For and Against CBT

Topics: Cognitive behavioral therapy, Psychotherapy, Therapy Pages: 13 (4058 words) Published: November 1, 2013
Leeds Metropolitan University

Faculty of Health Semester 2

BSc Therapeutic Counselling

Issues and Debates in Counselling and Psychotherapy

Critically evaluate the arguments for and against one of the subject areas raised in the issues and debates sessions

For and Against Cognitive Behavioural therapy

Student number: C7017417

Tutor: Kay McFarlane

Words: 3834

May 2013

The aims of this essay are to critically evaluate the arguments for and against Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). I will explore the theory of CBT comparing it to other approaches and the strengths and limits of the approach. I will then focus on the therapeutic relationship and issues of power. I will then critically evaluate the evidence that supports the use of CBT, focusing on the methodology and bias of research in the NHS. In my conclusion after considering the theory and evidence that is for and against CBT, I will then give my opinion of CBT, what I have learned from doing this essay and how it will change my practise in future. The reason I have chosen to explore the arguments for and against CBT is because I am due to start working for the NHS as a Primary Care Counsellor and will have the opportunity to study a certificate in CBT. I hope that I will be able to gain knowledge to help me make my decision on whether or not to study a CBT certificate. I also feel that IAPT is influencing counsellors to feel they need to value the scientific model of CBT because of the time limited advantage and cost saving attributes. I feel IAPT training is potentially exposing vulnerable people to harm, because of the brief IAPT training that does not focus on the quality of the relationship, awareness of the counsellor, and the lack of knowledge that some CBT and primary well-being practitioners have about counselling and psychotherapy. I hope that this essay will offer me the chance to explore my assumptions about CBT and thus influence my practise and views. Having introduced the essay, I will now explore the theory of CBT, against other approaches. The cognitive behavioural approach is the most scientific approach to counselling (McLeod, 1998), it is a scientific psychological approach (Gilbert & Leahy, 2007) that argues that what a human thinks directly effects how they behave and feel (Dobson, 2001), this includes physical reactions and can lead to changes in the social environment (Greenberger & Padesky,1995). The model is used to treat people who have psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety (Beck, 2002) and focuses on changing behaviour in the future, by changing the dysfunctional way a person thinks about things that occur in the environment (McLeod, 1998). CBT argues that humans are not created by biological influences and sensations but are actively involved in constructing their reality (Neenan & Dryden, 2004). The CBT model is similar to person-centred counselling in the way it does not put an emphasis on unconscious processes but works with what is conscious (Medcof & Roth, 1979) and Watson argued that actual, observable behaviour rather than unconscious processes should be focused on because this can be measured and controlled (McLeod, 1998). However the Person-centred and Psychodynamic model disagree with the assumption that thinking is central. The person-centred approach argues that the actualising tendency, which is an innate drive, is central to change and this is accomplished through the valuing of a client in therapy (Rogers, 1951) and focuses on the here and now experiences of the client (McLeod, 1998). Carl Rogers who is one of the founders of person-centred counselling would argue that conditions in the therapeutic relationship of empathy, congruence and positive regard, promote trust which is important as it enables a person’s self-actualising ability, meaning there is a capacity for personal growth and change...

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