The Intentionality Model: A Theoretical Integration of Psychodynamic Talking and Relating With Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions

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Abstract

The intentionality model is a model for integrative practice that links the awareness of clients to the interventions of therapists. The model is experientially based because psychological distress is assessed in terms of mental processes, or intentionalities, which create complex outcomes of emotion, repetitive patterns of maladaptive relating, and persistently negative mood. Intentionality refers to the many ways in which consciousness is aware. Accordingly, psychological interventions become recognizable as preparing for and creating changes in meaning by helping clients obtain new experiences and occupy new perspectives on what already exists. The intellectual background is the classical phenomenological psychology of Edmund Husserl, a theory of mind. Given that psychological suffering and health concern the awareness of meaning, and the intentionality of consciousness refers to the many ways in which people can be conscious of the same object of attention, it is argued that therapy concerns making changes in the forms of being aware.

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