The different Types of Psychology Theories

The different types of psychology theories

Although many potential patients are unaware of the different types of psychology theories that will affect their treatment, the structure of theories is solidly based upon research and experience shown in the development of the psychological needs of human beings.

The recognizable theories that people may be familiar with are the following:


These are well established forms of psychological theory and taking one at a time and putting them into some sense of practical form will help those seeking understanding to realize the appropriate use of the different kinds of theories as related to one individual over another.

Psychoanalytical approach.

This approach assumes certain behavior patterns and works within the framework of those patterns to establish results. Taking a adult patient back through their lives to discover the roots of their problems is not uncommon, and the psychoanalytical approach depends on an element of trust between patient and analyst in order to put logical meaning and defined goals into perspective, so that the patient can grasp a better understanding of the way in which their past plays a part in their present. The emphasis is on the internal thoughts and subconscious behavior of the patient and works on a number of negative aspects within the life of the patient such as:

*Lack of self esteem
*Lack of belonging
*Lack of self confidence

This kind of treatment takes on many different theories and treatment practices, and encompasses dream therapy and free association, taking into account the traditional studies of Freud, Jung, Erikson, etc., which are researched approaches to people displaying the problems outlined above.


If you were to look at studies such as those of Pavlov in establishing the behavior patterns of dogs, this same kind of classic conditioning can be performed extremely successfully with the human mind. Here, patterns of behavior can be tamed or worked on and the rewards reaped may be token ones like reaching goals, though are non the less reinforcing in their effects sufficiently to stem behavior which is unacceptable. Here, there is a very clever balancing act for the psychologist to adjust to with each patient, since particularly circumstances and the complexity of the human mind mean that adjusting goals in individual cases may be necessary to achieve results.

Cognitive theory

Gestalt worked on the theory of cognitive reward and change, and here it was proven that a patient can gain from the knowledge that they are presented with, something like a computer processes information. Stimuli are introduced which reap reward. Unlike Pavlov’s method, cognitive theory is more subtle in that the patient’s judgment of given situations is stimulated to a better understanding and moral reasoning achieved. Piaget’s studies also have their part to play in the theory of cognitive treatment, in that he established the limits of children to learn by cognitive method. His research was a lifetime of work that culminated in a recognition that intuitive and recognition skills helped certain ages of children in their learning development. By looking at the whole situation that affects the patient, rather than one aspect of it, cognitive theory using the research and development of beliefs proven by Beck, hand in hand with other theories that take a similar pattern, this treatment is used to correct those areas of thought where perceptions are perhaps not standard or logical.

Interactive theory.

Interactive theory is used in the treatment of those patients who cannot respond in a way that is perceived as normal to the influence of other people. Here, the interaction takes place between patients and in many instances, the use of groups help the psychologist to observe the behavior patterns shown by patients in their interaction with others. Interactive therapy takes many forms apart from group meetings and discussions. It takes patients into social environment and helps them to analyze their behavior patterns and responses to others. Interactive theory would include many other aspects of interaction within a hospital environment when the patient is confined. Here, studying their ability to work with others, encouraging them to take part in ergo-therapy projects and to interact in sporting events or outings is not uncommon.

Again, with interactive theory, the aim is to reward those behaviors that improve the quality of life and encourage the positive over the negative. Role playing also comes under the heading of interactive where patients are put in hypothetical situations in order to gain a better understanding and to increase their ability to absorb those actions which are regarded as positive, building up confidence and wellbeing.

Human beings are complex and whichever kind of psychological theory is employed, the goal of all kinds of theories is to make the human feel more capable and complete, confident and able to live a rewarding life.