Cognitive Behavioral Vs Psychoanalytic
While all counseling theories have the same goal, to make a better present and future for the client, they all go about it through different techniques. Many of the theories entwine similar elements yet differ completely in practice. My intent is to give a detailed analysis of two of these theories, showing the differences and similarities between the techniques they would employ to help a stable individual obtain a more fulfilling life, which method I prefer and why. The theories on which I will be focusing are Cognitive Behavioral and Psychoanalytic therapies.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy combines two individual goals, cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. Pioneered by psychologists Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis in the 1960s, cognitive therapy assumes that maladaptive behaviors and disturbed mood or emotions are the result of inappropriate or irrational thinking patterns, called automatic thoughts. Instead of reacting to the reality of a situation, an individual reacts to his or her own distorted viewpoint of the situation. For example, a person may conclude that he is "worthless" simply because he failed an exam or didn't get a date. Cognitive therapists attempt to make their patients aware of these distorted thinking patterns, or cognitive distortions, and change them. A process termed cognitive restructuring. Behavioral therapy, or behavior modification, trains individuals to replace undesirable behaviors with healthier behavioral patterns. Unlike psychoanalytic therapies, it does not focus on uncovering or understanding the unconscious motivations that may be behind the maladaptive behavior. In other words, strictly behavioral therapists don't try to find out why their patients behave the way that they do, they just teach them methods to change the behavior. (Greenberger & Padesky, 1998)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy integrates the cognitive restructuring approach of cognitiv