There are four schools of thought used to explain the theory and therapy in psycho analysis and counseling. These are Psychodynamic and psychoanalytic, cognitive- behavioral, humanistic and eclectic. Psychodynamic therapy and theory views an individual to the development throughout life. Cognitive theory is inclined onto the social learning of an individual. Humanistic theory claims that an individual has the capacity to control his actions and finally the eclectic is based on individualism and pragmatism. (McWilliams 2008)
For the purposes of this paper I will only dwell on the first two theories and therapies that are the psychodynamic and the cognitive and focus on the comparison and contrast between them. Psychodynamic theory is the oldest and individuals are seen as simply being made up from "dynamic" which begins in early childhood and progresses throughout life. All adult problems can be traced back to childhood. On the other hand Cognitive and behavioral theory believe in the social learning in childhood development. Individuals' personalities come from the experience in the environment like imitations and observations of behaviors, thoughts and feelings (Corey 2009).
In the cognitive and behavioral theory humans are seen as mainly neutral, but the environment and other people that shapes them up to either healthy or unhealthy individual. On the contrary, Psychodynamics view an individual as having the ego which is the mediating force, super ego which is the conscience and the identity which is the devil inside an individual. An example of the psychodynamic is the development of smoking habit where an individuals conscience tells him not to smoke, but the inner identity tells him that after all it does not hurt and thus continuous with the habit. For the cognitive it could be a case whereby an individual becomes violent because the parents have such character. (Corey 2009)
Psychodynamic therapists tend to be indirectly attacking the patient's problem as opposed to the cognitive who give them a very direct approach. Psychodynamic therapy is usually of long term as compared to the cognitive and behavioral that is of short term usually 3 to 9 months. Psychodynamic therapists emphasize onto the frame, insight and interpretations of the process whereas the cognitive and behavioral therapists emphasize onto the changing of the individuals irrational thinking which means they educate them accordingly and thereby act as teachers besides being therapists. Psychodynamic therapists' main weapon is the power to interpret an individual's situation critically as opposed to the cognitive and behavioral therapists who do much of listening to their patients.
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The idea whether a therapy suits an individual or not simply lays with the therapist himself, the nature of the problem that is it a depression, phobia or any other. Other factors like willingness of the patient to be helped and other related issues must also be considered.