Supportive and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Although supportive psychotherapy and interpersonal psychotherapy share some similarities, these therapeutic approaches have many differences. When assessing clients and selecting therapies, it is important to recognize these differences and how they may impact your clients. For this Assignment, as you compare supportive and interpersonal psychotherapy, consider which therapeutic approach you might use with your clients Supportive and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Compare supportive psychotherapy and interpersonal psychotherapy
  • Recommend therapeutic approaches for clients presenting for psychotherapy

To prepare:

  • Review the media in this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Reflect on supportive and interpersonal psychotherapeutic approaches Supportive and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.

The Assignment

In a 1- to 2-page paper, address the following:

  • Briefly describe how supportive and interpersonal psychotherapies are similar.
  • Explain at least three differences between these therapies. Include how these differences might impact your practice as a mental health counselor.
  • Explain which therapeutic approach you might use with clients and why. Support your approach with evidence-based literature. ORDER A FREE-PLAGIARISM PAPER NOW


Note: The School of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references.

Psychotherapy is a scientifically validated procedure that entails directing a patient to develop more effective and healthier habits to address emotional and mental difficulties. In fact, it is a collaborative relationship between a patient who has a psychological problem and a therapist who directs the treatment. It relies on dialogue along with a supportive environment that allows the therapist to direct the development of a solution for the patient’s problem within a nonjudgmental, neutral and objective environment. Working together, the patient gets to identify and change problematic behavior and thought patterns that hinder development. At the end of the therapy, the patient is expected to have learnt new coping skills to facilitate better management of challenges even as they arise (Acton, 2013). The present paper explores the conceptualization of supportive psychotherapy (SP) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IP) to determine their similarities and differences, as well as value.

  • Briefly describe how supportive and interpersonal psychotherapies are similar.

Both SP and IP share some unique similarities. Firstly, they both entail the use of dialogue whereby a therapist is engaged to aid the patient in solving the problem and developing better coping mechanisms. Secondly, they require that the patient express himself or herself with the therapist acting as an emotional outlet. Finally, they both require that the patient understands his or her condition, with the therapy targeted at managing the condition (Sadock, B., Sadock, V. & Ruiz, 2014; Wheeler, 2014).

  • Explain at least three differences between these therapies. Include how these differences might impact your practice as a mental health counselor.

Although they share some similarities, SP and IP are philosophically different. Firstly, SP entails the therapist informing the patient how to manage the condition and social adjustment to either avoid or preempt the problem. On the other hand, IP entails the therapist directing and guiding the patient to identify a workable solution then apply that solution. This means that the patient develops the solution in IP while the therapist develops the solution in SP. Secondly, IP requires that the therapist workv with the client even outside the session to include interceding on behalf of the client when social norms are violated and there are contentions. In contrast, SP has the relationship between the client and therapist occurring within the session so that there is no relationship outside the session. Thirdly, IP has the client interpreting social behavior based on personal understanding. In contrast, SP requires that the therapist act as a model who explicitly determines the client’s ideality as well as what constitutes appropriate and proper behavior. Finally, IP is directed at a specific problem affecting the patient, such as depression. In contrast, SP is directed at all problems affecting the patient (Sadock, B., Sadock, V. & Ruiz, 2014; Wheeler, 2014)Supportive and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.

  • Explain which therapeutic approach you might use with clients and why. Support your approach with evidence-based literature.

Given a choice between IP and SP, IP would be the preferable choice over SP. That is because SP offers a superficial solution to existing problems since it is a general intervention that does not focus on a specific problem. Instead of interpreting the patient’s unconscious thoughts, it appeals to the conscious mind so that the client’s capacity to deal with everyday social problems is improved. Besides that, SP is not interested in what the client has to say. Rather, it focuses on what the therapist has to say. Also, treatment occurs irregularly and infrequently. IP addresses the shortcomings of SP thereby making it preferable. That is because IP offers a comprehensive solution by focusing on a specific problem, such as depression. It allows for the patient’s self-expression that solves the problem from the subconscious before moving to the conscious (Cautin & Lilienfeld, 2015). The identified qualities make IP the preferred therapeutic approach.


Acton, A. (2013). Major depressive disorders: new insights for the healthcare professional. Atlanta, GA: Scholarly Editions.

Cautin, R. & Lilienfeld, S. (2015). The encyclopedia of clinical psychology, volume II Cli-E. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Sadock, B., Sadock, V. & Ruiz, P. (2014). Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry: behavioral sciences/clinical psychiatry (11th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

Wheeler, K. (Eds.). (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company Supportive and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.

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