Our approach to family therapy recognizes that symptoms of one person’s problems often appear in the same or in a different form in other family members, and that trying to “cure” a person in isolation from his or her family is often ineffective. For this reason, we believe that working with the whole family often provides the most enduring "cure."
SPA offers a range of child therapy, including help for ADD/ADHD and oppositional defiant disorders, social skills training, and separation anxiety. Lisa Bryan, the principal of SPA, shares a special rapport with children and adolescents, which she incorporates into her counseling work, especially through the use of play to help her younger clients feel more relaxed and receptive to therapy. She was the lead therapist on the child and adolescent unit of a major psychiatric facility, and taught at the elementary and high school levels for more than 16 years before entering the mental health field.
Group therapy provides a safe environment in which the individual can explore how he or she affects and is affected by others. The group setting provides the individual with an opportunity to try out new, positive behaviors in a risk-free environment, and often proves to be a powerful source of learning and healing. Click here to see a calendar of upcoming events.
SPA can help individuals deal with specific problems. Our specialized services include drug and alcohol evaluations, employee assistance programs, psychological evaluations, and support group programs. Please call (770) 246-2588 for more information.
History of Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy can be said to have been practiced through the ages, as medics, philosophers, spiritual practitioners and people in general used psychological methods to heal others.
In the Western tradition, by the 19th century a moral treatment movement (then meaning morale or mental) developed based on non-invasive non-restraint therapeutic methods. Another influential movement was started by Franz Mesmer (1734–1815) and his student Armand-Marie-Jacques de Chastenet, Marquis of Puységur (1751–1825). Called Mesmerism or animal magnetism, it would have a strong influence on the rise of dynamic psychology and psychiatry as well as theories about hypnosis. In 1853 Walter Cooper Dendy introduced the term "psycho-therapeia" regarding how physicians might influence the mental states of sufferers and thus their bodily ailments, for example by creating opposing emotions to promote mental balance. Daniel Hack Tuke cited the term and wrote about "psycho-therapeutics" in 1872, in which he also proposed making a science of animal magnetism. Hippolyte Bernheim and colleagues in the "Nancy School" developed the concept of "psychotherapy" in the sense of using the mind to heal the body through hypnotism, yet further. Charles Lloyd Tuckey's 1889 work, Psycho-therapeutics, or Treatment by Hypnotism and Suggestion popularized the work of the Nancy School in English. Also in 1889 a clinic used the word in its title for the first time, when Frederik van Eeden and Albert Willem in Amsterdam renamed theirs "Clinique de Psycho-thérapeutique Suggestive" after visiting Nancy. During this time, travelling stage hypnosis became popular, and such activities added to the scientific controversies around the use of hypnosis in medicine. Also in 1892, at the second congress of experimental psychology, van Eeden attempted to take the credit for the term psychotherapy and to distance the term from hypnosis. In 1896, the German journal Zeitschrift für Hypnotismus, Suggestionstherapie, Suggestionslehre und verwandte psychologische Forschungen changed its name to Zeitschrift für Hypnotismus, Psychotherapie sowie andere psychophysiologische und psychopathologische Forschungen, which is probably the first journal to use the term. Thus psychotherapy initially meant "the treatment of disease by psychic or hypnotic influence, or by suggestion"
Sigmund Freud visited the Nancy School and his early neurological practice involved the use of hypnotism. However following the work of his mentor Josef Breuer-in particular a case where symptoms appeared partially resolved by what the patient, Bertha Pappenheim, dubbed a "talking cure"-Freud began focusing on conditions that appeared to have psychological causes originating in childhood experiences and the unconscious mind. He went on to develop techniques such as free association, dream interpretation, transference and analysis of the id, ego and superego. His popular reputation as father of psychotherapy was established by his use of the distinct term "psychoanalysis", tied to an overarching system of theories and methods, and by the effective work of his followers in rewriting history. Many theorists, including Alfred Adler, Carl Jung, Karen Horney, Anna Freud, Otto Rank, Erik Erikson, Melanie Klein and Heinz Kohut, built upon Freud's fundamental ideas and often developed their own systems of psychotherapy. These were all later categorized as psychodynamic, meaning anything that involved the psyche's conscious/unconscious influence on external relationships and the self. Sessions tended to number into the hundreds over several years.
Behaviorism developed in the 1920s, and behavior modification as a therapy became popularized in the 1950s and 1960s. Notable contributors were Joseph Wolpe in South Africa, M.B. Shipiro and Hans Eysenck in Britain, and John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner in the United States. Behavioral therapy approaches relied on principles of operant conditioning, classical conditioning and social learning theory to bring about therapeutic change in observable symptoms. The approach became commonly used for phobias, as well as other disorders.
Some therapeutic approaches developed out of the European school of existential philosophy. Concerned mainly with the individual's ability to develop and preserve a sense of meaning and purpose throughout life, major contributors to the field (e.g., Irvin Yalom, Rollo May) and Europe (Viktor Frankl, Ludwig Binswanger, Medard Boss, R.D.Laing, Emmy van Deurzen) attempted to create therapies sensitive to common "life crises" springing from the essential bleakness of human self-awareness, previously accessible only through the complex writings of existential philosophers (e.g., Søren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre, Gabriel Marcel, Martin Heidegger, Friedrich Nietzsche). The uniqueness of the patient-therapist relationship thus also forms a vehicle for therapeutic inquiry. A related body of thought in psychotherapy started in the 1950s with Carl Rogers. Based also on the works of Abraham Maslow and his hierarchy of human needs, Rogers brought person-centered psychotherapy into mainstream focus. The primary requirement was that the client be in receipt of three core "conditions" from his counselor or therapist: unconditional positive regard, sometimes described as "prizing" the client's humanity; congruence [authenticity/genuineness/transparency]; and empathic understanding. This type of interaction was thought to enable clients to fully experience and express themselves, and thus develop according to their innate potential. Others developed the approach, like Fritz and Laura Perls in the creation of Gestalt therapy, as well as Marshall Rosenberg, founder of Nonviolent Communication, and Eric Berne, founder of transactional analysis. Later these fields of psychotherapy would become what is known as humanistic psychotherapy today. Self-help groups and books became widespread.
During the 1950s, Albert Ellis originated rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Independently a few years later, psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck developed a form of psychotherapy known as cognitive therapy. Both of these included relatively short, structured and present-focused techniques aimed at identifying and changing a person's beliefs, appraisals and reaction-patterns, by contrast with the more long-lasting insight-based approach of psychodynamic or humanistic therapies. Beck's approach used primarily the socratic method, and links have been drawn between ancient stoic philosophy and these cognitive therapies.
Cognitive and behavioral therapy approaches were increasingly combined and grouped under the umbrella term cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in the 1970s. Many approaches within CBT are oriented towards active/directive yet collaborative empiricism (a form of reality-testing), assessing and modifying core beliefs and dysfunctional schemas. These approaches gained widespread acceptance as a primary treatment for numerous disorders. A "third wave" of cognitive and behavioral therapies developed, including acceptance and commitment therapy and dialectical behavior therapy, which expanded the concepts to other disorders and/or added novel components and mindfulness exercises. Counseling methods developed, including solution-focused therapy and systemic coaching.
Postmodern psychotherapies such as narrative therapy and coherence therapy did not impose definitions of mental health and illness, but rather saw the goal of therapy as something constructed by the client and therapist in a social context. Systemic therapy also developed, which focuses on family and group dynamics-and transpersonal psychology, which focuses on the spiritual facet of human experience. Other orientations developed in the last three decades include feminist therapy, brief therapy, somatic psychology, expressive therapy, applied positive psychology and the human givens approach. A survey of over 2,500 US therapists in 2006 revealed the most utilized models of therapy and the ten most influential therapists of the previous quarter-century.
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