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Pilecki, B. Thoma, N. McKay, D. (2015). Cognitive Behavioral and Psychodynamic Therapies: Points of Intersection and Divergence. Psychodyn. Psych., 43(3):463-490.
   

(2015). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 43(3):463-490

Cognitive Behavioral and Psychodynamic Therapies: Points of Intersection and Divergence

Brian Pilecki, Ph.D., Nathan Thoma, Ph.D. and Dean McKay, Ph.D.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy (PDT) are two major paradigms in the mental health care field. The present article reviews broad similarities and differences between each tradition while acknowledging that such generalizations may overlook heterogeneity within each. However, it is believed that a comparison between CBT and PDT is beneficial in dispelling myths about each tradition, fostering dialogue, encouraging further scholarship and research. While not an exhaustive account, this article will examine how CBT and PDT differ in how they view several topics such as the unconscious, the therapeutic alliance, the role of homework, symptom reduction, and therapeutic heuristics. Commentary is also offered on how research may be more effectively and collaboratively integrated with clinical work from both traditions. Future directions for partnership and improving mental health treatments are also discussed.

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