Contextual therapies Origin training a contextual therapy therapist

Contextual therapies

Contextual therapies are responsible for providing tools so that you can direct and focus your life with greater flexibility, so that you can make adjustments and balance your experiences depending on the events or your assessment in each case.

Currently, there are different training programs that are quite complete that can lead you to be the therapist you want and, above all, the therapist your patients need.

In this way, you will be able to learn the different models and build an infinity of programs aimed at the prevention and intervention of different behavioral disorders.

Origin of contextual therapies

Seeking scientific and objective solutions to mental disorders, psychotherapy based on the positivist logical model emerges. Its main aim was to cure mental disorders by applying the scientific method .

Previously, it was believed that mental problems were formed only in the mind of sick individuals, but psychology became interested not only in studying the individual, but also in the relational area, including the context.

The greatest advances in this belief system were introduced by the philosopher Martin Buber, highlighting the idea that reality is composed of relationships. For the time being, individual therapies were commonplace, recognizing their limits, specifically in psychotic patients.

In 1957, the Institute of Psychiatry in Philadelphia, directed by the psychiatrist Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy, started a research project on family therapies. Thanks to these studies, Boszormenyi-Nagy is considered the father of contextual therapy and his work emphasizes the union of generations, interpersonal relationships and processes of the psyche.

Thought-integrating cognitive models for the treatment of mental disorders have advanced since their inception, and during studies over the last twenty years, it has been demonstrated that therapeutic models should not remain static, as people need treatments that respond to the needs of society. , and therefore context-specific therapies are needed.

Contextual or third-generation therapies offer a new perspective on the treatment and representation of mental disorders , that is, psychological problems in general.

What are contextual therapies

Contextual therapies, which are also known as third generation, are responsible for examining people’s behavior in the context they are in , instead of separating them from it. This means examining what a person values, what they say and how they say it, including an analysis of each individual’s verbal behavior when interacting with others.

To better predict a patient’s behavior, psychotherapists must understand the context that affects their behavior and, in this way, provide effective treatment therapies. Specifically, contextual therapy seeks an understanding of the meaning behind people’s emotions, actions and thoughts where context is included as a parameter.

radical behaviorism

Some authors claim that contextual therapies are direct descendants of radical behaviorism, however, agreeing with this statement would be reductionist, since it implies that the postulates of third-generation therapies are the same as those of Skinner.

Third-generation therapies include scientific discoveries that have demonstrated results in the psychotherapeutic area to determine the effect of context and its elements on behavior. These psychotherapeutic interventions precisely examine the differences between reality and the reality constructed by each person .

Thus, contextual therapy has a philosophical charge, and focuses largely on topics such as forgiveness, morality, justice and ethicsIt also includes healing across generations , leading to reconciliation and recognition.

It also seeks to reconcile these aspects that are in dissonance and direct them to a cure , either the pain they cause or to improve the patient’s relationship with his surroundings. All people and things involved in the process are referred to by the term contextual.

What are contextual therapies

In contextual therapy, four aspects of interaction are considered: facts, behavioral interactions, individual psychology, and ethical considerations related to relationships. There are many exponents of contextual therapy, however, the main therapeutic models include:

  • Dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT) : this therapy aims to reduce patients’ self-defeating behaviors and thoughts. It was developed primarily to treat borderline personality disorder. This method seeks to relieve emotional pain, perform reality checks and maintain mindfulness as it promotes tolerance.
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) : is one of the most studied models within relational examples, based on a broad philosophical theory that is the basis for this type of psychotherapy. It seeks to define the personal values ​​of individuals and how to accept events.
  • Mindfulness -based therapy : this therapy suggests that we need to radically accept the present moment, highlighting that we must actively select our experiences, whether unsatisfactory or painful, allowing individuals to operate in the here and now. This therapy prevents thoughts about the past or the future from taking hold of the mind, in order to be able to decide in the present moment.
  • Functional analytical psychotherapy : this therapy focuses on the psychotherapeutic relationship. Its focus is on the patient’s relationship with their psychotherapist and the learning opportunities that arise within the sessions. In this therapy model, changing certain behaviors depends on the close relationship that is created between patient and therapist.

Do you want to train as a contextual therapy therapist?

In this area you will get to know theoretical and practical fundamentals, with a wide possibility of training through master’s and postgraduate courses. As we have already indicated, the most outstanding option is the university master’s degree in contextual therapies that the European University offers, which has an online modality with live classes and takes place over a period of 12 months .

You will be able to learn about aspects such as communication and listening skills that are used in contextual therapies, the techniques and strategies that are used, the theoretical framework on which they are based and the intervention in individual patients and in groups. At the end, professional practices are carried out and later, they obtain an official title issued by this study center.

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