List of Counseling Theories

With the current list of counseling treatments standing at over 300, it's a tough job to keep up to date. Here's a list of terms often used in reference to popular theories.

By: Dr. Susan LaCombe aka Shrinklady
Updated: January 6, 2024


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Art Therapy

Attachment Therapy

Body-Based Psychotherapies 

  1. Integrative Body Psychotherapy
  2. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
  3. Self-Regulation Therapy (Canada)
  4. Somatic Experiencing (USA)
  5. Affect Regulation Therapy (Australia)
  6. Body Psychotherapy (Britain)
  7. Hakomi
  8. Natural Processing (EMDR + somatic approach)

Behaviour Therapy

Bioenergetic Analysis Therapy

Brief Therapy

Client Centered Therapy (or Rogerian)

Cognitive Analytic Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Coherence Therapy

Dance Therapy

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Drama Therapy

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy

Emotional Freedom Techniques

Existential Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitizaiton & Reprocessing Therapy

Family Therapy

Feminist Therapy


Functional Analytic Psychotherapy

Gestalt Therapy

Group Therapy

Humanistic Therapy

Humor Therapy


Internal Family Systems Model

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Jungian Therapy

Marital and Family Systems Therapy

Multimodal Therapy

Music Therapy

(Also a good review of how music therapy helps.)

Narrative Therapy

Neurofeedback Therapy

Neurolinguistic Programming

Objects Relations

Pastoral Counseling

Play Therapy

Positive Psychology

Primal Therapy



Rational Emotive Therapy

Reiki Therapy

Reikian Therapy

Rolfing Therapy

Short-Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Solution Focused Therapy

Somatic Psychotherapy

Systemic Therapy

Transactional Analysis

Transpersonal Psychology

Personal Musings

One of the best ways for learning the craft of counseling is through your own personal therapy.

As an experienced therapist, I know that the biggest factor affecting my effectiveness as a therapist is my ability to recognize when issues are about ME and when they are about my CLIENT.

This is absolutely essential for doing good therapy.

"Counseling" around the world

Counseling is available in most parts of the world. It's known in these countries as:

Spanish - Consejería

Chinese - 辅导

Dutch - Counseling

French - Counseling

German - Beratung

Greek - Counseling

Italian - Consulenza

Japanese - カウンセリング

Korean - 상담

Portuguese - Assessoramento

Russian - консультирование


Marriage and Family

LMFT - Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

MFT - Marriage and Family Therapist

Social Work

LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW-R - Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LMSW - Licensed Master Social Worker

ACSW - Academy of Certified Social Workers

LIS - Licensed Independent Social Worker

LCS - Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LICSW - Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

LMA - Licensed Master's in Social Work - Advanced Clinical Practitioner

CSW - Clinical Social Worker


APRN - Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

RPN - Registered Psychiatric Nurse


LMHC - Licensed Mental Health Counselor

LPC - Licensed Professional Counselor

LPCC - Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

RPC - Registered Professional Counsellor (Canadian)

NCC - National Certified Counselor

CCC – Canadian Certified Counsellor

RCC – Registered Clinical Counsellor (B.C.)


CGP - Certified Group Psychotherapist

CHT - Certified Hypnotherapist

ATR - Registered Art Therapist


CAC - Certified Addictions Counselor

CAP - Certified Addictions Professional

LAC - Licensed Addiction Counselor

CADC - Certified Alcholol and Drug Counselor

CATC - Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor

CCDC - Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor

SAP - Substance Abuse Professional


CRC - Certified Rehabilitation Counselor

CCRC - Canadian Certified Rehabilitation Counselor

RRP – Registered Rehabilitation Professional (Canadian)


R. Psych or C. Psych – Registered Psychologist (the 'C' stands for Certificate of Registration)

In many states - as I understand it - many psychologists only list their doctorate training - not their licensing.

Highest Awards

BCD - Board Certified Diplomate

DCSW - Diplomate in Clinical Social Work

FAACP - Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Psychology

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Challenges of being a therapist

Readers Comments

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Moses (Kigali,Rwanda)

A wonderful and useful place to get vital information. Found it handy in My Masters In Social Work Counseling Course.

Dr. Susan LaCombe Psychoshrink


Thanks for dropping a note Moses.


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Patti (USA)

Graduating in a few weeks as a MFT intern. What you do is so exciting.

Not sure how to start! Patti

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Kailas (Maharashtra, India)

It's realy good to gain a kowledge from this page..

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Walucho Sylvester

Walucho Sylvester (Eldoret-Rift Valley Province, Kenya)

Am a student at MT. Kenya University taking counseling psychology and your theories has been of great significance to my studies. Thanks for your assistance.

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How to integrate mind, body & spirit into counseling

Hello, I'm a trained counsellor and holistic therapist and I'm struggling at the moment on how to work combining both approaches and still get membership to the BACP. I think I should be able to counsel others in a combination approach, working on the mind, body and spirit at the same time, but I believe the BACP classes this as being unethical, due to boundary issues.

How can I get around this to offer the client, whatever they need at the given moment, without having to separate things.

Dr. Susan LaCombe Psychoshrink


Hello Kal, thanks for your question. It's a good one and especially timely in this day and age.

Could you clarify what organization the BACP is? There's so many regulatory organizations and I want to be sure I'm referencing the right one.

Also, I've got quite back-up of questions so it might be a while before I get back to you on it.

Thanks for visiting myShrink!



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D Ashton

D Ashton (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe)

this is a great site. I am doing developmental psychology and about to write my exams and i have gained alot from you guys thumbs up.

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Michelle (Gastonia)

I understand that working as a therapist in any field is very hard.Thanks for the theories it really help me understand the different fields and how u have to take patience and time everyday to succeed in your career.


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Oliver (Nairobi, Kenya)

The theories are of great assistance to me, as I am a trainee counsellor in Kenya.


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