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Unread January 26th, 2005, 06:21 PM
Doug William Doug William is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 21
Default Re: What uncertainties do we face in CT/CBT?

To read about this nonconscious language idea is surely not what Albert Ellis presents. My understanding of the historical precedents was that psychoanalysis paid limited homage to the 'conscious thought process', and that the emergence of cognitive behavior modification was very much centered on using this very conscious thought process as the primary vehicle through which to create behavior change. This represented back then a bold attempt to get away from the mysterious ideas of the psychoanalytic 'unconscious' and the operation of equally unconscious 'defense mechanisms'. To now read about discussions of automaticity and psychological defenses and dreams, and transferences, and issue of communication within the therapy room is a bit befudddling to say the least. I'm presuming I'm going to be reading now about how all these things will reformulated into CT terms. And then there's going to be research about all this??? I can only say that anyone who has ventured into psychoanalytic literature concerning these topics knows that a never ending quagmire awaits (whether or not one believes in psychoanalytic theory or practice, the nature of therapeutic communcation and the therapeutic relationship and when and how a therapist intervenes certainly, I think, has lots of relevance for any of the 'talking' therapies). Unfortunately, this topic introduces more variables and more compexity.

So I'm confused, because while I really do appreciate this more complicated (and realistic) understanding of mental life and that thoughts are not so conscious and manipulable--- it just looks like to me that things are headed in a direction where we all sigh--- agree this is art and not science--- but keep building a whole new edifice of marginally testable ideas anyway along with new mountains of literature whose basic tenets are going to be shakey at best.

Do we have to know the theory and the inner workings to believe that or to know that "CT works". Dr. Pretzer I've heard this before. From the Family Therapists. From the Analysts. From the Operant Conditioning People. From the Gestalt therapists. The subjective evaluation that therapy 'works' (and that this is more important than theory) because my experience and my colleagues experience and research tells me so is a little troubling. This is how the whole psychotherapy enterprise has always proceeded. And similar too is the idea that all the major CT researchers happen to be CT proponents and they pronounce that CT works too!! It's an odd, but long time state of affairs that double blind studies--and really long term studies-- and a full appreciation of the innumerable interacting variables just seems to elude us.

But forgetting for a minute about cognitions and conscious or unconscious or automatic--- you circumvented my question about basic affects being present at birth and the developmental implications of conscious or unconscious thought process developing later. Doesn't this say something about the primary place of 'affect' in mental life, and whether the tail may be wagging the dog, by giving cognition primacy?

-Doug

Last edited by Doug William; January 26th, 2005 at 09:55 PM. Reason: clarification
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