Psychodynamic therapy stresses the importance of the unconscious and past experience in shaping current behavior. By encouraging individuals to explore unresolved issues and to talk about important people and relationships in their life they can increase their self-awareness and understanding of how the past is influencing present problems. Compared to psychoanalytic therapy, psychodynamic therapy seeks to provide a quicker solution for more immediate problems.
Existential therapy helps individuals deal with the problems of everyday living such as relationship difficulties, anxiety issues, body issues and others. Unlike other approaches, existential therapy acknowledges that within all our lives we may face times when our own particular struggles can feel overwhelming and we may behave in ways that seem irrational in response to these problems. By reflecting on these issues and by building self-knowledge and self-awareness clients are able to grow and overcome issues which may at times feel all consuming. The role of the existential therapist is really to work alongside the client in exploring their values, assumptions and ideals and to make them feel like they choose their destiny through making the choices, they want to make.
Person-centered therapy evolved in the 50s and 60s and views all individuals as capable of being loved, creative and knowledgeable. However, this approach also recognizes that achieving our full potential requires favorable conditions and that sometimes in adverse conditions individuals may not be able to develop in ways they could. For example, sometimes we behave in ways that can elicit positive regard from the people around us but that we ourselves are not happy with and similarly we can elicit negative reaction when we do not behave as they expect.
Overtime, we may lose touch with what we really want and our ability to achieve our potential becomes stifled. During therapy, the therapist will aim to provide an environment in which the individual does not feel under threat or judged. This allows the individual to experience and accept more of them as a person and move towards recognizing their potential. By demonstrating genuineness, empathy and unconditional positive regard, the therapist can create an environment where the patient finds their own solutions to their problems.