Comparison of CBT and Short Term Psychodynamic Therapy

Comparisonof CBT and Short Term Psychodynamic Therapy

Comparisonof CBT and Short Term Psychodynamic Therapy

Cognitivebehavioral therapy refers to a counseling strategy that aims athelping clients become aware of their negative and inaccuratethinking (Mayo Clinic, 2015). Short-term psychodynamic therapy(STPT), on the other hand, refers to a focused psychotherapeuticapproach that aims at helping people overcome their negative physicaland psychological factors affecting their well-being (Mayo Clinic,2015). This paper will compare and contract CBT and STPT, with afocus on the absence of &quotfree choice&quot, and the role ofcognition, and the role of emotion.


Boththe short-term psychodynamic therapy and CTB aim at improvingemotions of the client. For example, CTB assumes that dysfunctionalschemata are expressed in automatic thoughts logical errors, whichleads to all types of behavioral and emotional problems (Driessen,Van, Schoevers, Cuijpers, Aalst, Hendriksen, Kool, Molemaar, &ampDekker, 2007). Similarly, the therapists encourage clients toexperience and reflect upon their emotions during the second phase ofSTPT (Kissey, Leichsenring, Dekker &amp Crowe, 2014). CBT and STPTassume that people suffering from depressive disorders, anxiety andother stress-related conditions find it challenging to resolvedifficult emotions. Therefore, both users of the CBT and STPTacknowledge that emotions have roles to play in underlying behavioralproblems and addressing emotion processing can be a viable solution.

Boththe CBT and STDT acknowledge that cognition has a significant role toplay in determining the stability of one’s thoughts and behavior.The therapists using either of the approaches seek to identify andaddress faulty cognitions that have already been accepted by thepatient to be correct, leading to the underlying problems that thetherapists is trying to resolve (Welsh &amp Farrington, 2007). Thismeans that therapists who use either of the two approaches start byaccepting the possibility of the fact that faulty cognition could bepresent.


Thetwo approaches differ in two ways. First, although the users ofeither the CBT or STPT acknowledge the existence of faultycognitions, causality in the two approaches is in reverse. Atherapist who chooses to use STDP approach considers faulty cognitionas a key fact that prevents the client’s access to buried truefeelings (WPF Therapy Limited, 2015). A CBT therapist, on the otherhand, assumes that faulty cognition is the cause of negative emotionsthat leads to a poor psychological state of the client. Therefore,users of the two approaches differ on the idea of whether it is thethought that drive human feelings or whether it is feelings thatdrive human thought.

Secondly,unlike the STPT, users of CBT uphold the concept of free choice. Thetherapists who use CBT do not their clients on what they should thinkabout different situations, but they focus on teaching clients onhow they should consider all aspects of a given situation and usethose considerations to test whether their beliefs are functional andaccurate (Henriques, 2014). An STPT, on the other hand, instructclients on how they can discover their unconscious as well asconscious feelings, which limits the free choice of clients.

Thereis one major insight gained after reviewing the similarities as wellas differences between CBT and STPT. The fact that faulty orillogical thoughts play a significant role in determining one’snegative behavior and psychological challenges is general knowledge(Jacobson, 2013). However, the fact that CBT therapists viewillogical thoughts as the cause of negative emotions while STPT seesillogical thoughts as key barriers that prevent clients fromaccessing true feelings is an insight can only be obtained bycomparing the two approaches.

Inconclusion, users of CBT and STPT aim at enhancing the emotions oftheir clients and believe that cognition plays a critical role indetermining behavior and thoughts. The two approaches differ in theway their users see the causal relationship between feelings andfaulty cognition. In addition, the CBT approach upholds the idea offree choice while the freedom of clients to choose that type ofthought to engage in is quite limited.


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Welsh,C. &amp Farrington, P. (2007). Preventingcrime: What works for children, offenders, victims and places.Berlin: Springer Science and Business Media.

WPFTherapy Limited (2015). Short-termpsychodynamic psychotherapy.London: WPF Therapy Limited.