Cognitive-Behavioral and Short-Term Psychodynamic Therapies

As you think about how cognitive-behavioral therapies compare to short-term psychodynamic therapies, it is important to keep in mind their respective theoretical perspectives. Each has a different view of personality, human development, observable behavior, motivations, intervention strategies, and defined measurable outcomes. However, you will find there are also common features.
To prepare for this assignment:

  • If necessary, review the Resources from Weeks 3 and 4 to refresh your understanding of the basic tenets of short-term psychodynamic therapy. Then think about basic perspectives of personality and psychopathology through the lens of short-term dynamic psychotherapy.
  • Review the Resources from this week, thinking about the same issues through the lens of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • Consider the similarities and differences between short-term psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral therapies.
  • Consider how these therapies (short-term dynamic psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral) address the conceptualization of client issues and the selection of clinical interventions.

The assignment: (2–3 pages)

  • Submit a paper comparing the similarities and differences between cognitive-behavioral and short-term psychodynamic therapies.
  • Include in your comparison, issues concerning the role of the therapist, the presence or absence of “free choice,” the role of emotion, and the role of cognition.
  • Having made the comparison, state what new insights you have about either or both therapies.


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