1 Psychotherapist, NHS England-IAPT programme and Private Practitioner,
Canterbury, Kent, UK
Background: About 2 million years ago, (pre) humans began to evolve a range of cognitive competences for reasoning. Research across disciplines (Barnard, 2009) has developed multiple levels of analysis related to cognitive reasoning, interlinking neural, mental and interpersonal levels influenced by social motives and emotions (Gilbert, 2014). The complexity of cognitive reasoning and the interaction between cognition and emotion is such that further understanding is needed in psychotherapy. The integration of widely recognised Dual Process Theories (DPT) and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), an evolutionary functional analysis of basic social motivational systems (Gilbert, 2014) provide an understanding of mechanisms that may not be adequately comprehended and formulated in psychotherapy.
Aims: The aim of this paper is to merge DPT and CFT in order to gain insight into reasoning in psychotherapy.
Method: Previous literature is reviewed, examined and summarised. Semistructured interviews and observational data are also included.
Results: This paper suggests that System 1 is rooted in the Old Brain and can override System 2. As a result, this paper can make a contribution to psycho-education and treatment by helping clinicians and clients to recognise and understand why their ability to exert influence and selfregulate their thinking can be compromised.
Conclusion: Clinical implications and limitations are discussed.
Keywords: Dual Process Theory, Compassion Focused Therapy, CBT,
Published online: 2019/03/01
Published print: 2019/03/01