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Summary of Psychotherapy
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The psychotherapy which I have selected is interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) which is a time-limited, diagnosis-targeted psychotherapy originally developed for the treatment of major depression in clients who are mentally challenged. Research studies have repeatedly shown its efficacy in treating mood disorders and other psychiatric disorders over the past 40 years. Because IPT is a life event−based treatment that focuses on improving interpersonal functioning, it is very natural to adapt it for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a life event−based illness that affects interpersonal functioning of clients who have had traumatic experiences. Preliminary data have indicated that the efficacy of IPT in alleviating PTSD symptoms is equal to that of prolonged exposure, the best-tested exposure-based treatment (Bleiberg & Markowitz, 2019).
Existential therapy teaches that all persons have the capacity for self-awareness. It is about the fact that as free beings, everyone must accept the responsibility that accompanies freedom. Each person has a uniqueness that can only be known through relationships with others. Each person must continually reinvent himself. The meaning of life and of existence is never fixed; rather, it is dynamic. In addition, it teaches that anxiety is part of the human condition and death is a basic human condition that gives significance to life. Existential therapy focuses on specific concerns rooted in the individual’s existence. The contemporary existential psychotherapist, Irvin Yalom, identifies these concerns asdeath, isolation, freedom,andemptiness (Services, U. S. Department Of Health And Human, 2013).
Strengths and Challenges of Interpersonal and Existential Psychotherapies
On a major strength of Interpersonal psychotherapy is that it works well with PTSD clients who have depression and because it is a life-based treatment plan, it is very natural to adopt and its efficacy cannot be controverted. A challenge to this therapy is that it is mainly for PTSD clients who have mood disorders.
A core strength of the existential therapy is that an individual is a “being in the world” who has biological, social, and psychological needs. Being in the world involves the physical world, the world of relationships with others, and one’s own relationship to self. Another strength is that authentic individual values symbolization, imagination, and judgment and can use these tools to continually create personal meaning. A challenge with the existential therapy is that the therapist finds it difficult to help the client focus on personal responsibility for making decisions and the therapist may integrate some humanistic approaches and techniques which may be challenging as well (Services, U. S. Department Of Health And Human, 2013).
Fictional Client for Interpersonal Psychotherapy
Mr. S.B.J is an Iraqi war veteran who lost his friend in combat. The client reports that his friend was shot and killed while both of them were on the battlefield in Iraq. Many times, the client reports that “I cannot sleep, and I have nightmares when I remember what happened to me and my friend in Iraq. I hate this world and I am sad and depressed. I am not interested in doing anything. I have lost interest in everything which I used to enjoy” (Bleiberg & Markowitz, 2019).
Fictional Client for Existential Therapy
Mr. J.O.B is a drug addict who has a substance abuse disorder. He takes drugs because he is constantly confronted with anxiety. He is faced with taking responsibility and making his own choices to remain substance-free. If he chooses to avoid anxiety through substances, he cannot move forward to find truth and authenticity.
The existential therapist must help the client to make personal decisions about how to live, drawing upon creativity and love, instead of letting outside events determine behavior (Services, U. S. Department Of Health And Human, 2013).
Bleiberg, K. L., & Markowitz, J. C. (2019). Interpersonal psychotherapy for PTSD: Treating trauma without exposure.Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 29(1), 15–22.https://doi.org/10.1037/int0000113
Services, U. S. Department Of Health And Human. (2013). Substance abuse treatment and family therapy: Treatment improvement protocol. Place of publication not identified: Lulu Com.