Cognitive psychology sees the mind as a process and seeks to establish its models. Emanation of physicalism applied to the mind. When the model is established, it is sufficient to use it to act on its own processes. This branch of psychology is therefore associated with cognitive therapy: correcting the parts of mental functioning considered defective.
What sets the model? The spirit. You immediately guess the trap: fall into the circular reasoning. Here the observer is not an instrument of measurement detached from the mind. It's self-observation. Mental diagrams attempt to model others. In doing so, are they not imposing themselves on them rather than understanding them?
Philosophy warns us that models are creations of the mind, very consensual in the scientific framework, not the essence of things. The difference has few practical consequences for the sciences of matter. We interact with matter through other materials. A good model of interaction is enough to control physical reality. The mind of the physicist does not seem to decide the material processes. He's just representing them.
The situation is different for psychology. The mind is no longer detached from the model. He's in it. As if physical particles had the opportunity to decide which fundamental forces will govern their relationships. With cognitive psychology, we can almost choose how our mind will work. That's a good incentive to be careful, isn't it?
Let's make that observation. If you consider the mind as an organized pyramid, from neural physiology to pure abstractions, manipulating the base or summit does not have the same consequences. For the basics, it's medicine: repairing the biology of the mind. For the summit, it is influence on opinions. From morally acceptable to unacceptable. Note, however, that an irresponsible person can harm more by trafficking the base than the summit.
The interest of cognitive psychology is to allow the pyramid-conscious floors to access defective unconscious floors, better understanding their role. Great way to eliminate neuroses. Not to fulfill desires. Self-observation can become a shackle. By dint of scrutinizing one no longer experiences. To experience is to allow the flow of mental processes to rise freely from their instinctive roots. Do not channel them. Let them organize spontaneously. It is also in this way that one raises one's psychic pyramid.
Prior to the availability of cognitive tools, it was not possible to control the spontaneous diversification of psyches within the environment. Many possible alienations, of course, but also surprising, original, artistic personalities.
With the psychology of processes, society has an effective way of telling us what we need to be. As much as this means is valuable in indicating lethal limits for oneself or others, it must be used sparingly, at the risk if not of being a tool of mental normalization.