The Psychosocial Therapy Approach (Woods & Hollis, 2000; Woods & Robinson, 1996)

The psychosocial approach is a therapeutic method which focuses on the encounter between an individual and the environment in which he/she operates. This approach is concerned with creating and uncovering resources within the individual, with the goal of helping the individual reach a functioning level that is more satisfactory and complete.

Premises of the Psychosocial Approach:

  • Each individual has the capacity to grow, learn and adapt, and to change their social and physical environment.

  • An emphatic relationship with the therapist can facilitate in detecting and developing an individual’s strengths, creativity and resilience.

  • Significant thoughts and emotions are stored in an individual’s subconscious and an individual’s personality is a dynamic and flexible system of strengths, which influence his/her behavior. 

The Goals of Therapy According to the Psychosocial Approach

  • Reducing distress experienced by the individual.

  • Enhancing the individual’s personal well-being.

  • Recognizing and marking problem areas and the actions that are needed in order to change the situation.

  • Identifying coping resources, strengths and capacities inherent within the individual for coping with the problem at hand.

  • Creating optimal compatibility between the individual and his/her physical and social environment.

Intervention Methods of the Psychosocial Approach:

  • Focusing on the “here and now”: examining the individual’s behavior, emotions and thoughts in the context of the problem being coped with, while utilizing the relationship with the therapist as a touchstone.

  • Observation of dynamic patterns: identifying beliefs, thinking patterns and emotions which have become engrained in the individual and that may influence the problem.

  • Developmental observation: reference to the individual’s family of origin and to early experiences which influence the personality and the current functioning of the individual.

References:

 

Olson, D.H. (2000). Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems. Journal of Family Therapy, 22, 144-167.

 

Woods, M.E., & Hollis, F. (2000). Casework: A psychosocial therapy (5th ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill.

Tel: (49) 0152 37808847

Dr. Uri Shefer Shalev

Psychological Counselling

Schnelsen 

22457 Hamburg, Germany