NY PSYCHOLOGISTS   |    27 W 86 Street,  Suit 1C,  New York, NY 10024     |    Phone: 917-309-3325 

  <Back to articles page
  Therapy-Practical Applications
Written By: Dr. Levinson
  The following article is intended to provide you with a general, broad outlook on a very deep and elaborative field. To further educate and enrich yourself, please research any of the underlined or/and capitalized terms.



Psychoanalysis is usually long- term treatment that its positive effect may last years after the completion of therapy. This type of treatment works best for people who tend to benefit from insight as a method that facilitates change and personal development.

In order to provide greater intensity and continuity of the analytic process, patients usually attend frequent sessions a week. In many cases, they use the couch, which enables further self-reflection in a more privet atmosphere.

The psychoanalyst knows to detect the multi-level layers of the patient’s psyche. This special analyst/ patient dyad is designed to Work Through repressed inner conflicts, so that the patient could begin the healing process. One fundamental assumption of psychoanalysis is the process of: Repetition Compulsion. That is, the ways the patient conducts herself in the world, would surface up and be repeated in therapy.

Through analytical interpretation and confrontation, repressed materials are brought up and examined in a conscious level. This allows the patient greater freedom of choice, under controlled level.

Also, interpretation of the patient’s maladaptive Defense- Mechanisms and how it causes suffering (e.g. hysteria, anxiety), are analyzed. Through a technique known as Free-Association, where the patient says whatever comes to her mind, without being censured, behaviors and ways of relating are “transferred” onto the analyst. This is called: Analytic Transference. The analyst constantly interprets and confronts the patient with transference relationships. This process foster introspection on ones' behaviors, drives, and unfulfilled needs.
In addition to interpretation of Transference and Repetition Compulsion, other therapeutic methods include: Dream Interpretation- which Freud called the: "Royal Road to the Unconscious"; interpretation of faulty acts -Freudian Slips and mistakes; Analysis of Symbols - Freud believed that most of such symbols are sexual in nature.


Behavior Therapy is based upon the principles of Classical Conditioning (developed by Pavlov) and Operant Conditioning (developed by Skinner). It aims to treat psychopathology through techniques designed to reinforce desired behaviors and eliminate/ lessen undesired behaviors. Behavior Modification-replaces undesirable behaviors with more desirable ones through Positive and/ or Negative Reinforcement. It is used to treat a variety of mental-disorders, both in adults and children.

Widely Used Behavior Modification Techniques Include:

1. Positive Reinforcement: Encourages certain behaviors through a system of rewards. It is common for the therapist, together with the patient, to draw up a Therapeutic Contract, establishing the conditions of the reward system.

2. Extinction: Eliminates the reward when unwanted behavior takes place. Time-Out is a parenting technique based on extinction. Thus, the misbehaved child is separated from the wanted group and does not get parental attention.

3. Punishment: Aversive stimulus given in reaction to a particular, unwanted behavior. For children, this could be the removal of their weekly allowance when they disobey their teacher or parent.

4. Exposure & Response Prevention: Exposing the person to the feared situation and preventing her from performing pathological behavior. For example, preventing an obsessive hand-washer from washing his hands.

5. Systematic Desensitization: The person learns to relax while imagining gradually more and more fearful situations. Works best for treating Phobias.

6. Flooding/ Immersion Therapy: The person learns to tolerate feared objects or situations through exposure to a high level of that stimulus. Gradually she/he adjusts to the stimulus and the fear is lessened. Works best for treating Phobias.

Behavior Modifications Have Been Clinically Proven To Be Successful In Treating:
• Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
• Attention-Deficit/Hyper Activity Disorder (ADHD)
• Enuresis (bed-wetting)
• Separation Anxiety Disorder
• Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
• Phobias
• Sexual Dysfunctions/ Addictions


Finally, other specific therapeutic techniques such as: Intensive Behavioral Intervention, Token Economies, and Social skills Training, also have empirical support, particularly for Schizophrenic patients.

*Behavior Analysis is often used as a therapeutic technique to help children with Autism and Developmental Delays to acquire new skills.

*Dialectical Behavioral Therapy-work best for Borderline Personality Disorder. It is a combination of Behavior Modification Techniques with Eastern Techniques, such as Meditation.


Cognitive psychology is concerned with how people acquire, process and store information; and Cognitive Therapy is geared toward tapping on these aspects of personality.
It is an active- directive, talk psychotherapy proven to be effective in many clinical studies. It falls under the category of “Best Practices”. The term Best Practices is defined as most effective approaches to therapeutic take. In other words, Cognitive Psychologists work with techniques that are based on scientific evidence.

Practical Applications Include:

• Improve memory

• Ways to increase Decision-Making Accuracy when coping with Depression & Anxiety. Beck's therapeutically applications include: Challenging mental distortions by testing them with the patient, through Socratic Questionings that are design to analyze distorted reasoning. Beck named this type of reality testing: Collaborative Empiricism.
It facilitates focusing on reality and interpreting it, based on environmental facts rather than on logical errors.

•  Marital Therapy Based on-Bandura's Social Learning Theory. It has been applied to Family Therapy and Marital Therapy. The therapist often models healthy communication and interpersonal behaviors for the couple. For example, in marital therapy, typical methods include: Contracts stipulating specific behavioral changes, Communication skills training & Directive advice regarding solutions to problems.

Also, Bandura's-Social Learning Theory has been applied to Child -Management. Emphasis is put on behavioral methodology, modeling, as well as on communication and problem-solving skills.

•  Ways to Structure Educational Curricula to Enhance Learning:

1. Based on Vygotsky's theory-- attention is given to various aspects of Adult-Child Dialogue, in order to maximize learning and language -development. Important to note that the concept of: “Scaffolding”, became a prevalent and popular educational assessment method.
It provides the test-taker with assistance (Scaffolding) during the test process, in order to determine the effects of doing so.

2. Based on Piaget's theory--Cognitive Psychologists identify specific adaptive environmental stimuli that would enhance and maximize the cognitive process of: Assimilating and Accommodating information into child's existing cognitive schema.


Humanistic Psychologist must convey the following qualities for therapy to be successful:

• Unconditional Positive Regard
• Empathy
• Genuineness
• Congruence

The psychologist uses methods of the clients’ subjective, conscious experiences. Humanistic psychologists focus more on the “Here and Now”- on what the client is experiencing in the present time. Also, specific methods and goals are established toward Self-Actualization.

Theraputical Applications in Psychotherapy Include:

Client-Centered Therapy
Education: Student-Centered Learning
Organizations & Corporate Group Settings

Works Best For:

Healthy Individuals who want to reach their full potential

Various types of Neurosis & Insecurities (e.g. Low Self-Esteem)



Our Psychologists Our Services Articles Testimonials Contact Us Dr. Levinson Dr. Franzone

Dr. Nereo

Design by www.CarmeliStudio.com - "Art From The Heart"