A Synthesis of Psychoanalytic Method and Cognitive Behavioral Theory

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The researcher states that the psychoanalytic method is a less structured technique of in which the patient verbalizes cognitions such as fantasies and dreams, from which the psychoanalyst extrapolates the unconscious dysfunctions that result in the patient’s outward symptoms. The specialist interprets these readings for the patient in order to generate insights with regard to the resolution of the symptoms. Because these two techniques are so starkly different, they often miss insights that the other method may provide. For instance, while CBT is highly structured, psychoanalysis relies less on structure than on the free associations of the patient and their interpretations. Accordingly, each method may have a great deal to learn from the other, and a synthesis of these two treatments may provide for a valid and reliable treatment procedure. From personal experiences, it seems that counseling psychologists are most effective when they facilitate a discussion with patients, rather than interrogating them. Psychoanalysis provides the opportunity for a psychologist to guide a patient to those insights relevant to the underlying problem. however, in the act of psychoanalysis, autonomy of insights is removed from the patients and trusted to the psychoanalyst for the solution. Although CBT allows some autonomy for the patient to draw his own conclusions, it ignores the role of psychoanalytic transference, which seems to be an important issue to be addressed in a counseling session. The idea that patients ought to be given the autonomy to interpret their own unconscious, once it has been questioned by the counselor, is based on a view of human nature as metaphysically free. With a free will, human beings are not bound by the rules and laws set forth by their unconscious. in fact, people have the inherent power to change the subconscious conclusions and philosophies that affect their emotional livelihood. However, the status of thoughts and cognitions in the unconscious leaves them inaccessible to the patient by his own devices. For that reason, he needs an active intervention from the counselor, which is a defining feature of cognitive behavioral therapy. On this second premise, human nature is also seen as fundamentally social: that, in order to resolve their psychological difficulties, human beings must seek the help of others as critical questioners. Only by using the guiding questions of others can one identify (and thus resolve) his emotional, cognitive, and behavioral problems. According to the id, ego, and superego framework of the psychoanalytic theory of personality, humans are fundamentally conflicted creatures. The id, which represents the unconscious, conflicts with the ego in terms of social appropriateness. A strong ego is able to manage this conflict. however, a weak ego is not. Personality problems are thought to occur because of the relative strength or weakness of the ego in dealing with the pressures of conflict. Unlike a psychoanalytic counseling session, a CBT session is highly structured. In the case of a synthesized therapy, this structure could revolve around these elements to settle the conflict between them.