Running Header: JOURNAL REVIEW
An assessment of contemporary studies to Psychoanalytical theory and Cognitive Behavior theory.
Psychoanalytical theory and cognitive behavior theory (CBT) are currently two of the most utilized psychotherapeutic modalities in Western psychology. In the current review of literature, the salience of both theories is analyzed through the evaluation of contemporary studies on the two theories. These studies focused on empirical rather than merely theoretical research. Upon evaluating these sources, it becomes clear that both modalities, upon being applied in therapy, offer significant recovery, and results. In comparing the two theories, psychoanalytical theory indicates higher recovery with longer term disorders while cognitive behavior theory is more effective for short-term issues.
Psychoanalytical theory and cognitive behavioral theory are two of the most commonly applied theoretical modalities in therapeutic settings. Psychoanalysis was originally founded on the principles of Sigmund Freud and though some of his basic premises have been rejected by psychological community, the foundation of psychotherapy has remained viable (Shedler, 2010, p. 98). Cognitive behavior theory, for its part, was developed by Aaron Beck in response to Western psychological understandings of the relation between thought, emotion, and action on the principle that changing negative thoughts can alter emotive behavior and action (Jackson, Schmutzer, Wenzel, and Tyler, 2006, p. 506). From the current review of literature, it is clear that both theories remain salient in the treatment of a variety of psychological disorders.
Shedler (2010) utilized meta-analysis to empirically test the efficiency of psychoanalysis and, particularly, psychodynamic therapy (p. 100). Meta-analysis is an effective means by which to test the efficacy of a theoretical therapeutic approach because it identifies commonalities between empirical research studies and uses these to compare and contrast the results of each, thereby yielding a scientifically sound conclusion. In the course of his research, Shedler (2010) identified a number of studies in which psychoanalysis was rigorously tested and found that compared to other therapeutic modalities; psychotherapy was more effective than many of its counterparts, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (p. 102). He concludes that the bias against psychotherapy is historical in origin rather than empirical. In other words, psychotherapy’s history of disdaining empirical research and creating an expert culture has biased analysts against the method even though in reality the method is quite effective for a range of disorders and patients. On the other hand, Shedler (2010) warns against loose empiricism, indicating that more rigor is necessary in psychoanalytical studies (p. 106). Another analysis of the efficacy of psychoanalytical theory was conducted in relation to the particular disorder, postpartum depression. The results indicated that psychotherapeutic techniques were indeed effective and that the core areas of postpartum depression identified in a previous study by Lawrence Blum were accurate. The three core areas of emotional conflicts are: dependency, aggression, and motherhood. The authors of this study use a literature review to discover the ways in which psychoanalytical theory applies to postpartum depression. They show that research upholds the notion that the transition to motherhood is a function of redefinition of self and one’s relation to others, leading to increased need for psychological support as well as social support (Besser, Vliegen, Luyten, and Blatt, 2008, p. 396, 399). Their conclusions indicate that more longitudinal, multi-informant studies are necessary to confirm these findings. Additionally, these studies should ideally compare the techniques of psychotherapy to other modalities in the...
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