The Self in Emotional Distress: Cognitive and Psychodynamic Perspectives

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Zindel V. Segal, Sidney Jules Blatt
Guilford Press, 1993 - Psychology - 386 pages
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Does understanding a client's view of self increase a clinician's ability to treat emotional disorder? How can practitioners agree on the essentials of self-representation if various clinical theories implicate different aspects of the self in accounting for psychological distress? These questions form the basis for this unique examination of "the self' in the development and treatment of a number of emotional disorders. What is most exceptional about this volume is that it explores these issues from cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic approaches, each of which has articulated treatment methods that incorporate a focus on self-based processes. The result is a rare forum in which leading clinicians and theorists from both orientations address a single set of specific topics.

The book opens with two chapters that review theories of the self construct in both social cognition and psychoanalysis. The focus then shifts to the specific diagnostic categories of anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and borderline personality disorder. For each clinical disorder, separate chapters present the cognitive and psychodynamic perspectives. Then each set of authors provide commentary on the complementary chapter. Allowing for an interaction among cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic authors rarely found in other works, this format engenders comprehensive coverage of each specific disorder, as well as a uniquely informative synthesis of the insights of each approach. The editors' concluding chapter delineates the ways in which the self provides a vantage point for understanding emotional disorder.

THE SELF IN EMOTIONAL DISTRESS will interest all professionals of cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic orientations. Given its integrative focus, it will also be valuable to those involved with the psychotherapy integration movement, and therapists who describe themselves as eclectic. In addition, the volume serves as a text for upper-level courses in psychotherapy, psychopathology, abnormal psychology, and psychotherapy integration.

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About the author (1993)

Zindel V. Segal, Ph.D., is Head of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Unit at Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Toronto. A coauthor of Interpersonal Process in Cognitive Therapy (with Jeremy D. Safran), Dr. Segal's research interests are in the areas of cognitive vulnerability to relapse in unipolar depression and the assessment of changes in self-representation following treatment.
Sidney J. Blatt, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Yale University and Chief of the Psychology Section in the Department of Psychiatry. He is also a faculty member of the Western New England Institute of Psychoanalysis. Dr. Blatt's primary area of investigation is the development of mental representations (cognitive-affective schemas of self and others and their interactions), the differential impairment of these schemas in various forms of psychopathology, and changes that occur in these schemas in the therapeutic process.

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