Supportive Psychotherapy

What Is Supportive Psychotherapy?

Supportive therapy is a type of psychotherapy that utilizes the therapeutic relationship to address symptoms, enhance self-esteem, restore a realistic perception of reality, manage negative impulses and thoughts, and strengthen the capacity to handle life stressors and obstacles. The primary goal of this therapy is to empower the client by valuing their opinions, autonomy, and ability to make decisions.

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The Effectiveness of Supportive Psychotherapy

Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of supportive therapy in addressing a range of emotional and mental health issues. As the therapeutic alliance is a significant factor in successful psychotherapy, treatments such as supportive therapy that prioritize building this connection tend to be successful. Supportive therapy is especially suitable for clients who are new to therapy and prefer a less structured therapeutic setting.

How Does supportive therapy work?

Supportive therapy is the most common type of psychotherapy provided to clients engaged in therapy, and is used in almost every therapeutic interaction. It incorporates several intervention techniques, including alliance building, esteem building, skill building, reducing and preventing anxiety, and expanding awareness.

Alliance building involves creating a comfortable, collaborative environment between therapist and client, which can help to build rapport and establish a strong therapeutic relationship. 

Esteem building involves normalizing and reassuring clients’ thoughts and feelings, and providing encouragement to enhance their self-esteem. 

Skill building involves equipping clients with tools and guidance to help them manage life stressors and maximize their adaptive capacities. Reducing and preventing anxiety involves normalizing, rationalizing, and reframing negative thoughts and feelings to help clients cope with anxiety. 

Finally, expanding awareness involves developing insight through clarification, confrontation, and interpretation to help clients achieve breakthrough moments of realization.