CULTURAL TRENDS ON COGNITIVE THERAPY
Invited address to the World Congress of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
Vancouver, july, 2001
1 - Foreword and Introduction
Dear colleagues, thanks a lot for your invitation to this invited address, and for being here this morning. After coping with the first panic moment, and blaming myself (see figure 1) for accepting this invitation, I came out with a few beliefs I would like to share with you on cultural trends on cognitive therapy.
What are we as psychologists, therapists or cognitive psychotherapists? What are the determinants of our current interests in our field?
These two main questions guide my talk. And the general answer to them goes along the concept of culture.
What I'd like to assume as an starting point is that psychology and obviously cognitive therapy, is a changing scientific discipline, which pertains to an specific cultural and historical time. So, each historical and cultural moment is characterized by different attitudes, values, worries and needs, which are behind an specific epistemology and ontology. We are, as human beings a social and cultural product.
Each therapeutic approach is a direct consequence of a cultural context. As psychotherapists, we inherit, and equally construe, a particular point of view about the human beings we work with. At the same time, this reflects how we behave as active participants, in therapy. Its combination produces or develops into an specific therapeutic context.
This my starting point, but what is my focus?