Cognitive Behavioral Theory And Psychodynamic Theory

1948 words - 8 pages

In this assignment I am going to introduce and unpack cognitive behavioural theory and psychodynamic theory. This will include the history of each theory and the theorists that discovered and developed both. I am going to link each theory to where they fit in Payne’s Triangle of Social Work as well as compare and contrast each theory. Both Cognitive behavioural theory and psychodynamic theory both support the purposes of social work in which I will cover beneath. This assignment will also include criticisms of both theories as well.

Cognitive is defined as a mental process; it refers to everything going on in your mind including your thought processes and the way you are thinking and feeling. Behaviour refers to everything that you may do; this includes any action that you may present or act out, this can also be an indirect action that is caused by other underlying behaviours. Therapy is a systematic approach to try and resolve a problem, illness, actions, irregular thought patterns or anything that may be a disturbance that distracts you from your everyday functioning. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a dynamic mode of holistic intervention that seeks to change thought processes that are linked with emotions through a goal-orientated process (Freeman and Ronen, 2007). Individuals have a three-step thought process; inferences, evaluations and core beliefs. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy looks into the dysfunctional thinking a client may have, which influences their thoughts, mood and behaviour. This theory is kept very loose and non-structured; depending on the client different theories will have to be applied depending on their needs and emotions.

The purpose of psychodynamic theory is to improve the social functionings of individuals by helping them understand their conflicting thoughts and feelings (Sheafor and Horejsi, 2003). This theory is also used to explore the inner self and understand what may be going on inside, it tends to look for the psychological explanations of individuals, family and societal problems and to focus on what the individual is going through. Psychodynamic theory assumes that the problems and dysfunctions that an individual may be experiencing could originate back in childhood. This is also known as one of the 'onion peeling' theories because it is a theory that allows an individual to strip down the layers of their psychological self to deepen an individuals understanding of themselves (Connolly and Healy, 2009).

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy was first established in the early 19th century by Ivan Pavlov, a Russian psychologist, and his experiment with dogs (Sheldon, 2011). Pavlov discovered the principles of animal learning, which eventually led to how cognitive behavioural therapy was established. Pavlov discovered the principles that we now recognise today as the two principles of behaviourist learning theory; classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning means...

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