McCain Courts Bush Fundraisers | Main | The Left Wants To Shut Down The Marketplace of Ideas
February 15, 2006

Psychology Shifts From Past Trauma To Present Dysfunction

A long shift against talking endlessly about childhood traumas and "confronting" old issues in favor of simply dealing with current problems:

Professor Norcross has surveyed American psychologists in an effort to figure out what is going on behind their closed doors.

Over the last 20 years, he has documented a radical shift. Psychotherapeutic techniques like psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy, which deal with emotional conflict and are based on the idea that the exploration of past trauma is critical to healing, have been totally eclipsed by cognitive behavioral approaches.

That relatively new school holds that reviewing the past is not only unnecessary to healing, but can be counterproductive.

Professor Norcross says he believes that cognitive behavioral therapy is the most widely practiced approach in America.

The method, known as C.B.T., was introduced in the late 1960's by Dr. Aaron T. Beck. The underlying theory says it is not important for patients to return to the origins of their problems, but instead to correct their current "cognitive distortions," errors in perception that lead them to the conclusion that life is hopeless or that everyday activity is unmanageable.

For example, when confronted with severely depressed patients, cognitive behavioral therapists will not ask about childhoods, but will work with them to identify the corrosive underlying assumptions that frame their psychic reality and lead them to feel bad about themselves. Then, systematically, patients learn to retrain their thinking.

The therapy dwells exclusively in the present. Unlike traditional psychoanalytic or psychodynamic therapy, it does not typically require a long course of treatment, usually 10 to 15 sessions.

When cognitive therapy was introduced, it met significant resistance to the notion that people could be cured without understanding the sources of the problems. Many therapists said that without working through the underlying problems change would be superficial and that the basic problems would simply express themselves in other ways.

Interestingly, the shift is partly due to actual science, or at least as close as one can get to science in this psuedoscientific venture. Randomized clinical trials -- eschewed and denigrated by classical "tell me about your father" psychologists -- established that CBT was more effective, especially among two key institutions: the academy and, crucially, insurers, who have to foot the bill for all this blather.


digg this
posted by Ace at 10:16 AM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
fluffy: "Poor little bun bun.I'd tell him he was a good Kit ..."

votermom pimping great books!: "prayers for Hrothgar & his family ..."

Soothsayer -- Fake Commenter: " [i]I kind of hope he's ok! - Hrothgar [/i] ..."

blaster: "NOOD pets ..."

Duke Lowell : "It's nice that the Black kitteh has a pet bunny. ..."

KT: "Darn it.  Love those pets.  All of ours ..."

Peaches: "Over the years they'll build up bigger bigger clu ..."

blaster: "NOOD pets ..."

blaster: "Mis Hum - Leo is my dog there. Sent you an email. ..."

Professor Chaos aka gumdrop gorilla: "What did you do for God to punish you like that? ..."

Misanthropic Humanitarian: "Posted by: Jake Holenhead at October 21, 2017 03:0 ..."

Anon Y. Mous: "Looks like we are missing the pic of Mittens. Got ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64