In the past several decades the so-called medical model initially espoused by Freud, Jung and others has been called into question (Holt 1986), (Wax, 1986), (Eysenck, 1986). Modern thinking (at least in some circles) holds that psychopathology cannot be classified as a “disease,” nor treated in the same systemic way that a physician might treat a medical disorder; for example by considering not only specific symptoms but overall body homeostasis vis a vis the influence of one organ system upon another. Among the more focal concerns of modern therapists are maladaptive thoughts (schemes) and behaviors that are typically addressed in strict deterministic fashion, e.g…. change the schemes and behaviors and the client is in effect, cured.
In streamlining the counseling process, practitioners of behavioral and cognitive methods have in many instances obtained positive results (Clark & Fairbum 1997) (Grant & Cash 1995) (Rosen, Reiter et al 1995). Just how those results pertain to the highly functional, and arguably non systemic nature of their method is another question. As Just & Varma (2007) have suggested it is difficult to conceive of the mind as being other than systemic. Mayer (2005) has offered a similarly systemic view of the personality. The fact that we use defenses, whereby compensations and adjustments serve to counteract anxiety, depression and other discomforting mood states shows that overall stability is indeed an important aspect of the personality. Consequently, one might expect that in systemic terms, behaviors and schemata would interact with one another in a dynamic way, eventually settling in on stable attitudinal and response systems rather than merely being engaged in functional interactions vis a vis the social environment. Read the rest of this entry »