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Comparison and Contrast of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Approaches with Postmodern Therapy Approaches

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Postmodern counseling approaches have begun to challenge the paradigms of modernistic counseling theories. Modern theories emphasize the use of empirically validated treatment approaches to psychotherapy. The modernistic therapy perspective endorses the premise that psychological problems are the result of disturbances in cognitive processes. The focus of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is on helping clients to examine and restructure their core beliefs in order to reorganize one’s behavior. Postmodern approaches to therapy, however, stress the importance of context in people’s social and interpersonal world. The postmodern perspective is interested in the client’s world external to individual dynamics. This paper will compare and contrast the key points, therapeutic relationship, application, contributions, and strengths and limitations of CBT and postmodern versions of therapy. Modern and postmodern theories differ widely in their assumptions regarding reality. Two popular branches of CBT (a blend of related psychotherapies) are cognitive therapy (CT) and rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). These therapies assume that cognitive processes—thoughts, beliefs, self-statements, and perceptions—are the major determinants of an individual’s emotion and behavior. CT and REBT assume that reality is objective and can be observed. Similar to CBT, postmodernism is also a group of related therapies. In contrast though, postmodernists, assume that reality does not exist independent of observational processes. Postmodern approaches such as social constructionism (SC) and narrative therapy (NT) assume that truth and reality are merely a way of understanding a situation within the context of the client’s social and cultural context. ... ... middle of paper ... ...ential impediment to postmodern and CBT interventions is practitioner incompetence. Psychological harm to clients is a potential danger of interventions implemented by untrained or inexperienced therapists. Likewise, the attitude and professional maturity of the practitioner are crucial to the value of the therapeutic process. In both approaches, whether taking on the role of teacher or collaborator, the therapist’s stance is one of positive regard, caring, and being with the client. While techniques and therapeutic styles may vary between and within the postmodern and CBT counseling approaches, they both enlist the client’s diligent participation and collaboration throughout the stages of therapy to accomplish positive therapeutic outcomes. Works Cited Corey, G. (2013). Theory and practice of counseling and psychology. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Cenage Learning
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