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Insight-Oriented Psychotherapy

Insight-Oriented Psychotherapy

Insight-oriented psychotherapy is an approach that helps clients to understand themselves and their motivations. With this therapeutic approach, the therapist encourages clients to examine their past relationships and the ways in which these dynamics have shaped their present life. 

Also known simply as Insight Therapy, this form of therapy is client-centered, a type of talk therapy that guides clients toward developing an improved understanding of self. During each session, the individual receiving counseling will recall situations from his or her life. The therapist highlights observed patterns of behavior or feelings, then encourages the client to examine them more closely. The philosophy behind this method is that examination and analysis of issues that have negatively affected the client’s life will help the individual to understand and change destructive patterns.

Process of Insight-Oriented Psychotherapy

During these sessions, in-depth conversations occur between the therapist and the client. It is necessary for the client to share life events with complete honesty in order for the therapist to notice patterns and to help the client gain awareness into any dysfunctional patterns. 

Image by Niilo Isotalo

The approach has shown to work well with issues such as eating disorders, substance abuse, personality disorders, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders. In addition, it can be effective in dealing with academic problems, sexual dysfunction, relational problems or family dysfunction.

This approach centers around the belief that it is a person’s feelings about early life experiences that influence current behaviors.


The therapist helps the client gain insight into dysfunctional life patterns and problems. These breakthroughs allow the client to feel empowered and to look at a situation more realistically, leading to improved understanding and self-awareness. They are then able to move forward and change behaviors due to this understanding.

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