Other Treatments

Relationship Development Intervention® (RDI)

Relationship Development Intervention® (RDI) is a family-based, behavioural treatment designed to address the core symptoms of autism. RDI was developed by psychologist Steven Gutstein, Ph.D. using the theory that “dynamic intelligence” (the ability to think flexibly) is the key to improving quality of life for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The RDI approach aims to foster the appreciation of different perspectives and the ability to cope with change and integrate information from multiple sources and senses (e.g. sights and sounds).

Narrative Therapy

Psychologists using a Narrative Therapy approach seek to help a client to separate themselves from the problem or presenting issue. Narrative Therapy was developed by Michael White and David Epston and is based on the belief that a person’s identity is formed by their experiences or narratives and that a problem or difficulty itself is not an identity. By helping the client to see the problem as a separate entity sensitive issues can be externalised and this reduces the emotional load of the problem.

Resistance and defences can be reduced though the objectification process and this allows individuals to then address difficulties in a more productive way. Clients are encouraged to rely on their own skills and internal resources to minimise difficulties that exist in their everyday lives. The process of externalising is applied to behaviours, values, beliefs, and ideals, and a the psychologist helps the client to gain new perspectives and to rewrite negative aspects of their narrative or identity.

Inter-personal psychotherapy (IPT)

Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is a psychotherapeutic approach that usually lasts 12-16 weeks and encourages an individual to stabilise and gain control of mood and functioning. The empathic alliance of the psychologist with client allows feelings of being understood and of success. IPT for children addresses the theory that depression affects people’s relationships and that these relationships further affect our mood.

This model focuses on four general areas where difficulties may occur:

  1. grief after losing a loved one;
  2. conflict in significant relationships;
  3. difficulties adapting to relationships or life circumstance changes; and
  4. difficulties as a result of social isolation.

Psychologists help identify areas in need of skill-building to improve relationships and decrease the depressive symptoms, and help the client to link any changes in mood to events occurring in their relationships, communicate feelings or expectations, and problem-solve solutions.

Schema Therapy

Schema Therapy was developed by Dr. Jeffrey E. Young to help treat personality disorders and other chronic disorders. The term “schema” is used to describe a pattern of thoughts and/or behaviour, a framework for how individuals interpret and view information, and their relation to the world and other people around them. Schemas can be adaptive or maladaptive, and are formed early on in a person’s life. Schema Therapy has been described as integrating cognitive behavioural therapy, psychoanalytic object relations, attachment Theory, and Gestalt therapy. Schema therapy helps clients to identify and address early maladaptive schemas. These have been described by Dr. Young as, “self-defeating life patterns of perception, emotion, and physical sensation” and addressing these help clients to utilise successful coping styles and meet their basic emotional needs.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy

Solution focused brief therapy (SFBT) (or simply ‘solution focused therapy’) is a goal directed collaborative change oriented approach conducted by analysing direct observation of clients’ responses to constructed questions. SFBT is based upon social constructionist thinking and looks at what a client wants to achieve by examining the history and presenting problem in detail. This approach emphasises that present and future life experiences during which some aspect of a goal was occurring can be identified and used to co-construct effective solutions. Thus clients are enabled to create positive directions for change in their lives- constructing a concrete vision of their preferred future.