Cognition, Psychodynamics, and Control of Experience
This chapter discusses a convergence between psychodynamics and cognitive science. Bill Bevan encouraged this convergence in many ways through his role as Director of the Health Program of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. A convergence between psychodynamic and cognitive points of view can provide a theory with the power to explain symptom formation. The chapter illustrates three aspects of this convergence: states of mind, the description of schemas of relationship between the self and significant others, and the description of control processes. Part of the cognitive-psychodynamic point of view has endeavored to raise these everyday recognitions of recurrent states into clear consciousness by reducing complexity and applying descriptive labels to what can be observed. Gradual recognition of grandiose fantasies, provided it is done in a tactfully maintained working alliance, gives a patient a chance to use conscious controls, and that gain will be directly reflected in improvements at work and in social relationships.