Affective/Cognitive Integration

I continue to lay the background for an opportunity to begin discussing the dynamics of the Integrated Paradigm. So far I have been able to discuss the “integrated approach” as well as the concept of the ‘therapeutic lifestyle.” Two remaining concepts that I would like to clarify before discussing each of the actual dynamics are Affective and Cognitive Integration.  

My use of the word integration refers to a process of psychological re-organization that occurs as we externalize repressed, suppressed, and/or misguided emotions and thoughts, gain new insights and understandings regarding their significance and meaning, and then re-internalize them in renewed and healthier form. Stated simply, we integrate when we follow the old psychological adage that encourages us to “Name it, claim it, and tame it.”

The word affective refers to that which is emotional in nature. It includes feelings and what we might call impressions. Intuition might also be associated with this concept, and I also like to include wisdom within this category.

The word cognitive deals with perception, processing (thinking) and reason. It can also include concepts like intention and will, and I like to place knowledge within this domain as well.

Hence, if we begin to combine these terms we come to understand that affective and cognitive integration refer to two unique but interconnected processes of healing via the “externalization of repressed, suppressed and/or misguided emotions and thoughts, the gaining of new insights and understandings regarding their significance and meaning, and the re-internalization of them in renewed and healthier form.”

With that we have our initial definitions of two sub-processes of an overall process upon which volumes could be written! I am now able to begin to dig into the really interesting and highly applicable part of this approach to psychological healing: the Integrated Dynamics.

For now, please take a moment to envision an outline:

Integrated Psychological Health and Wellbeing –via– The Therapeutic Lifestyle –via–Affective/Cognitive Integration –via– Integrated Dynamics

Do these concepts open doors to new interpretations regarding your own self-concept?

Do they provide some ideas regarding how you might seek deeper understandings and growth moving forward? Do they inspire you to look forward to future posts about the Integrated Dynamics?

If so, then I have accomplished my goals regarding the background discussion and can (finally) move into what will benefit my readers the most: the real life applications of all of these theoretical conceptualizations. After all, the value of any theory is best measured by its usefulness in “real life, right?”

Therefore, let us now proceed with testing the value of these theories by discussing how they function “where the rubber meets the road.”

Be Well!

Dr. Mik
Psychotherapist/Author

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