The purpose of psychotherapy is change

This page presents five therapeutic models of change that increase our ability to choose successful responses to stress, anxiety and depression. Seasoned therapists know there is no one best model of change and therefore combine and blend different strategies from the different models.

Cognitive Behavioral Model

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has its roots in traditional therapy but instead of focusing on childhood origins, it seeks to identify and change the thinking and behaving that is maintaining the stress, anxiety or depression. Together cognitive and behavioral interventions are a powerful way to identify and change our patterns, the predictable and consistent style and manner in which we think, feel, act, cope and defend ourselves.

Emphasizes the power of our beliefs and the content of what we are thinking about our world, our future and ourselves.

  • When we identify and change our outmoded or negative thinking we won’t be stressed anxious or depressed.


  • Emphasizes identifying our behaviors or actions that lead to stress, anxiety or depression.
  • Focus is on the function or the why of the behavior or what one does and the contexts within which the behaviors occur

Psychodynamic Model

The Psychodynamic Model of changing thinking, feeling and behaving emphasizes:

  • Gaining insight into unconscious beliefs and behaviors.
  • Completing stages of personal development.
  • History influencing present circumstances, especially family of origin.
  • Experiential interventions to uncover irrational beliefs and behaviors.
  • Change the past that is still alive now and not to keep going back to it once it is done.
  • Experiential tools and processes are time limited and once the job is done to get on with life fully in the present.

Relational Model

The Relational Model of changing thinking, feeling and behaving emphasizes:

  • That in any human interaction cognitive, emotional, behavioral, environmental and social factors are reciprocally at play with each other.
  • The psychodynamic idea that people repeat developmental phases. This compulsion to repeat the drama of the past is an unconscious drive to finish it.
  • Couples unite with individuals with similar family of origin histories and replay their childhood drama with their partner.
  • To intervene in this drama individuals must learn how to effectively communicate with themselves and each other.
  • The primary communication tool is DIALOGUE, which teaches individuals to really listen, reflect, validate and summarize what the other is saying.
  • By dialoguing the parties facilitate a simultaneous solving of the issue in the present and healing of the unfinished childhood business.
  • By changing the communication, or the relating dynamics, the couple helps each other to respond cognitively, behaviorally and emotionally in the present rather than blurring it with the past.

Hypnotherapy Model

Hypnotherapy is simply psychotherapy aided by hypnotic interventions. As such there is no stand alone hypnotherapy model but rather various schools of psychotherapy using hypnosis to bring about therapeutic change. It is presented here as a model for clarity. The hypnotherapy model of changing thinking, feeling and behaving emphasizes:

  • The psychodynamic concepts of the unconscious and the repression or forgetting of painful memories.
  • The use of hypnosis to uncover past events that are influencing the present.
  • Using hypnosis to change how your brain interprets situations by altering perceptions, actions and feelings.
  • The use of hypnosis to train the mind and body to respond with relaxation.
  • Trance states are natural and people are in and out of trance throughout the day.
  • The induction of trance states through suggestion, imagination, motivation, dissociation, and role-playing.

Energy Model

Psychological problems manifest behaviorally, cognitively, emotionally, relationally, chemically and neurologically. Traditional psychotherapeutic change strategies focus on identifying and modifying the dysfunctional actions, thinking, feeling, relating, chemistry or neurology. Energy psychology emphasizes:

  • Whatever way the problems manifest they exist in a field of energy.
  • A disruption in the body’s energy system leads to negative emotions.
  • There is no attempt to treat the problem the way it manifests but rather to rather to balance the energy system.
  • The energy system is brought back into balance by stimulating energy points on the skin with specified mental activities.

Stimulating energy points can instantly shift your brain’s electrochemistry to change limited thinking, feeling and behaving.

  • Help overcome unwanted emotions such as fear, guilt, shame, jealousy, or anger,
  • Help change unwanted habits and behavior and
  • Enhance your abilities to love, succeed, and enjoy life.