Comparison Cognitive-Behavioral and Short-Term Psychodynamic Therapies

Free essays 0 Comments

ComparisonCognitive-Behavioral and Short-Term Psychodynamic Therapies

When individuals are faced with various conditions such asdepression, anxiety, insomnia, and addiction among others, they turnto a therapist who in turn applies different approaches to addressthese conditions. One of the approaches is the behavior CognitiveBehavioral therapy and is based on the arguments that there arebehaviors that the rational thinking has no control over and whichoriginate from prior conditioning by the environment as well asinternal and external stimuli. On the other hand, the short-termpsychodynamic therapy is based on the tenet that there isinterconnectedness between the past and present experience thataffects the present relationships. While both of these approaches aimat alleviating the psychological dysfunction the client is sufferingfrom, they have a different way of achieving this. This papercompares these two approaches to addressing the various psychologicaldysfunctions.

These two approaches have similarities in the way they viewcognition. They both believe that behavior a client elicits isacquired through past experience. They only differ on whether thispast experience is important or not. First, the short-termpsychodynamic therapy emphasis on identifying how the pastexperiences connect with the current coping mechanism and behaviorpatterns(Friederich, et al., 2015). It is based on the beliefthat it is the unconscious impulse or suppressed conflicts that givebirth to the present psychological disorders and it is, therefore,the role of the therapist to attempt to bring out these unconsciousconflicts into the client’s awareness hence the lack of freechoice. It also adds that the person’s rational has no controlover. On the other hand, the cognitive behavioral therapy has lessemphasis on how the present behavior connects with the pastexperience and instead emphasizes on the present behavior elicited bythe client (Beck,2006). The approach is, therefore, aimed at identifyingthe automatic negative thoughts, cognitive distortions, falsethoughts, and core beliefs that negatively impacts a person emotionalwell-being. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the therapist toaid the client in identifying these cognitive distortions thatnegatively impacts their lives, challenge them and reconstruct theminto more adaptive thinking or behavior patterns hence the freechoice.

Additionally, these two approaches differ in the position taken bythe therapist. For instance in the short-term psychodynamic, thetherapist takes a neutral role while the clients take the centralrole. In this approach, it is the client who decides the agenda ofthe therapy session depending on what is in their mind (Friederich,et al., 2015). Thus, this approach lacks a structuredway of helping the client and instead the client is free to choosewhat they are comfortable talking about. However, as the clientbrings to life their past feelings and emotions, it is manifested intheir interaction with the therapist. The interventions involve dreamanalysis, analysis of transference, and free association. On theother hand, for the cognitive behavior therapy, the therapist takesthe central positions as they take a deliberate effort to replace theclient’s maladaptive behavior with the correct ones(Beck, 2006). In addition, as opposed to theshort-term, the cognitive-behavioral therapy has a structured way ofachieving results that take the forms of steps. In this approach,both the therapist and the client must engage in identifying andconfronting cognitive distortions and then undertake to restructureand replace them with the correct ones, a process that involvesnumerous behavioral exercise also known as homework. The interventionmethods include reinforcement techniques, reality testing, forcefuldisputing and systematic desensitization.

As I conclude, I have gained new insights especially on theshort-term psychodynamic therapy particularly on its concept oftransference. Basically, this concept explains the projection of theclient’s past interaction with other people onto the currentrelationship. This means that while the therapist takes a neutralposition, they are able to observe the extent the client is bringingto life their past experience.


Beck, J. S.(2006). Cognitive-behavioral therapy.&nbspPrim.Psychiatry,&nbsp13(4),31-34.

Friederich,H. C., Zeeck, A., &amp Herzog, W. (2015). Short-Term PsychodynamicTherapy. Web. Accessed on March 29, 2016.