Cognitive Behavior Therapy
My personal theoretical orientation to counseling is Cognitive-Behavioral therapy. Cognitive-Behavioral therapy helps the client to uncover and alter distortions of thought or perceptions which may be causing or prolonging psychological distress. The theoretical foundations of CBT are essentially those of the behavioral and cognitive approaches. CBT leads to a clear, persuasive, and evidence-based description of how normal and abnormal behavior develops and changes (Kramer 293). The term “cognitive-behavioral therapy” or CBT is a term for therapies with many similarities. CBT is not used as a cure and often times used to help with anxiety or depression the most, and may be single or in group settings. There are several approaches to this form of therapy which include, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Rational Behavior Therapy, Rational Living Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, and Dialectic Behavior Therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors. External things, like people, situations, and events do not. The greatest benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think, feel, act, and even more so if the situation does not change.
In the development of methods of CBT, findings from basic research on the key concepts have been blended with cognitive theories. The most important of these findings are the following: The first is depressive behavior, including low energy, lack of interest, helplessness, and other reductions in psychomotor activity, can be successfully modified with behavioral techniques. The second one is exposure therapy and related methods are particularly effective interventions for many disorders. The last one is that behavioral interventions can be highly useful in helping clients improve coping, social, and problem-solving skills. CBT frequently uses behavioral interventions such as activity scheduling and graded task assignments to reactivate the client, and can contain elements of exposure and response prevention to interrupt the avoidant behaviors that play a central role in maintaining the disorder. CBT also may include efforts to improve coping behavior and other skills (Wright 6).
My role as the social worker is quite important. The primary task is to engage the client in identifying cognitive errors, refuting them, and replacing them with more adaptive thoughts. A sound therapeutic relationship is necessary for effective therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapists believe it is important to have a good, trusting relationship, but I know that is not nearly enough. We believe that the clients change because they learn how to think differently and they act on that learning. Therefore, CBT tries and focuses on teaching rational self-counseling skills. CBT is the teamwork that exists between the therapist and the client. This form of therapy is used to seek ways of learning what their clients want out of life and then helping their clients achieve those goals. The therapist's role is to listen, teach, and encourage, while the client's roles is to express concerns, learn, and implement that learning (Pucci1).
The task of CBT is to understand how the three components of emotions, behaviors and thoughts interrelate, and how they may be influenced by external stimuli which include events which may have occurred early in the client’s life. Cognitive-behavioral therapy by far does not in any way tell people how they should feel. In other words, it is not the stimulus itself which somehow elicits an emotional response directly, but our evaluation of or thought about that stimulus. However, when most people seek this type of therapy, they want to rid themselves of the ways they have been feeling.
CBT also puts emphasis on the fact that we have our undesirable situations whether we allow them to upset us or not. Basically saying that if we are upset about our problems, we then have two problems: #1 the...
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Kramer G., Bernstein D. Phares V. "Cognitive-Behavior therapy." Behavioral and Cognitive- Behavioral Psychotherapies. Comp. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009. Print.
Mulhauser, Greg. "An Introduction to Cognitive Therapy & Cognitive Behavioral Approaches." Counselling Resource. Counselling Resource, 02 Nov 2010. Web. 1 Dec 2010. http://counsellingresource.com/types/cognitive-therapy/index.html.
Pucci, Aldo. "Techniques/Methods." What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy? 2010: 1. Web. 27 Nov 2010.
Pucci, Aldo. "Therapeutic Relationship." What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy? 2010: 1. Web. 27 Nov 2010.
Rubarth, Scott. "Stoic Philosophy of Mind." IEP, 2005. Web.
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Wright, Jesse H. "Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basic Principles and Recent Advances.” American Psychiatric Association. IV.2 (2006): 6. Print.
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