Depth therapy can describe several models of therapy, but it is divided into three main schools: psychoanalysis, individual psychology, and analytical psychology. Psychoanalysis is based on Sigmund Freud’s ideas, individual psychology on Alfred Adler’s, and analytical psychology, Carl Jung’s.
A depth approach to psychotherapy is unique in that it takes the unconscious into account, respects the objective reality of the Psyche, and utilizes a range of therapeutic approaches, instead of placing focus on one treatment modality. The depth-oriented approach is dynamic in the exploration of the depths of the unconscious; combining psychoanalysis and Jungian psychology or analytical psychology, with transpersonal psychology, neuro-psychology, archetypal psychology and existentialism among the other notable influences
The depth approach looks at how the individual or group perspectives and ability to feel, choose, work, love, or think freely, may be affected negatively by some unconscious elements, and people may seek treatment in order to resolve distress experienced as a result of any unbalanced processes. Depth therapies may help individuals explore and consciously realize those forces having an effect and study them to better understand their present situation, what needs to be integrated or changed as a way to achieve wellness, individuation and psychological wholeness.
Historically, the various forms of depth therapy were used to treat a number of mental health conditions, but according to recent studies, as well as anecdotal evidence from mental health practitioners, depth therapy may be better suited to some individuals than others. These approaches typically involve intense emotional work and require a high level of motivation on the part of the individual participating in treatment. Depth therapy also requires people to confront feelings and memories that may be painful, and those participating in depth therapy should understand the approach will likely elicit strong, potentially negative emotions and that they may feel worse before they begin to feel better.
Some individuals may prefer a briefer, more solution-focused treatment approach and may benefit from accessing those services through a CBT or solution oriented therapist.