CBT shares similarities with Freudian psychoanalysis
15th August, 2013
Many approaches have arrived as evidence based practice to treat common mental health disorders among clients, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is identified as the most effective approach to treat many mental health conditions. Scientific research points to CBT being the best researched approach to treat psychological interventions compared to other modalities. The Cognitive behaviour approach derived from two theoretical integrative approaches that is, Cognitive and behavioural therapy with distinct assumptions and philosophies joined together and is now known as cognitive-behavioural therapy. The cognitive theory means that stressful states such as depression, anxiety, and anger are often maintained by biased ways of thinking. The behavioural therapy assumption and philosophy on the other hand, suggests that behaviours might accidently get ‘rewarded’ with one’s environment, contributing to an increase in the frequency of these thoughts and behaviours. The cognitive and behavioural approach form of treatment is short. It is between 6-20 sessions. It focuses on teaching the client to acquire skills, enabling them to become a therapist on their own. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a directive approach.
CBT is different from other approaches because it focuses the way in which the client thinks, feels and acts. Presently, about 450 psychological interventions exist with distinct theories and assumptions. Some of the approaches have philosophies and techniques whereas others do not. CBT can be seen as evidence based practice because it is research based. Its hypothesis can be tested and replicated. It is an approach which encourages the client to think about the evidence before taking action. However, CBT shares similarities with Freudian psychoanalysis. With reference to schemas, they are embedded in cognitive structures that are developed in the early life experiences and are maintained through one’s life. Though some schemas may develop in adulthood, nonetheless, most schemas are developed from the past. Looking at schema closely it shares similarities with psychoanalytic theory. It is impossible to treat schemas without paying in depth attention to the past.
It is evident that cognitive behavioural approach intervention dwells on a short term intervention lasting between 6-20 sessions and it focuses on the here and now. There is a question to be asked whether cognitive behavioural intervention results in deep changes, or whether it changes the schemas or core beliefs.
One shortfall identified in this intervention is that it is unable to produce deep changes. If the client has therapy because they are suffering from depression and relapses afterwards, when seeking therapy again the past relapse may not be examined by the therapist. Therefore we can see that it can reduce a contemporary episode like depression, but it may not be able to stop future depression entirely because CBT does not change the schemas.
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