Dialectical Integration: The Case of Psychoanalysis and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Yael Peri Herzovich, Aner Govrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Based on Hegel's dialectics, we argue that different psychotherapies considered monolithic such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychoanalysis, even though they hold radically different views on human suffering and therapy's aims, profoundly influence each other. We call this mutual influence dialectical integration (DI). DI is the result of unconscious processes that are activated by antagonism and negation for self-constitution. In a dialectically formative process, the self-constitution of CBT and psychoanalysis each is achieved by means of the negation of part of itself, which undergoes alienation in the other, thereby superficially taking the form of a rejection of the other approach. But whenever theoretical or practical lacunae occur in the unfolding of these disciplines, they negate this primary negation and re-internalize the alienated self-component. This part does not return in its original—and negated—form, but, through a sublation introducing theoretical and practical development. This is illustrated here by Hartmann's ego psychology, Beck's cognitive theory, Young's schema therapy, and Bateman & Fonagy's mentalization-based therapy (MBT). We show how these developments incorporate elements of otherness, which are not simply extraneous to the tradition but also part of it. We conclude by showing how DI gives rise to recognition and containment of otherness in both schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-359
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Psychotherapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 14 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. British Journal of Psychotherapy published by BPF and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • CBT
  • Hegel
  • dialectics
  • psychoanalysis
  • psychotherapy integration


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