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Contrasts Two Approaches to Psychology - Essay Example

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This discussion talks that contemporary psychology encompasses a variety of different approaches. These approaches are inherently perspectives or views, which consist of various beliefs or assumptions regarding human behavior (Hampton & Morris, 2006)…
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Contrasts Two Approaches to Psychology
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Download file to see previous pages This paper will examine two distinctive psychological approaches; the cognitive-behavioral approach and the psychodynamic approach. One of the best ways to appreciate these psychological approaches is to assess their origin and development. After providing a brief examination of the two approaches individually, their inherent methods will be contrasted in order to appreciate their relevance to the modern field of psychology. The psychodynamic approach refers to a psychological approach that aims at exploring the manner in which the human mind, particularly the unconscious section of the mind is responsible for people’s every day behavior. Freud was the pioneer of this approach, and he was of the opinion that behavior is influenced primarily by past experiences, which are held in the unconscious mind, which consists of the id, the super-ego and the unconscious ego (Bateman & Holmes, 2005). The psychodynamic approach considers these elements of the unconscious mind as the psychic determinism concept. In the development of the psychodynamic approach, Freud compared the adult personality to an archaeological site consisting of layers; when new layers are built, they retain certain features of the former layer. The central concepts of the psychodynamic approach consist of transference, splitting and countertransference (Coren, 2001). There are two distinct schools of thought related to psychodynamics; the first school of thought is object relations thinking or the way children achieve self-other differentiation through their interactions with external objects. The second is the intersubjective view, which poises that development takes place due to relationships, as well as mutual recognition. As a consequence of the various schools that emerged, there is some confusion concerning the therapies applicable to psychodynamics (Hampton & Morris, 2006). The cognitive-behavioral approach, on the other hand, also combines two distinctive schools of thought; the behavioral approach and the cognitive approach. The concept of cognitive psychology was developed by Ulric Neisser in 1967. The concept is essentially concerned with the examination of mental processes, as well as states such as language, problem solving and memory. Cognitive psychologists demonstrate the level of mental processing by highlighting the strength of a memory on the basis of how deep it has been encoded. Behavioral psychologists argue that only observable behavior can be examined (Coren, 2001). The application of the cognitive-behavioral approach to psychology centers on the modification of everyday behaviors, as well as thoughts with the view of positively influencing target behaviors and emotions. The cognitive-behavioral approach allows for a very close partnership between therapist and client, thereby enhancing the process of problem-solving. Notably, situations arise where the therapist may need to intervene so as to refocus a session towards solving a certain behavioral or cognitive problem (Hampton & Morris, 2006). For instance, the cognitive-behavioral approach requires the therapist to initially introduce the client to key elements of the approach, for instance, automatic thoughts.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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