Psychotherapy Approaches Review

Psychotherapy Approaches Review

Psychotherapy is an approach that is used to provide counseling to mentally ill patients, and the care providers identify and work through the factors that trigger illnesses as a measure of restoring normal health. Throughout the course, I have learned the different approaches to psychotherapy and how they can be used manage mentally ill patients. It is well understood that psychotherapy helps the ill patients to understand behaviors, emotions and also ideas that contribute to the illness (DiCenso et al., 2014). As a psychotherapist, I have the role of modifying the behaviors to minimize harm and promote the well being of the patient. There are two major approaches that I have used to achieve my goals in this course; Jean Watson’s nursing theory of caring and the humanistic theory of counseling. This paper provides a review of the therapeutic theories used in counseling explaining their integration into clinical practice and how I can use the theories to impact social change regarding mental health.

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Therapeutic theories

Nursing theories have been used to provide a basis for the management of mental illnesses for several decades. My therapeutic theory of nursing has not changed because I believe Watson’s caring theory provides all the aspects of care needed for healing.

Integration into Clinical Practice

Nursing is a profession that is dynamic and requires skills in the management of patients, especially in the psychiatric units. According to Wheeler (2014), the integration of nursing theory into practice is based on the individuals understanding of the theory and the approach used in the management of patients during care provision. I have always used my understanding of mental health as a basis for care in the hospital…

Application of the humanistic theory in counseling was the best experience during the clinical practice. The humanistic theory of Carl Rogers uses a client-centered approach, and it provides a climate for the individuals to look at themselves (Wheeler, 2014). During the counseling sessions, I portrayed empathy and genuineness in communication to facilitate the sessions. It is through the sessions that I achieved several goals of the practicum. I was able to find out how individuals perceive themselves and provide solutions that could unfold the minds of the patients bringing them into reality. The humanistic approach also helped me develop confidence in the management of mentally ill patients with different diagnoses.

Impacting social Change

Social change is a process referring to the transformation of culture, behavior and social structure over time. The basic reference to social change is modernization but there are far more other aspects that impact social change in the field of medicine (DiCenso et al., 2014). Two basic theories act as a reference for social change; the functionalism theory and the conflict theory.

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Through effective management, the society is likely to change the mentality on mental health and learn to acknowledge that the mentally ill are part of the society. One of the primary roles of a nurse is to act as a change agent and being the largest members of the healthcare professionals they can act to shape the future of the society. The other way of impacting change is working in collaboration with the heads of departments to come up with new methods of providing care to the mentally ill.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

DiCenso, A., Guyatt, G., & Ciliska, D. (2014). Evidence-Based Nursing-E-Book: A Guide to Clinical Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Fisher, M. A. (2016). Introduction. In Confidentiality limits in psychotherapy: Ethics checklists for mental health professionals (pp. 3–12). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/14860-001

McGuire, J. (2009). Ethical considerations when working with older adults in psychology. Ethics & Behavior, 19(2), 112–128. doi:10.1080/10508420902772702

Petiprin, A. (2016). Psychiatric and mental health nursing. Nursing Theory. Retrieved from

Sitzman, K., & Watson, J. (2013). Caring science, mindful practice: Implementing Watson’s human caring theory. Springer Publishing Company.

Swift, J. K., & Greenberg, R. P. (2015). What is premature termination, and why does it occur? In Premature termination in psychotherapy: Strategies for engaging clients and improving outcomes (pp. 11–31). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

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