Changing cognition

“Nardone: Well, Alessandro, to paraphrase all your answers . . . please correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to consider the strategic dialogue an innovative technique that is the natural evolution of the brief strategic psychotherapy model that has been originated and developed by the Centre of Strategic Therapy during the past fifteen years. This is a tradition that has shifted from pragmatism through symbolical interactionalism to the formulation of the School of Palo Alto. Furthermore, if I’m not mistaken, you believe that the effects of this strategy are therapeutic; they are radical changes and not a sort of therapeutic amalgam of a person’s perception, representations, and behaviour. Such therapeutic effects tend to persist over time because they affect the modality through which each one of us constructs what we then have to endure. Finally, it seems clear to you that this communicative exchange is not a manipulative directive forced upon the patient, but a subtle induction to a therapeutic self-deception that triggers a virtuous spiral of conjoint discoveries between the therapist and the patient.

Salvini: Yes, truly so. I see that you have gathered very well what I think! What does changing one’s point of view imply, solely changing the cognition or changing one’s actions?

Nardone: From my point of view, changing cognition . . . on the contrary, to what the traditional forms of psychotherapy, orientated towards insight and therefore towards the prevailing work on incrementing the cognitive structure of the patient, might have conveyed . . . cognition represents only the ultimate and not even the most important therapeutic effect. When a person is led to change his point of view in respect to a reality that he cannot manage, the first effect we get is of a perceptive type, or, rather, we change the way he feels about something. The second effect is to translate the different sensations produced by the diverse perceptions into actions. Only through carrying out these two phases will the necessary changes to solve the problem be orientated towards the acquisition of awareness of all this. Changing point of view presents an illuminating discovery. The discoveries, in the most realistic terms, cannot be carried out on a cognitive level. Cognition is an effect and not the cause of a discovery.

Salvini: Is the strategic dialogue a method applicable only to certain types of disorders, or to all known pathologies?

Nardone: Nothing applies for everything or forever. If it were the case, it would be an inhuman act.”

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Kocaeli Üniversitesi Psikolojik Danışmanlık ve Rehberlik

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