Therapy Lingo

List of Counseling Theories

By: Shrinklady aka Dr. Susan LaCombe
Updated: November 2016

Dr. LaCombe aka Shrinkady With the current list of counseling treatments standing at over 300, it's a tough job to keep up to date. Here's a list of terms often used in reference to popular theories.

Be aware that they are not organized in order of importance. Some of these might be better categorized as "techniques" but I have included them as they give you an idea of how broad the field is and how many options are available to you.


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Art Therapy

Behaviour Therapy

Attachment Therapy

Body Based Psychotherapies (Mind Body or Somatic Therapies)

Bioenergetic Analysis Therapy

Brief Therapy

Client Centered Therapy (or Rogerian)

Cognitive Analytic Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Coherence Therapy

Dance Therapy

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Drama Therapy

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy

Emotional Freedom Techniques

Existential Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitizaiton & Reprocessing Therapy

Family Therapy

Feminist Therapy


Functional Analytic Psychotherapy

Gestalt Therapy

Group Therapy

Humanistic Therapy

Humor Therapy


Internal Family Systems Model

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Jungian Therapy

Marital and Family Systems Therapy

Multimodal Therapy

Music Therapy

Narrative Therapy

Neurofeedback Therapy

Neurolinguistic Programming

Objects Relations

Pastoral Counseling

Play Therapy

Positive Psychology

Primal Therapy



Rational Emotive Therapy

Reiki Therapy

Reikian Therapy

Rolfing Therapy

Short-Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Solution Focused Therapy

Somatic Psychotherapy  (see Body-Based above)

Systemic Therapy

Transactional Analysis

Transpersonal Psychology

Personal Musings

One of the best ways for learning the craft of counseling is through your own personal therapy.

As an experienced therapist, I know that the biggest factor affecting my effectiveness as a therapist is my ability to recognize when issues are about ME and when they are about my CLIENT.

This is absolutely essential for doing good therapy.

BTW, if you have never tried counseling yourself or find that you need a "refresher" session, nothing could be easier than trying an online therapist.

Try an online therapist - it's easy - feel better now

Did You Know

Counseling is available in most parts of the world. It's known in these countries as:

Spanish - Consejerķa

Chinese - 辅导

Dutch - Counseling

French - Counseling

German - Beratung

Greek - Counseling

Italian - Consulenza

Japanese - カウンセリング

Korean - 상담

Portuguese - Assessoramento

Russian - консультирование

Related Topic

Being a Therapist

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Reader Comments


A wonderful and useful place to get vital information .Found it handy in My Masters In Social Work Counseling Course

Thanks for dropping a note Moses. Shrinklady

Patti (USA)

Graduating in a few weeks as a MFT intern. What you do is so exciting.

Not sure how to start! Patti


It's realy good to gain a kowledge from this page..

walucho sylvester (Eldoret-Rift Valley Province, Kenya)

Am a student at MT.Kenya University taking counseling psychology and your theories has been of great significance to my studies.Thanks for your assistance.

Integrating Mind Body and Spirit (England, UK)

Hello, I'm a trained counsellor and holistic therapist and I'm struggling at the moment on how to work combining both approaches and still get membership to the BACP. I think I should be able to counsel others in a combination approach, working on the mind, body and spirit at the same time, but I believe the BACP classes this as being unethical, due to boundary issues.

How can I get around this to offer the client, whatever they need at the given moment, without having to separate things.



Hello Kal, thanks for your question. It's a good one and especially timely in this day and age.

Could you clarify what organization the BACP is? There's so many regulatory organizations and I want to be sure I'm referencing the right one.

Also, I've got quite back-up of questions so it might be a while before I get back to you on it.

Thanks for visiting MyShrink!



D Ashton (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe)

this is a great site. I am doing developmental psychology and about to write my exams and i have gained alot from you guys thumbs up.

michelle (GASTONIA)

I understand that working as a therapist in any field is very hard.Thanks for the theories it really help me understand the different fields and how u have to take patience and time everyday to succeed in your career.


Oliver (Nairobi, Kenya)

The theories are of great assistance to me,Iam a trainee counsellor in Kenya.



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