Assumptions and Definition
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) addresses dysfunctional emotions, maladaptive behaviors, and cognitive processes. This is an effective treatment for patients who are dealing with anxiety and depression. CBT refers to a group of psychotherapies that incorporate techniques from cognitive therapy and behavior therapy. Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck are the two psychologists who came up with therapies. Beck developed the cognitive therapy (CT) that focuses on changing the client’s unrealistic maladaptive beliefs and thoughts in order to change the individual’s behavior and emotional state. To help CT is directive collaboration by help teach the client correct their distorted thinking and perception of self, other, and external events. Ellis came up with the Rational Emotive Therapy (RET), based on the assumption people are not disturbed by things but rather than their view of things. The key premise of RET is the people’s difficulties are caused by their faulty expectations and irrational beliefs. The key assumptions of the cognitive therapies assume that the reason is due to illogical patterns of thinking. Hockenbury (2014) gives an example on cognitive therapy saying, “Most people blame their unhappiness and problems on external events or situations, but the real cause of unhappiness is the way the person thinks about the events, not the events themselves. (Ellis, 1991; Ellis & Ellis, 2011)(P 592-593). Ellis theory of cognitive behavior, psychological problems are explained by the “ABC” model of the Activating event (A) occurs, the person’s Beliefs (B) about the event, and emotional Consequences (C). Cognitive- Behavioral therapy can be used in any situation in which there is a pattern of unwanted behavior accompanied by stress and impairment. Many people are recommended treatment option to help change the individuals cognitive patters in order to change his or her behavior and emotional state. CBT target both thoughts and behaviors in therapy.
Interventions, Techniques, and/or Exercises
For CBT, there are many interventions, techniques, and exercises to help patients uncover and examine their thoughts and also change their behaviors. People with cognitive –behavioral therapy can go see a therapist to receive help. One test is called Validity testing. It is a test the patients are asked to take to test the validity of the automatic thoughts and schemas they encounter. The therapist may then ask the patient to defend or produce evidence to back up that schema. Many therapists also assign their patients to complete different homework assignments. These assignments many consist of real life behavioral experiments where the patient needs to practice responding to different situations in the way discussed in their therapy sessions.
Patients should also keep a journal or diary when he or she has any thoughts, feeling, or any type of emotion that arise in specific situations. This journal will help the patients be awake of their maladaptive thoughts. As the patient is towards the later stages of therapy, the journal can be a reminder of positive behaviors and a sign of progress when looking back on reading old journal entries.
There are different exercises the therapists can practice with their patients. There is one activity called cognitive rehearsal. The patient is told imagine a difficult situation and the therapist will guide the patient step by step of the process how to face the situation successfully in their head mentally. By doing this exercise, when a situation appears in real life, similar to the one the patient thought of in therapy he or she will remember the correct behavior and how to respond. Similar to this activity is modeling. The therapist and patient will participate in role-playing exercises relating to different scenarios the patient will see in the real world. CBT focuses on the immediate present and specific problems: what and how a person...
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Goldberg, J. (2012) "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression: Techniques, Sessions, and More." WebMD. WebMD,
Hockenbury, D. (2014). Discovering Psychology (6th edition). New York: Worth Publishers.
Voss Horrell, S. (2008). Effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy with adult ethnic minority clients: A review. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 39(2), 160-168.
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