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What is psychotherapy
Wikipedia defines psychotherapy as the "use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction, to help a person change behavior and overcome problems in desired ways". So put in other words, psychotherapy is an application of theoretical perspectives on psychology in helping people deal with their problems, challenges or disorders.
This is when the rubber meets the road regarding the effectiveness of psychological approaches. By practicing psychotherapy, you have an opportunity to check if a theoretical approach and understanding of human nature according to a particular model actually helps people improve and enhance their lives. In practicing psychotherapy, you can practice from the standpoint of one theoretical model or combine theoretical approaches to create an integrative therapy that is cohesive with your personality. When you draw from a particular model, you do not use only techniques and interventions. Adhering to a specific theory of psychotherapy implies that you base your understanding of human nature, basic human needs, and mechanism of forming of psychological difficulties, on the worldview of this philosophy. For example, if you want to be psychoanalytic, you need to believe that human behavior is primarily motivated by unconscious factors that need to be understood and brought to light. If you want to be an existential counselor, you need to believe that all humans share basic conditions such as choice, self-determination, and freedom and responsibility to give direction to one’s own life.
That’s why at the beginning of your psychotherapy course you get introduced to different theories of psychotherapy to be able to define which one of them is more compatible with your own personality. For this reason, at the beginning of your psychotherapy course, you will most likely get assignments focused on in-depth analysis of one therapeutic system, case studies of disorders with interventions based on the particular therapeutic methods, or research papers contrasting two or more therapeutic approaches in treating specific diseases or dealing with questions such as individual choice, the role of unconsciousness in behavior, the influence of environment and social factors, etc. Some of the most common topics of research papers on psychotherapy focus on analyzing particular models of psychotherapy and the work of their founders.
Topics of psychotherapy research papers and essays by theoretical models
Psychodynamic approaches to psychotherapy.
- Psychoanalytic therapy. Sigmund Freud. Ericson's Psychosocial stages of development. Modern trends in psychoanalysis: object-relations theory, self psychology, and relational psychoanalysis. Carl Jung and his contribution to the understanding of the human psyche.
- Adlerian therapy. Alfred Alder and Rudolf Dreikurs. The difference of Adlerian therapy from psychoanalysis.
Existential and relationship-oriented therapies.
- Existential therapy (Viktor Frankl, Rollo May, Irvin Yalom). Influence of existential philosophy on existential therapists. Role of joining in existential therapy.
- Person-centered therapy (Carl Rogers, Natalie Rogers). View of human nature and self-actualization in humanistic therapies.
- Gestalt therapy (Fritz and Laura Perls, Miriam and Erving Polster). Gestalt therapy as a reaction against analytic therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral approaches
- Behavior therapy (B.F.Skinner, Arnold Lazarus, Albert Bandura). Resolution of behavioral problems through learning and conditioning. Application of behavioral therapies to treating people with PTSD, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, aggressive behaviors, etc.
- Cognitive behavior therapy (A.T.Beck, Donald Meichenbaum). Impact of thoughts and beliefs on human behavior.
- Rational Emotive behavior therapy (Albert Ellis). Role of thinking and belief systems in forming personal problems.
- Reality therapy (William Glasser, Robert Wubbolding). Choice theory. Short-term treatment based on choice.
Systems and postmodern approaches
- Feminist therapy (Jean Baker Miller, Carolyn Zerbe Enns, Olivia Espin, Laura Brown). Impact of sociopolitical status and social expectations on women's’ identity development, self-concept, and well-being.
- Postmodern approaches. Solution-focused brief therapy by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg. Narrative therapy by Michael White and David Epston. Impact of socially constructed truth on self-concept and personal well-being.
- Family systems therapy (Murray Bowen, Virginia Satir, Carl Whitaker, Salvador Minuchin, Jay Haley, Cloe Madanes). Impact on systems and interpersonal interaction on individual behavior.
Topics of analytical and applied psychotherapy research papers
Some other research papers aim at analyzing different approaches and apply them to specific situations. Most popular essay topics in this section are:
- Case studies of patients with the elaboration of treatment according to a particular theory of psychotherapy.
- Different therapeutic approaches to group therapy
- Compare and contrast contemporary therapeutic systems (two or more) in regards of conceptions of self, free will, personal choice, the role of the unconscious, the role of dreams in therapy, analysis of past, the importance of insight in healing, behavior modification versus self-empowerment, the impact of the environment on cognition and behavior.
- Multicultural approaches
- Integrative approaches of psychotherapy: use of multiple systems and techniques in personalizing counseling.
- Modification of therapeutic strategies based on a client’s cultural background.
Topics on new developments in psychotherapy
Still, other research paper topics are concerned with new developments in the field of psychotherapy and challenges in the counseling profession:
- Use of technologies and mobile applications in psychotherapy
- Review of a specific app as an additional treatment tool of a particular disorder.
- Ethical questions in counseling practice
- Impact of the counselor’s values on the therapeutic process
- Conceptions of self in Western and Eastern psychology
- Family therapy of culturally diverse families
- Use of drugs and biological methods in psychotherapy.
- Working with involuntary clients
- Developing a personal style of counseling
Topics of psychotherapy essays by disorder
Finally, many research papers analyze the effectiveness of the use of psychotherapy in dealing with particular disorders, such as:
- Anxiety disorders
- Substance abuse and addiction disorders
- Internet addiction
- Bipolar disorder
- Disassociative disorders
- Eating disorders
- Borderline personality disorder, and others.
What it means to be a student of psychotherapy and counseling
Psychotherapy and counseling are very applied specializations. Your objective in college is not just to understand theoretical concepts and approaches, your task is to use this theoretical knowledge in working with real people. Your ability to understand people’s problems, be present, be empathetic and non-judgemental, be attentive and analytical, understand the nature of their difficulties and be able to choose appropriate techniques and interventions that will suit their individual situations, is what will make you a good therapist. For this, you will need to do a lot of reading and then practicing with people to apply your knowledge in real situations. Most likely, first you will be present at therapeutic sessions. It’s very desirable for you to be subjected to personal therapy to be able to work out your own issues, see how this process works and be able to better connect with your clients. Then you will be assisting a therapist in counseling meetings and will progress from being a co-counselor, facilitator, to a professional who will conduct therapy on their own.
As you see, the ability to write academic papers is not a crucial part of the process of your becoming a good therapist. Unfortunately, academic papers and used too often to evaluate your knowledge and skills.
Psychotherapy research papers and essays
We have many clients who are studying psychotherapy and counseling because they have excellent people skills and want to help people. Ability to connect to people, listen emphatically, understand their problems and guide them through the process of self-discovery, insight or merely addressing their issues with techniques and interventions is what makes a good psychotherapist. Many of these people, though, are not very good in the process of formal writing.
The profession of psychotherapist does not require to be an eloquent or scientific writer. You will need to take notes about your sessions, sometimes you will need to write letters to your clients (as is practiced in narrative therapy), but that’s pretty much the extent of the writing required from you in real life. In college, however, essay writing is something your teachers judge your understanding and expertise by. Even if you understand the subject and are very good at connecting to people, you will not score very well in your psychotherapy class unless you write well.
Writing well means having the ability to research your topic using reliable scholarly sources, analyze material, lay down your knowledge on the subject, express your ideas clearly, connect the dots between different pieces of research, make proper conclusions, adhere to the academic formal style and citation formats of your school, present correct references, have excellent grammar, spelling, and punctuation. For many students, these requirements are overwhelming, even if they are quite good at using psychotherapeutic techniques and methods of intervention. Many people have problems in their psychotherapy class just because their writing keeps them behind. Other people are not used to the academic writing style and formal language requirements. If only we could be evaluated based on the skills that we will actually use in our profession!
Psychotherapy essay and research paper writing service
If you are one of the people who have difficulties with the psychology essay writing process, there is a way out of this conundrum. We’re here to help you with your academic writing tasks. We can handle the research, draft preparation, writing, editing and proofreading for you, depending on your particular requirements and ability to be involved in the writing process. We can collaborate with you, base our paper on the materials that you want to be included, incorporate your ideas and recommendations. Your essay will be handled by writers who are graduate students in psychology, so it will have a proper theoretical understanding and demonstrate a good mastery of the subject.
Features of a good psychotherapy paper
A high-quality essay or research paper on psychotherapy should
- be well researched
- demonstrate an understanding of basic contemporary therapeutic systems
- should explicitly answer the research question without digressions into irrelevant areas
- present the well-researched arguments supporting the thesis
- be simple, clear and concise
- be based on academic, scholarly sources
- be appropriately referenced per particular citation style: APA, Harvard, or other
- be 100% original with no copy-pasted materials
- contain proper citations to all discussed ideas
- use relevant academic and scholarly terms
- have a clear structure, correct grammar, spelling and punctuation
- be analytical and scientific
If you need such a paper written for your psychotherapy class, you are in the right place!
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