…Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a problem-focused approach; therefore treatments are typically brief and time limited in nature. Many CBT treatments lead to significant clinical improvement and symptom reduction, relative to other forms of psychotherapy, in as few as 10–20 sessions.
Over the past 50 years, cognitive-behavioural therapies (CBT) have become an effective mainstream psychological treatment for emotional and behavioural problems.
CBT is a joint venture between therapist and client with the aim of exploring beliefs and interpretations about oneself, others and the world. It offers a specific set of strategies, which allow the client to become more aware of their own thoughts and images in relation to external events or internal sensations. Once the client is able to identify their thoughts it becomes possible to target distortions or biases in thinking, which may be leading to such states as anxiety or depression.
These maladaptive/distorted thoughts (appraisals) or images are the focus of intervention and are targeted in conjunction with behavioural plans and experiments. Predictions about oneself or the outcome of events are systematically tested out in order to acquire new information, which can then be used to form the basis of new insight or interpretations.
Whenever you experience an unpleasant feeling or sensation, try to recall what thoughts you had been having prior to this feeling (Beck, 1976, p.33).
In the beginning the therapist’s role is to gather information and develop a hypothesis about the clients concerns. The hypotheses will encompass predisposing factors (such as childhood or significant life events), precipitating factors (such as a recent death, break-up or event), and perpetuating factors (such as negative beliefs about others or lack of assertiveness). The hypotheses will aim to encompass all of these factors in relation to specific symptoms, current emotional states and use this as a platform for treatment.
The therapist operates according to a scientific methodology, whereby a detailed account of the clients concerns are taken, a hypotheses is made, shared and agreed on with the client and behavioural experiments planned. Once a behavioural experiment has taken place this information is further taken into account into the hypotheses and this generates continuous readjustment.
The CBT model encompasses the following characteristics:…