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 Blooming Stars

Cognitive-Behavioral Model

             This model aims to treat problems concerning emotional, cognitive, and behavioral dysfunctions. It was developed through a merger of behavior therapy with cognitive therapy. Rooted in different theories, combinations of these two treatment approaches find common ground in alleviating symptoms related to dysfunctions such as mood, anxiety, personality, eating, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and psychotic disorders. It uses result-driven systematic procedures and brief, direct, and time-limited techniques and applications that can be adapted for individual or group settings. As mental health care is more and more directed by economic considerations as well as effective and evidence-based treatment, cognitive-behavioral model is gaining increasing popularity in the US. This model presupposes that mental dysfunctions or disorders result from faulty learning and erroneous cognitive programming and irrational belief systems.

            Cognitive behavioral therapies attempt through effective interventions to train clients in correct and healthy thinking and behavior patterns, and thus to eliminate inconvenient, painful, destructive, and self-defeating symptoms. Unlike in medical model, problems are not diseases. Medication is discouraged; when used it is primarily used as chemical restraints for severe symptoms so clients can become amenable for behavioral-cognitive interventions. Elimination of symptoms rather than their cause is focused. The assumption is that once the client achieves the correct cognitive restructuring and relief, and elimination of painful and undesirable symptoms, cure or healing can take place. Unlike psychodynamic approach, cognitive-behavioral approach is much less time-consuming and lends to quantifiable, evidence-based research.

            Humanistic-Existential Model: This model focuses on the healthy aspects of life; human being essentially has a healthy core; pathological aspects of life are downplayed. Having roots in existentialism and phenomenology, this model advocates a holistic approach to human existence It examines one’s motivation, search for meaning, value system, freedom to make choices in life, tragic aspects one faces, personal responsibility, human potential, death anxiety, and spirituality. The aim of therapy is to help the client achieve a strong, healthy sense of self that culminates in self-actualization. Humanistic-existential model includes several approaches to therapy that deal with hierarchy of human needs, and motivations, choices, decision-making, tragic aspects of human existence, and capacity for self-direction.

            Eastern philosophy has exerted great influence on humanistic-existential psychology as both are deeply concerned about understanding of human existence and consciousness. Unconditional positive regard and acceptance of others for who they are, genuineness, authenticity, and self-transparence in relationships, and a non-judgmental and non-evaluative attitude are very important in humanistic-existential therapeutic approach. Except in very severe disorders medication is discouraged. Therapist provides a deep empathic understanding of the client, and serves as a mirror in such a way that the client can see his/her own inner self and release blocked potential for growth on account of unique problems in life, and find his/her own direction toward actualization.


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