Compare and Contrast the Ways in Which the Psychodynamic and Cognitive-Behavioural Approaches to Counselling Understand and Make Use of the Counselling Relationship

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Compare and contrast the ways in which the psychodynamic and cognitivebehavioural approaches to counselling understand and make use of the counselling relationship. In the following discourse I am going to look at ways in which two approaches to counselling, namely psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioural, work within a counsellor client relationship. I will be looking at the differences between the two approaches, looking at how the two models have been used in therapy in the past and how they contrast within the counselling relationship. The main similarities of the two approaches lies within the fact that both are used by the counsellor or therapist with the aim of treating the problems of the client, i.e stress, bereavement, addiction. However the theoretical differences are more apparent. The psychodynamic approach is heavily influenced in a biological sense and focuses mainly on the unconscious. The emphasis in the therapeutic relationship is why they feel/act the way they do. Therapy assumes the problems we face as adults stems from childhood experiences. Cognitive-behavioural approach places more emphasis on techniques and strategies. There is a ‘collaborative relationship’ that takes place during therapy. The counsellor using this model has a more pragmatic way of treatment, attempting to replace irrational or dysfunctional thought patterns and actions with more realistic ones to change their emotions and behaviour. It could be argued that the counselling relationship in the cognitive –behavioural approach between the counsellor and the client is a more distant one, whereas in the psychodynamic approach the relationship is more intertwined. When looking at the psychodynamic approach it is vital to consider that the focus of therapy is on the unconscious. Freud divided the mind into three regions. The id; where the basic motives for our behaviour is stored,
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