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Cyclical psychodynamics is an integrative theory that highlights the pervasive role of vicious and virtuous circles in the realms of personality and psychotherapy. Cyclical psychodynamic theory originated in efforts by Paul Wachtel to integrate the contributions of psychoanalytic and behavioral therapists, seeking a more effective and comprehensive therapeutic approach and a more inclusive theory of personality dynamics and therapeutic change. It has subsequently integrated influences from family therapy, cognitive therapy, attachment theory, and other perspectives, as well as the impact of culture and socioeconomic forces.

Basing his efforts on considerable evidence for the effectiveness of both psychodynamic and behavioral approaches and for the key ideas on which each was based, Wachtel was struck by the way proponents of each approach dismissed important observations deriving from the ...

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