CBT, Person Centered Therapy and Gestalt Therapies are three theoretical models that have been applied in psychotherapy for many years. Despite their similarities and use in counselling, the three theoretical models hold distinct differences from each other. These differences are realized especially in regard to the assumptions, the goals of each, therapeutic relationship, key techniques of each and limitations (Corey 2009).
Being one of the most preferred theoretical models in counselling, CBT has demonstrated explicit justifications as well as definite rates of success in most of the instances where it has been applied (Brewin 1989). The diversity of its applications in major ...view middle of the document...
Gestalt Therapy, on the other hand, emerged in the 20th century. As described by Fall & Holden (2010), Gestalt therapy "grew from a reaction to classical psychoanalysis that permeated the psychological community of the early twentieth century" (p. 201). "Developed in the 1940's by Frederick "Fritz" Perls, Gestalt Therapy focused on cultivating growth rather than pathological remediation," (Fall & Holden 2010, p 202). Actual psychological experiences are the major emphasis of the gestalt therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Person-Centered Therapy and Gestalt Therapy have differing underpinning assumptions that make each therapy distinct. CBT assumes that the occurrence of behavioral and emotional problems in most individuals is due to the nature of people incorporating faulty thinking (Dryden & Bond 2000). CBT also assumes that the manner in which individuals perform and believe is determined and influenced by individual cognition. The counselling is therefore focused towards the cognition and behavior of the individual (Ingram & Siegle 2000). During CBT, the importance of decision making, thought, questioning and action is stressed. CBT assumes that counselling is a process that entails learning, acquisition of novel talents as well as learning new coping mechanisms for common psychological and emotional problems (Corey 2009, Stallard 2002).
In person centered therapy, it is assumed that humans are positive and due to this positivity, they tend to be inclined towards the achievement of complete functionality of both their bodies and minds (VanKalmthout 1998). In applying this model in counselling, it is assumed that the immediate experiences in an individual have occurred due to lack of past awareness about the problems. The theory has it that after therapy, the individual will possess actualization that will impact on his or her potential to move from being unaware to being aware of his or her feelings, and will have self-trust and think positively in relation to his or her life (Rennie 1998).
Gestalt Therapy assumes that for an individual to achieve personal wholeness in terms of thinking, feelings as well as behavior, they have to work hard (Brownell 2010). This theory assumes that if an individual is allowed to flashback on past experiences, they will be able to relate them to the present experiences and then connect the two. Fall & Holden (2010) claim this model of counselling utilizes an experiential advance that holds its grounds on the immediate experiences therefore emphasizing on individual responsibilities as well as choices.
Goals of Therapy
The three theoretical models possess different goals. CBT challenges individuals to face the behaviors, norms, and beliefs that affect their psychological and emotional health (Dryden & Bond 2000). CBT also encourages clients to be more aware of their thoughts therefore encouraging clients to change their feelings (Vacc & Loesch 2000).