Cognitive Behavior Therapy

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Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, CBT in short is an integration of cognition and behaviour psychology which interact with human behaviour in various fields of human existence. This therapy is developing to improve mental health and wellbeing of individuals. 

According to Beck’s Instruction of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, CBT in short, is an establishment of two therapeutic interventions; Cognitive Therapy & Behavioural Therapy.

Cognitive therapy is for clients who are willing to change irrational way of thinking, the behavioral therapy shell help to change pathological and dysfunctional behaviors. 

The cognitive therapy approach was developed by A.T. Beck, beginning in the 1960s as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, where the mental health professional works to help the client to identify the negative pattern of thinking, then reduce the stress and maladaptive behaviour and show a more realistic way of thinking (Beck. J, 1995). 

The aforementioned methods of CBT were initially implemented by Adler who addressed Cognition in Psychotherapy (Sweeney, 1998). Adler’s believed that without psycho-education, psychotherapy will not be successful.

Behavioural, cognitive and other directive developmental therapies must be included to achieve a desired effect in treatment. As it happens with CBT practice. As a therapist Adler wants to understand the client’s unrealistic belief system and help the client to solve their current problems. To stay in the present, rather than conveying with experience like in Freudian psychoanalytic approach. (Sweeney, 1998). 

Appearance of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 

CBT becomes more visible after being implemented from integrating learning of social and cognitive approaches. This education was begun by Meichenbaum and Goodman, who focus on self-talk and D’Zurilla and Goldfried who concentrate on problem-solving in emotional and cognitive processes (Benjamin, Puleo, & Settipani, 2011). The next one is Albert Ellis in 1950 as a developer of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, and Alfred Adler with Personality Theory and Developmental pioneer of CBT is Aaron Beck since 1960.

Cognitive therapy was initially designed to treat depression and is now used for many mental health conditions, different psychological disorders and other phobias (Beck. J, 1995). Some of these diseases, for instance clinical depression or schizophrenia, must be treated with medication and talk therapy in the same period to achieve a desirable effect. The research shows that cognitive therapy could also help with bowel syndrome and other neuroses.

There are more fruitful and intense techniques under the umbrella of CBT. The basic practice in the CBT approach is case formulation, also known as “case conceptualization”. (Kuyken, Padesky, & Dudley, 2011). CBT has three main aspects in its hierarchy; automatic thoughts, rules and assumptions and core beliefs (Beck.J 1995). The negative pattern of thinking belongs to the client’s early experiences. Irrational thoughts could be for example; “I will never be good, I am useless”. Those thoughts are created by the core beliefs and supported by the cultural regulations. 

Expand of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has been a problem-focused and action-oriented model of treatment since the third generation was established. Various modality was raised to the treatment and enlarge the alliance of practitioners, which is beneficial for clients. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has reached its threshold of excellence. Despite the many positive aspects of CBT, there was a need for more developmental methods in therapy because of the limitations that arose in Becks’ theory. (Chen & Safer, 2012) New fields in cognitive behavioural therapy have contributed to improving mental health.

Numerous behavioural therapies are included in the CBT approach but were invented from different practitioners. Dialectical Behaviour therapy with inventor Marsha Linehan, (Chapman 2006). Young’s with Schema Therapy, Gilbert’s Compassion Focused Therapy. In 1982 Steven C. Hayes is a founder of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy was expanded by Philip Barnard and John Teasdale in 1991 (Herbert & Forman, 2011). All these psychotherapy techniques will be expanded in other chapters.  

My Conclusion 

Cognitive therapy is a kind of solution in life. It is helpful in solving current problems as well as permanent disorders. (Beck,2001). This treatment needs to be practised alongside with other behaviour theory and mindfulness approaches which were mentioned above in this paper. However, new research is needed in a growing world with expanding global mental health problems. This behavioural practice is evidence-based with broad research on individual techniques. Most of the therapies are based on mindfulness techniques and are used in practice accordingly. 

Behavioural Therapy leads to evidence-based ‘talking therapy’, as research shows the evidence of this therapy is positive in treating negative feelings. The CBT approach is helpful to achieve the goal in changing the maladaptive behaviour, for individuals and in group processes. Professional therapist is able to challenge a client’s cognition but it is necessary that the client is willing to work towards the change. The practical side of this treatment is homework, to attend to the exercise by using a sheet of charts, scales, tables, measures and questionnaires to identify different emotional problems and measure the symptoms of the issues at hand. However, that could be time consuming and not suited to everyone. For instance, for people who have learning difficulties, that could be a colossal challenge.

Why CBT is not for me ?

The therapy is also not suitable for clients who are not ready to change. Because of the structured nature of CBT, it may not be suitable for people who have more complex mental health needs or learning difficulties. Also, a client with low self-esteem and a critical inner voice could struggle to participate with other evidence-based therapies. 

CBT therapy teaches people how to be their own therapist, and in this way, the person reaches their goals faster. A person can learn patterns to help them abstain from problematic behaviour and make wiser behavioural decisions. Its primary function is to guide therapy (Beck, J.1995). The CBT model helps the clients understand how thoughts, emotions, and behaviour work for the human being. CBT is continually expanding and evolving. 

The main aspect of fruitful processes in counselling sessions including the CBT approach is to create an adequate case formulation, address the raised problem with the correct theory without mixing up, for example, relaxation techniques with the Person – Centred Approach. When the case conceptualization is ready to be formulated the therapist can use an adequate technique, which could be a new contribution to CBT theory and practice with the individuals. 

If you have other examples, follow to the comments section. Thank you

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Published by Marcin Bogucki

Counselling & Psychotherapy for both English and Polish speakers.

8 thoughts on “Cognitive Behavior Therapy

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