Cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) of depression is a psychotherapeutic treatment approach that involves the application of specific, empirically supported strategies focused on changing negative thinking patterns and altering behavior. In order to alleviate the symptoms of depression, treatment is directed at the following three domains: cognition, behavioral and physiological. In the cognitive domain, patients learn to apply cognitive restructuring techniques so that negatively distorted thoughts underlying depression can be corrected, leading to more logical and adaptive thinking. Within the behavioral domain, techniques such as activity scheduling, social skills training and assertiveness training are used to remediate behavioral deficits that contribute to and maintain depression such as social withdrawal and loss of social reinforcement. Finally with in the physiological domain, patients with agitation and anxiety are taught to use imagery, mediation and relaxation procedures to calm their bodies (Beck, Rush, Shaw & Emery, 1979). Process
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy combines the processes of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy into one treatment. Cognitive therapy teaches a client the connection between thought patterns, emotional state and behavior. Cognitive therapy encourages the client to change irrational and negative thinking patterns in order to alleviate the emotional symptoms that are caused by the thoughts. Behavioral therapy teaches the client how to change learned reactions that cause maladaptive behaviors. It is a common assumption that thoughts, and not external stimuli, directly cause emotions and behaviors and the cognitive part of CBT concentrates on the client's thoughts. CBT helps the client identify negative and irrational thoughts and replace them with more rational and more positive thoughts. Automatic thoughts are often the most powerful in affecting our emotions and behaviors as they are the cognitive reactions to feared situations. Automatic thoughts breed assumptions and effect core beliefs. CBT targets negative and irrational beliefs and thoughts in the client's mind (Kozak, 2003). Cognitive therapy hypothesizes that certain individuals possess negative beliefs, or self-schemata's. Specifically, individuals have a negative view of themselves, their environment, and their future. This negative way of thinking guides one's perception, interpretation and memory of personally relevant experiences, thereby resulting in a negatively biased construal of one's personal world and ultimately to the development of maladaptive symptoms. Individuals are more likely to notice and remember situations in which a sense of failure or deficit in personal standards occur and then discount or ignore successful situations. As a result, the negative sense of self is maintained and may lead to depression (Beck, 1979).
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an action-oriented form of psychosocial therapy that assumes maladaptive, or faulty, thinking patterns cause maladaptive behavior and negative emotions. Maladaptive behavior is behavior that is counter-productive or interferes with everyday living. The treatment focuses on changing an individual's thoughts, or cognitive patterns in order to change his or her behavior and emotional state. Theoretically, cognitive-behavioral therapy can be employed in any situation in which there is a pattern of unwanted behavior accompanied by distress and impairment. It is a recommended treatment option for a number of mental disorders (Ford-Martin, 2002). Cognitive therapists believe that maladaptive cognitions arise from faulty social learning, dysfunctional family experiences, or from traumatic events. Cognitive behavioral therapy has a tremendous effect on clients with psychological problems. The effects of this treatment have been proven to be extremely powerful in treating many psychological problems by approaching irrational and or negative automatic thoughts and...
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