Therapy Types

Evidence-Based Therapy Types

Psychologists at Sunshine Coast Psychology Services use evidence-based therapies to suit the individual’s needs.  We create a non-judgemental environment for Clients to share personal feelings and situations and have a postive regard for our Clients.  We often get asked what types of therapies we use and whilst we are skilled in many therapy types, we try and identify what may best suit the client’s needs.  Whilst the following summary of therapy types is not comprehensive, hopefully it may provide a guide for Clients.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is used to promote the clients’ desired change and the development of self-awareness and self-observation.  We help our clients’s gain insight into patterns of perceiving, reasoning, information processing and problem solving. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is effective for the treatment of a variety of conditions, including mood, anxiety, personality, eating, substance abuse and psychotic disorders.

The principle of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is that changing unhelpful thinking leads to change in affect and in behaviour. We use CBT techniques to help individuals challenge their patterns and beliefs and replace thinking errors such as over generalising, negative thoughts, minimizing positives and catastrophising with more realistic and effective thoughts, thus decreasing emotional distress and reducing unhelpful behaviours.  It helps individuals replace unhelpful thought patterns with more constructive reasoning, by challenging those thought patterns and the way they responds to particular behaviours.  It includes a number of techniques such as exposure therapy and commitment therapy.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy

We additionally utilise Solution Focused Brief Therapy or Solution Focused Therapy which is a brief goal-focused type of therapy which focuses on what clients want to achieve through their counselling or psychological consultations, rather than focusing just on the problem.  We assist the client to focus on the present or the future rather than on the past in order to help the client achieve the goals of their therapy.  The psychologist assists the client to imagine their preferred future and then identifies how the client could move towards their goals.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing is a person-centred non-judgemental counselling style which is used to assist the client enhance their motivation for change.  This approach attempts to increase the client’s awareness of the potential problems caused, consequences experienced, and risks faced as a result of the behaviour.  If clients have not expressed a desire for change, then Psychologists do not force a client towards change.  Motivational interviewing focuses on the present, and the Psychologist works with the client to access motivation to change a particular behaviour, that is not consistent with the client’s goals.  We recognise that at times clients may need to make changes in their lives, however may approach counselling at different levels of readiness to change their behaviour.  Some clients consult with us to assist in changing old behaviours and may have never thought previously about changing the behaviour.  Other clients may have actively tried to change old behaviours in the past, however without success.


Psychoeducation is not a type of therapy, however it is a form of education to assist clients in their understanding of a condition.  The Psychologist would provide and explain the information to the client and therefore the client is assisted to understand their condition.  Psychoeducation enhances the client’s therapy and assists them in living more fulfilling lives.

Family Therapy

Family Therapy focuses on improving interactions between family members and seeks to improve the functioning of the family.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy assists clients to increase their acceptance of subjective experiences, such as distressing thoughts, beliefs, sensations and feelings.  ACT promotes desired behavoural change that will lead to an improved quality of life.

Couples Therapy

The Gottman Method  is an approach to couples therapy that includes an assessment of the couple’s relationship and integrates research-based interventions based on the Sound Relationship House Theory.