Last night I visited the downtown office of the Center for Contextual Change, an established psychotherapy organization that specializes in treating the effects of trauma. I had the opportunity to speak with Mary Jo Barrett, LCSW, a founder of the group and currently the Executive Director. Continue Reading Colleague Shout-Out: The Center for Contextual Change
I was asked to be a part of an Adler School of Professional Psychology Student Government event that took place yesterday and today at the school. Six faculty members were asked to talk about a case (taken from the DSM-IV Casebook) using six different theoretical viewpoints. The theories presented were cognitive-behavioral therapy, trauma-focused therapy, Adlerian theory, Theodore Millon’s bio-psycho-social theory, psychodynamic theory, and family systems theory. The fictitious case used was called “A Child is Crying,” and it described a 15-year old girl who had been the target of abuse, and who became depressed, withdrawn, and said she was hearing the voice of a child crying.
I was honored to be asked to present the Adlerian viewpoint – after all, it is the Adler School, and there were three other Adlerian faculty members in the audience. I talked about what could be inferred about the girl’s views of life, herself, and other people, and the possible meaning and purpose of her behaviors. Looking at the same case from six different viewpoints was a great opportunity for us to help students to learn more about the skill of case conceptualization, which is the basis for treatment planning. Hopefully, the students thought so too, and found the presentation valuable. It was a very enjoyable experience for me.
Counseling and psychotherapy are often used interchangeably, which can be confusing to people seeking help. Most of us who work in the field tend to use the two terms a little differently. Counseling is usually used to refer to getting help for less severe problems or for situational issues. Psychotherapy is usually used to describe a process that relies more on the relationship between therapist and client to lead to deeper or more lasting changes.
One way to look at it is that psychotherapy is treatment for a disorder. In that situation, there are symptoms that are interfering with a person’s overall functioning, and therapy is designed to relieve the symptoms and improve functioning. Counseling, on the other hand, is intended to foster personal growth, help a person make a decision, assist with future planning (for example, about a career decision), or attain greater happiness. It may also help a person to figure out how to resolve a troublesome situation, such as a workplace problem or an unhappy relationship.Continue Reading Is it Counseling or Psychotherapy?
It’s always been confusing to know all the professions that provide counseling and psychotherapy. When I received my Master’s degree at what was then the Alfred Adler Institute in 1986, the only licensed non-medical professions that could provide counseling and psychotherapy in Illinois were social workers (with a master’s degree) and psychologists (who must have a doctoral degree).Continue Reading Counselors, psychologists, social workers…