The cognitivization of psychoanalysis: Toward an integration of psychodynamic and cognitive theories.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The realization that cognitive-behavioral theory must be expanded to include assessment of environmental variables leads to the question: are there other limitations in the cognitive-behavioral perspective that unnecessarily constrain the therapist's understanding of and response to the client's problem? The answer, we believe, is that today's clinician must be an integrationist about theory and must incorporate defensible insights from a variety of theoretical perspectives into the basic cognitive-behavioral repertoire, including some of the insights of psychodynamic theory. What follows in this chapter is, first, a discussion of the rationale for theoretical integration and a review of the types of integration. We then consider some deep conceptual and philosophical commonalities between the Freudian psychodynamic and cognitive perspectives that allow for unusual ease of integration. Aaron Beck's approach to cognitive-behavioral therapy and three recent psychodynamic theories are then reviewed to illustrate how psychodynamic theory itself is becoming more cognitivized and how it shares crucial theoretical framework principles with the most prominent form of cognitive theory. Finally, we identify other psychodynamic principles that lend themselves to incorporation into cognitive theory and practice.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationReshaping theory in contemporary social work: Toward a critical pluralism in clinical practice
PublisherColumbia University Press
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-231-51933-5
ISBN (Print)978-0-231-14701-9, 978-0-231-14700-2
StatePublished - 2010


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