcome psychological difficulties and disorders, resolve problems in living, or bring about personal growth. In psychotherapy, the goal is to produce psychological change in a person (called a “client” or “patient”) through discussions and interactions with the therapist. In contrast, biomedical therapy relies on drugs and medical procedures to improve psychological functioning. As we describe the various approaches to therapy, keep in mind that although the distinctions may seem clear-cut, the classifications and procedures overlap a good deal. In fact, many therapists today use a variety of methods with an individual patient, taking an eclectic approach to therapy. Assuming that both psychological and biological processes often produce psychological disorders, eclectic therapists may draw from several perspectives...