Psychoanalytic Theory Vs Cognitive Theory

In this paper I will describe and contrast two of the major theories in psychology, the Psychoanalytical Theory and the Cognitive Theory. I personally believe that an integration between them would best suit my future approach to counseling. Therefore I will present the main theoretical concepts and psychotherapeutic techniques, and their differences and similarities in order to understand to what extent they can be integrated.
Sigmund Freud, the founder and major exponent of Psychoanalytical Theory firmly believed that that experiences in childhood play a crucial part in development and personality, influencing adult functioning. He expressed that a person is driven by urges that emanate from the unconscious, leading them to repeat patterns
…show more content…
The purpose of the Psychoanalytical therapy, the Psychoanalysis, is insight. It deals with the unconscious, encouraging the client to uncover the past in order to bring memory to significant events and understand unresolved conflicts. In contrast, the purpose of the Cognitive Therapy is to help the client change their behavior by recognizing negative thought patterns and learning new ways of thinking in order to find solutions to current problems. It focuses on the conscious, the here and now.
The key therapeutic interventions used in Psychoanalysis are free association, interpretation, analysis of transference, resistance and dreams, and projective tests (e.g. TAT, Rorschach Inkblot Test, human figure drawings). On the other hand, in Cognitive Therapy, the techniques used could be forceful disputing, reality testing, chasing cognitive distortions, and identifying automatic thoughts. Unlike Psychoanalysis, Cognitive Therapy is directive and goal oriented and does not look at the client’s past, which some people may consider a disadvantage arguing that if the root of the problem is not treated, the symptom or behavior will eventually reoccur. Likewise, in Psychoanalysis there is a danger that the client could become dependent on their therapist whereas in Cognitive Therapy the client is taught to be
…show more content…
One of them involves the concept of awareness in the process of change, either through uncovering schemas in Cognitive Therapy, or by bringing the unconscious to conscious in Psychoanalysis. Within the differences we find the consideration and importance given to the past and the origin of the psychological problems, the therapeutic relationship, and the therapy goals, length and techniques. A combination of these two approaches doesn’t mean blending the theories, but a practical application of specific techniques that might be helpful to the client. For example when working with populations in which a Psychoanalysis is not affordable due to the length of the process and/or the monetary cost, the therapist can incorporate information about the client’s past and add some insight techniques to the Cognitive approach, always keeping in mind the sociocultural aspects that may influence the client’s behavior in order to practice cultural

Related Documents