The cognitive behaviour therapy becomes so important nowadays because it helps in treating many serious cases well.

So, it is useful to have simple information about cognitive behaviour therapy.

Beck contended that individuals have ‘automatic thoughts’ in response to particular stimuli.  He proposed that we also have negative automatic thoughts which he claimed persisted in emotionally disturbed clients despite objective evidence to the contrary.  He went on to develop the most advanced theory of depression to date.  He suggested that people who are emotionally disturbed tend to commit logical errors that result in them evolving a lack of self-worth.

These misconceptions are deemed ‘cognitive distortions’, which are described below.

CBT is based on the following premises –

  1. CBT is based on the cognitive model of emotional response. It is based on the scientific fact that thoughts cause our feelings and behaviours, not external things such as people, events and situations.  This fact enables us to change the way we think, to feel/act better even if the situation does not change.
  2. CBT is briefer and time limited.  It is considered to be among the quickest therapy in terms of results obtained. The average number of sessions received is 16.  Psychoanalysis can take years.  CBT is briefer because it is highly instructional and makes use of homework.
  3. A sound therapeutic relationship is necessary for effective therapy but is not the focus. Some therapies assume the main reason people get better in therapy is because of the positive relationship between the therapist and client.  CB Therapists believe it is important to have a good trusting relationship, but that this is not enough.  CBT Therapists believe that clients change when they learn to think differently, so they focus on teaching rational self-counselling skills.
  4. CBT is a collaborative effort between client and therapist.  CBT therapists try to learn what the client wants out of life (their goals) and then help their client achieve their goals.  The role of the therapist is to listen, teach and encourage, while the client is to learn, express concerns, learn and implement the learning.
  5. CBT is based on stoic philosophy; it does not tell people how they should feel.  However, most people who want therapy to do not want to feel the way they do.  CBT teaches the benefits of feeling calm when confronted with undesirable situations.  It is also important that we have undesirable situations whether they are upsetting or not.  If we are upset by our problems, we now have two problems – the problem and our upset.
  6. CBT uses the Socratic Method.  CB Therapists want to gain a good understanding of their client’s concerns.  They will ask questions and encourage clients to ask questions about themselves, like “How do I know these people are laughing at me?”
  7. CBT is directive and structured.  Specific concepts and techniques are taught in each session.  CBT focuses on helping the client achieve goals that they have set.  Whilst it is directive in that respect, CBT therapists do not tell their clients what to do, rather how to do it.
  8. CBT is based on an educational model.  It is based on scientifically supported assumptions that most emotional and behavioural reactions are learned.  Therefore, the goal of therapy is to help clients to unlearn unwanted reactions and learn a new way to react.  CBT therapist do not present themselves as “know it all’s”, there will be an assumption that if the clients knew what the therapist has to teach them, they would not be experiencing the behavioural or emotional problems that they are experiencing.  CBT is not “just talking”, it focuses on long term results.  If people understand how and why they are doing well, they continue doing what they are doing to make themselves well.

9- CBT Theory and techniques rely on the Inductive method. A central part of rational thinking is that it is based on fact, not just on assumptions made.  We may upset ourselves about things, when the situation isn’t what we think it is.  If we knew that, we would not waste our times upsetting ourselves.

The inductive method encourages people to look at our thoughts as being hypotheses that can be tested and questioned.

If we find our hypotheses are incorrect, then we can change our thinking to be in line with the actual situation.  There are 25 common mental mistakes that people make that cause them not to have the facts straight.

10-A central feature of CBT is homework.  Goal achievement can take a long time if a person only attends once a week, so CBT therapists assign reading assignments and encourage clients to practice techniques learned.

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