Key Differences Between The Therapeutic Approaches

Psychotherapeutic Approaches

Psychotherapy involves talking between the psychotherapist and the mentally-ill patient to help treat the mental disorder. The approaches explore the person’s thoughts, feelings, moods, and behaviors to identify the alterations and help the patient decide to change and control the issue. These approaches focus on the behaviors or thought patterns of the affected individuals and try to adjust them to live a normal life and have the ability to perform activities of daily living. Some therapeutic approaches include; cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy, motivational interviewing (MI), Gestalt therapy, and person-centered therapy.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a therapeutic approach that focuses on an individual’s thoughts, emotions, and behavior. The aim is to change the negative thoughts which influence mood and emotions. These negative thoughts also affect the person’s behavior. CBT is used to identify strategies to help people overcome negative thoughts by learning how the thoughts lead to maladaptive behaviors. Some strategies include practicing new skills to avoid negative thoughts and situations. The primary goal of CBT is to help people understand that they can control their perceptions of different situations, recognize unrealistic thoughts and alter them (Hara, 2021).

Interpersonal psychotherapy is a therapeutic approach to help individuals establish good interpersonal relationships and function well socially by reducing their distress. It helps people know how to relate with others. It differs from other therapeutic approaches because it focuses on behaviors related to relationships rather than internal conflicts. This technique aims to help change relationship patterns and address relationship difficulties that worsen mental disorders such as depression or anxiety (Duffy et al., 2019).

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a type of counseling that assist in resolving ambivalent sentiments and insecurities to uncover the inner desire needed by the person to change his behavior. The strategy considers how tough it is to make life adjustments. The role of the interviewer is to encourage the person to talk about their desire to change and the motivation they have towards the change. The interviewer initiates a discussion about transformation and the commitment toward the change. After listening to the person, the interviewer reflects on the client’s thoughts and words so that the person can hear another person communicate the reasons for change and motivations back to them. The aim is to help people make positive behavior changes from harmful behaviors, preventing them from changing to healthier behaviors (Hara, 2021).

Gestalt therapy is a psychotherapy technique that focuses on the present person’s experiences rather than past situations. The method shows the importance of knowing one’s life and taking responsibility rather than placing blame. Through this process, individuals understand the negative thoughts and behaviors that block their self-awareness. The strategy focuses on current experience and helps find the appropriate solution in the present time. The individual is asked to re-enact something which happened in the past and discuss how the situation feels in the present. With the understanding of the emotional self, the person can develop the confidence to face life experiences and live a whole life (Raffagnino, 2019).

Person-centered therapy is a session where people are assisted in perceiving their conscious selves. In this therapy, a person is seen to have the ability to develop to their full potential. However, their full potential can be influenced by their sense of value. The therapist helps the person understand their feelings, realize their sense of worth, and trigger their inner values, which enable them to progress to self-actualization. The therapist acts as a supporter (Raffagnino, 2019).

Role of PMHNP

A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) has the authority to diagnose patients and prescribe medications depending on the type of mental illness. The PMHNP is also involved in psychotherapy using psychotherapeutic approaches. In my future PMHNP practice, I would include psychotherapeutic approaches by first assessing the mentally-ill patients and selecting those that require psychotherapy. With the selected patients, I would evaluate the mental disorder of every patient and use the most appropriate approach to handle the patient since different mental illnesses are treated using different psychotherapeutic approaches (Wesemann, 2019). For example, the best strategy for a person with panic disorder is cognitive-behavioral therapy to help them cope with the situations that cause a panic attack.

I would also combine other forms of treatment with psychotherapy to improve the patients’ outcomes. I would ensure that every patient I assess has undergone psychotherapy using the appropriate psychotherapeutic approach to improve their outcome. I would also advocate for using the different psychotherapeutic approaches as a norm in the facility. Young adults are the most appropriate population group to use these psychotherapeutic approaches. They are transiting from teenagehood to adult life. Therefore, they face many challenges that may force some to substance abuse. They even experience many mental disorders such as depression because of the transition process. They have many life goals to achieve and plans. Therefore, they can easily change with support from a psychotherapist using different psychotherapeutic approaches (Lee et al., 2020).

In conclusion, psychotherapy utilizes different approaches to treat various mental disorders. They include motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and Geldtalt therapy. A PMHNP can use these approaches in treating other mental illnesses. They can also advocate for their integration into daily practice. Young adults are the best people to use psychotherapy on since they face many challenges during a life transition.


Duffy, F., Sharpe, H., & Schwannauer, M. (2019). The effectiveness of interpersonal psychotherapy for adolescents with depression–a systematic review and meta‐analysis. Child And Adolescent Mental Health, 24(4), 307-317.

Hara, K. M. (2021). Comparing Therapist Responsivity to Resistance Markers in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy and Motivational Interviewing Integrated with Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for Generalized Anxiety. Retrieved 5th April 2022 from

Lee, C. M., Cadigan, J. M., & Rhew, I. C. (2020). Increases in loneliness among young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic and association with increases in mental health problems. Journal of Adolescent Health, 67(5), 714-717.

Raffagnino, R. (2019). Gestalt therapy effectiveness: A systematic review of empirical evidence. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 7(6), 66-83. DOI: 10.4236/jss.2019.76005

Wesemann, D. (2019). Maximizing the Use of Psychotherapy With PMHNP:: A Call to Action for Nurse Leaders. Nurse Leader, 17(6), 537-541.

Do you need help with your nursing paper, assignments or nursing essay? Worry no more, we have expert nursing writers with years of experience. We offer professional nursing writing services at affordable prices.