Cognitive- Behavioral Therapy Danny Givens GCCS/523 Counseling for Change May Dr. Carla Letsch Introduction Cognitive behavioral therapy has been around since the 1960's and were developed by three pioneers; Aaron Beck, Albert Ellis. This paper will discuss brief biographical information on the pioneers of CBT, discuss theory, and interventions. We will also look at the Biblical prospective of each therapy, and the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Each theory has its own view of how clients view reality, and what changes take place during CBT treatment. CBT has three tenets: 1. Cognitive activity affects behavior 2. Cognitive activity may be monitored and altered 3. Desired behavior change may be effected through cognitive change (p. 4 Dobson).
Aaron Beck - Cognitive Therapy Aaron Beck is a psychiatrist and has written numerous books and journals. Dr. Beck has been a psychiatrist for the last sixty years (1953). He is a graduate of the prestigious Yale Medical school in 1946 (p. 249). Dr.
Beck started his career studying psychoanalysis.He soon found studying the concepts of psychoanalysis for depression unnecessary and not helpful for clients. In the few years Dr. Beck started to develop his own theory of treatment for mental health issues. Dr.
Beck discovered that cognitive therapy techniques assist clients in changing their maladaptive and dysfunction thinking processes. Cognitive therapy is like other psychotherapies. The therapist assists the client in changing faulty thinking processes. The CBT therapist would also assist client in changing behavior and feeling. In 1963 Beck started studying the cognitions associated with depression.
p. 13). Beck work includes cognitions of anxiety, and bipolar disorder (p. 13) .
Albert Ellis - Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy REBT was founded by Albert Ellis in 1955. Ellis theory was based on western philosophers, And is a humanistic psychotherapy (p. 226-227) Ellis and Beck were trained under the theory of psychoanalysis (. p.
227). During his research Ellis discovered that he did not like the techniques used in psychoanalysis. For example, free association and dream analysis (p. 12. Dobson).
Ellis also discovered that clients stayed in therapy for lengthy periods of time.Both Ellis and Beck are atheist which is problematic for Christians in therapy. This will be discussed later in the paper. REBT closely resembles the tenets of Cognitive therapy. A REBT therapist would assist the clients with the premise that false irrational beliefs lead to negative thoughts and feelings. The theory also states that client’s faulty belief system causes them to have absolutes like must's, shoulds, and ought's.
Ellis developed the ABC model for therapy purposes. (Dobson. p. 12) A.
Activating event – For example, John was five years old when he saw his first snake.This scared him so he became afraid of snakes. This event triggered a phobia. B. Irrational belief system – “ All snakes are dangerous so I will avoid them” John has developed a phobia that all snakes are dangerous, but this is untrue if you study zoology.
C. Consequences – John has a small child and is unable to take her to the zoo because he may see snakes in the zoo. Cognitive Therapy – Concepts The first concept of Becks Cognitive therapy is automatic thoughts. Automatic thoughts are those thoughts that come from childhood and the adolescent years. These thoughts lead to cognitive distortions .
Cognitive distortions lead to emotional and behavior problems (p. 255,tan) One such distortion is arbitrary inference. For example, is a conclusion based on lack of evidence. The next concept is selective abstraction. This may happen when a person makes a conclusion without evidence.
Overgeneralization is when a individual has a general rule from isolated incidents. For example, a young woman was broken hearted by an older man so it assumed older men are not good at relationship. (p. 255 tan) Magnification is a cognitive distortion that magnifies all problems.
For example, an individual has car problems and feels all cars are bad and feels they should start taking the bus to work. Minimization is defined as a cognitive distortion that minimizes behavior and thoughts. For example John has been taking free soda from the work refrigerator, and says to himself “This is no big deal I will return the sodas later. ” The next concept is personalization.
For Example, John feels that his coworkers do not like him because he shows up at five minutes after the shift started. The last concept is dichotomous thinking. John may see things black or white. If I don’t get this promotion I’m a total failure and a loser.
” ( p. 256 tan) Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy- Concepts Ellis primary focus is on the irrational belief system individuals have developed over the course of their life that leads to depression, anxiety , etc. Once these irrational beliefs are challenged and replaced the patient can return normal functioning. These beliefs must be replaced with rational thoughts. The ABC model that Ellis formulated looked at different irrational beliefs. 1.
Demand beliefs- individuals develop rigid ideas that people hold about themselves or others is absolute(p. Dryden) Here are a few examples. John believes Karen either loves him or does not love him. John thinks " She must love me", " She must be with me when I am off week ends" 2.
Awfulising beliefs - individuals develop extreme demands toward other people that if such demands are not met the situation becomes intolerable for the individual. For example, " If Ron does not ask me out for the weekend, it will be terrible, awful, and lonely without him" 3. Depreciation beliefs- individuals who hold this belief view the world through a dark negative viewpoint. For example, " You must love me and if you don't I'm unlovable". .
Low frustration tolerance- individuals who hold this belief system feel they cannot handle the adversity in certain situations. "You must like me to make me feel accepted" CBT- Techniques Each technique is used during a counseling session and comes from different theoretical approaches. CBT employs the use of Socratic questioning. The CBT therapist teaches the client to question the thought(s) whether they are valid or not.
The CBT therapist may ask "Where is the evidence" , and other questions to assist the client in rationalizing his/her thoughts.The next technique is Imagery techniques and role playing. Imagery is used to assist the client in imaging the scene that bring anxiety or depression. The client may be asked to describe the situation vividly.
Role playing is used for the client and the therapist to act in different roles that the client is experiencing anxiety. For example, this may used for clients who experience social anxiety or personality disorders. Thought recording is another technique used for clients to record their automatic thoughts. The client is instructed to write on paper two columns.One column for events that happened and the second column for thoughts, and next column for emotions. A CBT therapist may also use Desensitization to assist the client with slowly exposing them to a hierarchy of fear inducing situation.
Through this technique the client becomes decondition to the fear. This technique works best with simple phobias, social phobias. Flooding relies on being exposed to the maximal level of anxiety as fast as possible. The next role of the CBT therapist role is to introduce Social skills training to his or her client.