Theory Critique on:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Aaron Beck is known as the pioneer of cognitive therapy, which has been a
utilized approach to psychotherapy. Beck attempted to further Freud’s theory of
depression; however, the research moved more towards errors in logic, coined “cognitive distortions” which were deemed the basis of underlying dysfunction and depression. The fundamental aspect of cognitive therapy, which later integrated components of behaviorism, was the carry-over of negative beliefs that reflected the individual’s pathological behavior. In addition to Beck, Albert Ellis contributed to the development of a cognitive based theory in his combination of humanism, philosophy, and behavior therapy when he formed rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Ellis continues to provide therapy and speaking engagements as a means of continuing his work and developing this form of psychotherapy. Cognitive-behavior therapy includes the restructuring of an individuals own statements and beliefs to develop resemblance with his or her behavior. The theory is founded on the belief there exists a relationship between cognitions, emotions, and behaviors. The relationship effects how the individual experiences events and situations. Cognitive theorists observe human nature from a cognitive and behavioral perspective. Theorists believe individuals have the potential to have rational and irrational thinking. This thinking is identified as the problem or subject. It can be seen as faulty thinking.
There are a number of techniques used by the therapist to intervene but the primary therapeutic goal is to teach clients to separate the assessment of their behavior from their evaluation of themselves. Another important factor of this theory is to generalize and accept self regardless of imperfections is the essence of therapy. The therapists goal is to help the client identify faulty thinking and challenge them to abandon their irrational thinking and develop a rational groundwork for life. Therapy sessions incorporate the client’s experiences in the present with a specific role of learner and doer between counselor and client. In addition, clients are expected to do homework that promotes learning and development outside of therapy session. Therapists often use self-disclose, sharing their own beliefs and views with the client to provide modeling of healthy choices.
Therapy sessions focus on the client’s experiences in the present with a specific role of learner and doer between counselor and client. . Therapists are open and often self-disclose their own beliefs and views with the client to provide modeling of healthy choices. In addition, clients are expected to actively work outside the therapy session usually with homework assignments to continue the learning and development. Therapy that utilizes a cognitive – behavioral approach is an active and deliberate process with both the therapist and client working together. Active participation from the client is important for success because the client needs to recognize the transformations in their thought that is required in order for change in behavior can be realized.
Cognitive Behavioral therapy can be criticized because of it appears confrontational in its approach towards challenging clients belief’s and behavior’s towards healthy change. I believe a therapist could misuse this power and coheres a client to believe certain values limiting the neutrality of therapy. The focus on positive thinking can be viewed as being too phony and minimizes the importance of a client’s history. While presents symptoms may be eliminated I think underlying causes of the problems are often ignored. Finally, emotions appear to be minimized with logic while thought oriented components are overstressed. I...
References: Corey, G. & Haynes, R. (2005). Integrative counseling, CD-ROM. Belmont, CA:
Corey, G (2009). The art of integrative counseling (2nd ed.) Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole-
Corey, G. (2009). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (8th ed.)
Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole-Thomson Learning.
DVD (2009): Theory in practice: The case of stan. Belmond, CA: Brooks/Cole-Thomson
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