Cultural Differences in Cognitive Therapy

Description of the Strategy

One of the greatest challenges facing contemporary behavior and cognitive therapy is to distinguish universals in human mental and behavioral processes from those that are culturally specific. All of the great systems of psychotherapy have incorporated elements of the zeitgeist, the cultural assumptions that form the tacit basis of that particular culture at that particular time, generally without explicit awareness. For example, Sigmund Freud's theory of drive reduction and symptom substitution was based in part on 19thcentury mechanics and hydraulics. Symptoms that were suppressed and prevented from entering consciousness would, hydraulically, emerge somewhere else. Discharge of emotional energy led to relief. Even his focus on sexual repression as the source of neurosis can be traced to the heavily sexually ...

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