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- Topic Areas:
- Invited Address
- Evolution of Psychotherapy | Evolution of Psychotherapy 1995
- Albert Ellis, PhD | Joseph Wolpe, M.D.
- Audio Only
- Original Program Date :
- Dec 14, 1995
Invited Address Session 6 Part 2 from the Evolution of Psychotherapy 1995 – From Psychoanalytic to Behavioral Methods in Anxiety Disorders: A Continuing Evolution
Featuring Joseph Wolpe, MD, with discussant Albert Ellis, PhD.
Moderated by William Matthews, Jr, PhD.
In the early decades of the 20th century Freud's mastery of the craft of presenting a case enthroned a belief that anxiety disorders were caused by repressed emotional complexes and that recovery required the restitution of repressed ideas. This belief dominated psychotherapeutic practice, and even though little was to be seen in the way of success, any alternative was treated with scorn. Mid-century studies of experimental neuroses showed that these disturbances were the consequence of the learning of maladaptive anxiety and could be overcome by systematic counteraction by other emotions. These findings, transferred to humans, were gratifyingly successful, but the published findings were ignored or belittled. Meanwhile, an increasing repertoire of relearning methods was developing including cognitive correction for subclasses of maladaptive anxieties based on misinformation. Recently, social pressures for cost-effective treatment of anxiety disorders have brought behavior therapy widening attention and thus for the first time it has been discussed as a primary therapy for anxiety disorders in journals of the American Psychiatric Association.
- Given a client, show that the achievement of lasting diminution of neurotic disturbance is the most significant index of the potency of psychotherapy.
- To recount the disappointing experiences with psychodynamic methods that led to a search for alternatives, and how experimental neuroses came to be seen as a model with clinical potential.
- To describe various experiments that established the therapeutic efficacy of conditioning methods in experimental and clinical neuroses, and how clinical derivatives continue to emerge from behavioral paradigms.
*Sessions may be edited for content and to preserve confidentiality*
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