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Compare and contrast how the psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural approaches to counselling understand the person, and how these two approaches explain psychological distress experienced by individuals’. In Part 2, reflect and write about which of the two models appeal most to you and why.

In this assignment I will first cover separately the concepts and ideas of psychodynamic and cognitive- behavioural approaches to counselling. I will look at how these two approaches understand the person and how they explain each person’s problem or problems. I will then compare and contrast them to highlight similarities between both of them and explain which appeals to me.

Psychodynamic counselling has it’s origins in the ideas of a man called Sigmund Freud. Although his ideas were believed to be a key influence in modern psychology current theory and practice have gone way beyond Freud’s original ideas. Freud believed that repressed sexual wishes and memories lay in the heart of patients problems. However this has now developed by later practitioners and theorists to centre more on social and relationship orientated approach.

Psychodynamic counselling is based on past experiences of the client. It will start from the client’s childhood and discuss relationships the individual had from a very young age. The person is not usually conscious of the true nature of this experience. The aim of the counsellor in to remain a blank canvas and through this the client will hold similar feelings to them as they did to authority figures of their past. This is called transference. As the counselling goes on the counsellor is to interpret the unconscious feelings of the client as this will give the client insight into why they are experiencing problems.

Cognitive-behavioural counselling has its origins in behavioural psychology believed to have been created by a psychology professor called J.B Watson in the 19th Century. The concept being that the counsellor is to...
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