Compare and contrast CBT and psychodynamic approaches to counselling focusing particularly on trauma and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder): Theory and therapy.

Topics: Cognitive behavioral therapy, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Psychological trauma Pages: 7 (2358 words) Published: January 13, 2015
Compare and contrast CBT and psychodynamic approaches to counselling focusing particularly on trauma and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder): Theory and therapy.

When working with clients in today’s society it’s extremely important to take into consideration the specific needs of each individual. Serious contemplation is given to the approaches and methods regarding the client’s need and presenting matters. Trauma appears in many forms in society, even from the 1960’s due to the impact on returning soldiers from war. Since this, trauma has been categorised and widely researched leading to numerous theories. Psychotherapies were one of the first approaches to be founded in the 1970’s, which were the foundations to counselling approaches, Cognitive behavioural therapies are a more recent adaptation of behavioural therapies. Throughout this assignment cognitive behavioural treatment and psychodynamic approaches will be analysed to therefore compare and contrast. This will then lead to an evaluation of which approach would be the most appropriate when working with a client with post traumatic stress disorder. As for most individuals seeking treatment, it is extremely important to know that there is a distinct difference between both counselling approaches. Even though both approaches will lead to the same output it’s the road they take to get there that would be different and to each individual it is essential that the correct route is taken. Posttraumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any occasion that would result in psychological trauma. During a lifetime, it is the early stages in life that basic psychodynamics of the person are established of psychosexual development. The role of following experiences is determined by the motivational patterns established in early childhood (Mischel, 1971).

The first researched counselling approach developed from Freud’s traditional psychoanalysis is psychodynamic. (Shedler, 2010). Personality and behaviour are determined as a result of the fight of primary unconscious forces stated by psychodynamic theorists. (Corey, 2005). The psychodynamic approach is suited for several issues, in such cases where a therapeutic relationship is important due to the necessity that the client must feel safe enough to explore their difficulties. Psychodynamic counselling encourages the clients to understand why they are be affected by such issues and how these issues can be overcome. This will be breached with the client working alongside the therapist, as it is not a directive approach. Speaking from a psychodynamic perspective, it is believed that the past can still influence the present.

On the other hand, cognitive behavioural therapy is also known as a talking therapy. This therapy can also help by changing the way an individual thinks and behaves leading to an understanding of their problems in a more positive way. CBT can be used to treat many issues such as PTSD, eating disorders, depression and also many long-term health conditions such as arthritis. CBT helps with negative cycles and makes sense of such trauma by breaking the problems into smaller parts to enable an individual to manage and cope with such distress. To a certain extent cognitive behaviour therapy is based on the assumption that a re-organisation of one's self-statements will result in a consistent re-organisation of one's behaviour" (Corey, 2001)

‘Successful treatment’ for PTSD is an extremely hard aspect to pin point due to such treatments will appear to reduce clusters of PTSD symptoms, whereas others seem to be more effective in reducing one aspect symptom cluster and not others. ( Resick, Nishith Weaver, Astin & Feuer, 2002) An example of such situation would be some patients with chronic PTSD an improvement in functional symptoms may be less or more important than reducing PTSD symptoms....

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