Compare and Contrast the Main Principles in Any Two of the Followingpsychological Therapies: Psychoanalysis, Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Therapy or Humanistic Therapy

Topics: Cognitive behavioral therapy, Psychology, Psychotherapy Pages: 5 (1584 words) Published: December 5, 2012
Psychology Assignment 1

“Compare and contrast the main principles in any two of the followingPsychological therapies: psychoanalysis, behavior therapy, cognitive therapy or humanistic therapy.”

Over the detritus of centuries, mental illnesses (such as anxiety, depression and personality disorder) have been a major contentious topic, especially in the medieval times in which religion centered, cultural and traditional influenced people deemed these exhibiting symptoms of psychopathology as demonic possessions (Davey, 2011). It was not until the late 18th and 19th century when its rival, medical science, addressed the mental illnesses fully. It was then when S. Weir Mitchell's treatment of epilepsy and emotional liability with lithium bromide gave rise to medical solutions to mental health problems. His famous treatment aided in the transition of medical treatment from restraints in asylums to m (Davey, 2011)edicine pills and later on to psychological therapies (Schou, 1992). This essay will focus on psychoanalysis and cognitive therapies by first explaining the main principles and then followed by a detailed comparison in between the two. The latter would include both advantages and drawbacks of these methods. Lastly this essay would include an evaluation of the argument shortly followed by a conclusion. Cognitive therapy is a collaborative approach where therapists do not direct the patients to do certain things or persuade them to change their views. They work together with the patients, help them recognize the dysfunctional thoughts and select the best approach to tackle the problem. It aids in modifying the patterns of thought and behavior associated with a particular disorder. Cognitions are thoughts which evaluate an experience. These cognitions results from activating schemata, which are core beliefs and assumptions with which a person shapes their understanding and attitude of the world based on past experiences. They are also referred to as “negative automatic thoughts” which leads to emotions such as sadness, hoplessness, depression and unhelpful behaviours such as withdrawal, inactivity, suicidality and many more harmful activities. (University, N.D) Davey (2011) advocates further by elucidating what Alber Ellis in 1962 argued about cognitive behavior. Ellis held this view that emotional distress was caused by people developing irrational beliefs by which they judge their behavior and set unrealistic demands for themselves. These demands include such as the one that they should be liked by everyone. This cognitive approach was first pioneered by Alber Ellis in 1962 and later by Aaron Beck in 1967. Moreover, cognitive techniques are derived from the cognitive model of psychiatric disorders which emphasis the role that an individual’s evaluation of events has in determining their emotional and behavioral reactions. Cognitive therapy is therefore designed to modify the individual's idiosyncratic, maladaptive ideation. The basic cognitive technique consists of delineating the individual's specific misconceptions, distortions, and maladaptive assumptions, and of testing their validity and reasonableness. By loosening the grip of his perseverative, distorted ideation, the patient is enabled to formulate his experiences more realistically. Clinical experience, as well as some experimental studies, indicate that such cognitive restructuring leads to symptom relief. (Beck, 1970).This therapy is a brief problem focused therapy where courses of treatment are 8 to 12 sessions in duration and where homework tasks are performed between therapy sessions. This treatment method is effective in treating major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic and eating disorders especially Bulimia nervosa. (University, N.D) Whereas on the other hand psychoanalytic or psychodynamic model, which was pioneered by Sigmund Freud, puts forward the theory of psychoanalysis. As Davey, G (2011)...

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HOLMAN, J. B. (JUN 2008). Psychoanalytic and cognitive approaches to a clinical case. the International Journal of psychoanalysis , Volume 85, Issue 4 accessed online:
Huber D, Z. J. (2012). Comparison of cognitive-behaviour therapy with psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapy for depressed patients - a three-year follow-up study. PubMed , 58(3):299-316. accessed online:
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University, N. C. (N.D, - -). The Psychlogical Therapies. Retrieved october 23, 2012, from -:
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