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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 568

Research Paper

The History, Followers and Concepts of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

In the modern psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) identifies a generalized term for a range of therapies founded on basic principles of models of human emotions and behavior. It examines the formation of thinking, beliefs, attitudes, behavior and their influence on life, feelings, success. The CBT has proved its efficiency for patients with different levels of education, socioeconomic status, and age. Therapists apply this therapy in individual sessions, couples’ treatment, as well as in groups.  In recent years, empirical justifications of the therapy effectiveness and short-terms have made it popular with therapists and mental health consumers.

In the early 60’s Aaron T. Beck developed a short-term psychotherapy for depression treatment, cognitive therapy. It aimed at current problems solving and altering thoughts and behavior. Beck hypothesized and empirically proved that thoughts are not only a symptom of depression, but they play a crucial part in sustaining depression. He examined that patients with depression manifested negative thoughts of themselves, future. In the next decades, major theorists developed new approaches to CBT. Presently, mental health professionals apply the methods of rational-emotive therapy by A. Ellis, cognitive-behavioral modification by D. Meichenbaum, multimodal therapy by A. Lazarus. Albert Ellis put forward his theory of irrational beliefs as a principal cause of psychological disorders, which resonated with Beck’s ideas. Dalai Lama investigates the correlation of thoughts and happiness or lack of it in The Art of Happiness. He assumes that people suffering from negative states of mind should resort to positive antidotes, like kindness, tolerance, love, compassion, forgiveness.

Though new technologies, transformations in time-length complemented the therapy and widened the range of disorder (anxiety, depression, panic, phobias, stress, eating disorders, substance abuse, bipolar disorder and others), the mainframe assumptions have remained the same. The scientists supposed that dysfunctional thinking is common to different psychological problems. It impacts a patient’s mood and behavior. Realistic evaluation and modification of thinking produce an improvement in mood and behavior.

The therapy grounds on individual approach. Nevertheless, it assumes several basic principles. CBT grounds on collaboration of a patient and a therapist; they determine the appropriate treatment goals and the type and timing of skills training together. This principle implies the patient’s involvement into the process. They work together towards the problem identification and tackling. Apparently, the patient’s voluntariness to solve the problem is required.

To examine the disorder, its influence on behavior, and improve “here and now” state of mind, therapists often apply the method of questioning and instruct the customers to ask questions of themselves. Usually, the problem is broken into smaller parts concerning particular situation, actions, thoughts, and emotions. Patients are advised to keep a diary which enables therapists to follow the process of transformations.

The therapy is goal-oriented, as it entails goal setting and monitored process of goal accomplishment. CBT comprises learning aspect, with the patient as an active participant. During the session, therapist teaches the patient to apply new skills for overcoming current difficulties and practicing new thoughts and behavior models in everyday life. According to the educational aspect of the therapy, its aim is to learn a new way of reacting to disturbances.

One of the most significant aspects of CBT is “homework”. The therapist encourages the patient to read related literature or practice acquired skills and knowledge beyond the session to fix the results. Therefore, CBT comprises the elements of talking treatment and further application of thoughts and mood modifying.

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