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Evolutionary Approaches to Psychopathology and Cognitive Therapy

Evolutionary Approaches to Psychopathology and Cognitive Therapy <p>This opening article outlines some key themes of an evolutionary approach to psychopathology, and explores possible implications for cognitive therapy. Evolutionary psychology suggests that many of our mental mechanisms are designed to promote survival and reproduction, not happiness, or even mental health, as such. This article focuses on the concept of evolved strategies and their phenotypic expressions, to fit specific niches. It suggests that evolved strategies and their phenotypic expressions partly operate through two psychobiological systems, called the defense and safeness systems, which detect and respond to threats and punishments, and safeness and potential rewards, respectively. Various cognitive schemas, rules and automatic thoughts, especially those linked to psychopathology, are often products of the linkages in strategies as coded in defense and safeness systems. The latter part of the article gives a brief exploration of the view that self-to-self relationships (self-evaluations and “self-talk”) evolved from social cognitions and behavior. Negative self-evaluations, self-criticism, and self-attacking are viewed as internalized interactions between a hostile, dominant part of self, and an appeasing, subordinate part of self. One way of undermining this interaction is to introduce the notion of compassion for the self. A brief consideration is given to the development of “compassionate mind” in work with shame-prone people as expressed in high self-criticalness and/or self-hating. Throughout the text the main problems addressed are those of the more chronic, emotional difficulties often associated with some degree of what is called personality disorder.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy Springer Publishing

Evolutionary Approaches to Psychopathology and Cognitive Therapy

Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy , Volume 16 (3): 32 – Sep 1, 2002

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References (101)

Publisher
Springer Publishing
ISSN
0889-8391
eISSN
1938-887X
DOI
10.1891/jcop.16.3.263.52515
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<p>This opening article outlines some key themes of an evolutionary approach to psychopathology, and explores possible implications for cognitive therapy. Evolutionary psychology suggests that many of our mental mechanisms are designed to promote survival and reproduction, not happiness, or even mental health, as such. This article focuses on the concept of evolved strategies and their phenotypic expressions, to fit specific niches. It suggests that evolved strategies and their phenotypic expressions partly operate through two psychobiological systems, called the defense and safeness systems, which detect and respond to threats and punishments, and safeness and potential rewards, respectively. Various cognitive schemas, rules and automatic thoughts, especially those linked to psychopathology, are often products of the linkages in strategies as coded in defense and safeness systems. The latter part of the article gives a brief exploration of the view that self-to-self relationships (self-evaluations and “self-talk”) evolved from social cognitions and behavior. Negative self-evaluations, self-criticism, and self-attacking are viewed as internalized interactions between a hostile, dominant part of self, and an appeasing, subordinate part of self. One way of undermining this interaction is to introduce the notion of compassion for the self. A brief consideration is given to the development of “compassionate mind” in work with shame-prone people as expressed in high self-criticalness and/or self-hating. Throughout the text the main problems addressed are those of the more chronic, emotional difficulties often associated with some degree of what is called personality disorder.</p>

Journal

Journal of Cognitive PsychotherapySpringer Publishing

Published: Sep 1, 2002

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