Cognitive Therapy and the Narrative Trend: A Bridge Too Far?

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Abstract

In his article on the possible integration of cognitive and narrative therapies, Ramsay argues that (1) the evolution of traditional cognitive approaches has moved them in a constructivist direction, (2) remaining metatheoretical differences need not impede attempts at integration of the models, and (3) the incorporation of narrative concepts and procedures holds considerable prospects for the further sophistication of cognitive therapy. In response, I share reservations about each of these propositions, based on a concern about deep-going differences between cognitive and constructivist approaches at the level of their preferred epistemologies, values, and procedures. Ultimately, I contend that genuinely progressive integration of cognitive and narrative models can only proceed if attention is given to these divergences, and if cognitive therapists accommodate their traditional theories to enhance their congruence with the novel perspectives they would like to assimilate.

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