Who Helped Develop Cognitive Therapy?
Cognitive therapy is a type of psychotherapy that seeks to alter thoughts and feelings in order to treat psychological disorders. It has the potential to assist those struggling with anxiety, depression and other mental health problems as well as be an effective remedy for phobias and addiction.
CBT can be traced back to developments in psychology as early as 1913, with John B. Watson and BF Skinner having a major influence on the field. Both psychologists believed that all behaviors were learned by responding to cues and conditioning; furthermore, they also held that the brain has the capacity to alter its learning process – leading to changes in behavior.
In the 1940s and 1950s, other researchers began developing cognitive techniques and approaches for treating psychological issues. Albert Ellis was one of the key figures in this field, creating his own form of therapy known as Rational Emotive Therapy (RET).
Aaron Beck was a pioneering figure in cognitive therapy. He popularized ‘cognitive reappraisal’ and contributed to the creation of evidence-based treatment protocols for depression, anxiety and other psychological disorders.
Cognitive therapy holds that psychological disorders are caused by automatic negative thinking or ‘cognitive distortions’. These dysfunctional thoughts may lead to feelings of hopelessness, anxiety and depression. A therapist helps the patient identify which thoughts are causing these problems and provides advice on how to alter those perceptions.
Cognitive Therapy is a brief, focused psychotherapy designed to assist patients in dealing with various mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, anger issues, eating disorders and other behavioural difficulties.
Counseling patients on new coping skills to better handle stressful situations may involve helping them address phobias, addiction and personality disorders.
Cognitive therapy encompasses a range of treatments, all sharing the belief that negative thoughts can be challenged and replaced with more realistic, positive ones. Clients learn these ‘cognitive restructuring’ techniques during sessions which they can apply outside of therapy as well.
Many therapists utilize cognitive assessments in the early stages of therapy to assist their clients in recognizing their own thought processes and biases. They may also ask the client to keep a journal where they record automatic thoughts and check for distortions.
In addition to recognizing these distorted thoughts, the therapist also helps their client transform their irrational beliefs. This is done by redefining the irrational belief and replacing it with a more rational one.
As the therapist works to help their client alter their thoughts, it’s essential that they also establish credibility as an honest and reliable expert in the subject matter. Doing this will increase trust between both parties and increase the likelihood that negative beliefs will be accepted by the therapist as valid.
Cognitive Therapy is a time-limited strategy, and in order to achieve long-term success it requires work outside the therapy room. A therapist must be knowledgeable about various CBT treatment protocols but also be able to customize each session and client for maximum benefit.