The Myth of Choosing the Right type of Therapy I


Known as the Father of Neuroscience, Santiago Ramon y Cajal (1850-1934)
Neuronal art by Santiago Ramon y Cajal (1850-1934), known as the Father of Neuroscience.


The practice of psychology had started with two traditional schools: psychoanalytic and cognitive psychology from which further derivatives and styles of therapies would be formulated in tandem with advanced research in cognitive science and developmental psychology.

Freud’s pioneering work with psychoanalysis at the turn of the 20th century and the Jungian approach to the unconscious, both prepared the field for psychological practices, primarily paving the way for psychoanalytical therapy in the 1930s. The next major school – Cognitive Behavioral psychology was founded in the late sixties by the developmentalists Bruner and Neisser.


Here is a simplified outline of how cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) works and what to expect from the process:

  • The therapist and the patient jointly identifies the goal of therapy
  • Determine the duration (case specific, may take between 2-to-20 sessions or more)
  • Defining the desired behavior change from…to… (direct intervention)
  • Discovering the thought patterns underlying that behavior (cognitive treatment starts at the thought level –confrontation)
  • Specifying the method to fight against the unfavorable thoughts (willingness to change)
  • Replacing the negative thoughts with a positive thought or outright attitude (action and solution focused)
  • Practicing this method in real life scenarios (exposure)
  • Repeatedly in different contexts (assimilation)
  • Equip with coping strategies against the negative loop (installing resources)
  • Check the progress with the therapist (readiness and confidence outside the sessions)
  • Self-mastery (developing the ability to self-regulate the thought-emotion-behavior cycle)
  • Joint agreement on when to end the sessions
  • Follow-up sessions if necessary, to assure consistency



Duygu Bruce
July 11, 2019

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