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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Medikoe Health Expert

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  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   5 min     


What is Cognitive-behavioural therapy?

Cognitive-behavioural therapy is a common short term talk therapy based on the concept that the way we think about things affects how we feel emotionally. It describes how people's perceptions of, or spontaneous thoughts about, situations influence their emotional, behavioural, often physiological reactions.

Cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT primarily focuses on your thought process, beliefs and attitudes that affect your feelings and behaviour and teaches you various coping skills for dealing with different problems.

It is a combination of the basic principles from behavioural and cognitive psychology and is applied to a wide range of disorders such as anxiety, panic, depression, fears, substance abuse, eating disorders, and personality problems.

It is important to understand that the advances made in CBT have been made on the basis of both clinical and research practice. Indeed, it is an approach for which there is a lot of scientific evidence that the methods which have been developed, have actually produced changes. In this way, CBT differs from many other forms of psychological treatment.

History of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) was invented by Aaron Beck, a psychiatrist, in the 1960s. While doing psychoanalysis, he observed that during his analytical sessions, his patients seemed to have some internal dialogues going on in their minds. It was almost as if they were talking to themselves, but they would only report only a fraction of this kind of thinking to him.

Aron realized that the link between feelings and thoughts was very important, and invented the term 'automatic thoughts' to describe such emotion-filled thoughts that might pop up in the back of mind. He found that people weren’t always wholly aware of such automatic thoughts, but could learn to identify and report them. The thoughts were usually negative and neither realistic nor helpful in case a person was feeling upset in some way. Beck found that identifying these automatic thoughts was the key to the client understanding and overcoming his or her difficulties. 

CBT is thus based on a model or theory that it’s not the events themselves that upset us, but the meanings we give them. 

CBT aims to help people with:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Psychosis

  • Schizophrenia

  • Prevention of mental illness

  • Pathological and problem gambling

  • Smoking cessation

  • Substance abuse disorders

  • Eating disorders

  • Internet addiction

  • Prevention of occupational stress

Types of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

There are sevev types of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which are mentioned below-

1. Brief cognitive behavioural therapy (BCBT) 

Brief cognitive behavioural therapy (BCBT) is a form of Cognitive Therapy which has been developed for situations, where there are time constraints on the therapy sessions. BCBT takes place over a couple of sessions that can last up to 12 accumulated hours by design.

Brief cognitive therapy can be broken down into three steps, i.e., Orientation, skill focus and relapse prevention.

2. Cognitive-emotional behavioural therapy (CEBT)

Cognitive-emotional behavioural therapy is a form of CBT, which was initially developed for individuals with eating disorders but, is now also used with a range of problems including depression, anxiety, anger problems, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It combines aspects of dialectical behavioural therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and aims to improve the tolerance and understanding of emotions to facilitate the therapeutic process. 

3. Structured cognitive behavioural training (SCBT)

Structured cognitive behavioural training (SCBT) is a cognitive-based process with core philosophies that draw mostly from CBT. Like CBT, SCBT asserts that behaviour is inextricably related to beliefs, thoughts and emotions.

Structured cognitive behavioural training differs from CBT in two specific ways. First, SCBT is delivered in a highly organised and regimented format. Second, it is a predetermined and limited training process that becomes personalized through the input of the participant.

SCBT has mainly been used to challenge the addictive behaviour of a person, particularly with substances such as food, alcohol, tobacco, and to subdue stress and anxiety and manage diabetes. SCBT is also used in the field of criminal psychology in the effort to reduce recidivism.

4. Moral reconation therapy

Moral reconation therapy is a type of CBT which is used to help people overcome their antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and helps to decrease the risk of further offending slightly. This therapy is typically performed in a group format to minimise the risk of offenders with ASPD being given one-on-one as in such case, the therapy may reinforce narcissistic behavioural characteristics, and can be used in outpatient and correctional settings. 

5. Stress inoculation training

Stress Inoculation training targets the stressors of the patient through a blend of cognitive, behavioural and some humanistic training techniques. This is usually done to help clients cope with their stress or anxiety after stressful events in a better way. It is a three-phase process that aims at training the client to use the skills that they already have in order to adapt to their current stressors in a better way. 

6. Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy (MCBH)

Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy (MCBH) is one of the forms of CBT focusing on the awareness in a reflective approach with addressing of subconscious tendencies of the patient. It is more the process that contains three phases that are used for achieving wanted goals.

7. The Unified Protocol (UP)

The Unified Protocol (UP) for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders is a form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with the rationale that depression and anxiety disorders often occur together because of the common underlying causes and can also be treated together efficiently.

The UP includes a number of common components,

  1. Cognitive reappraisal

  2. Psycho-education

  3. Emotion regulation

  4. Changing behaviour

How to access CTB?

The most common and basic approach to cognitive behavioural therapy is face-to-face counselling sessions between the patient and therapist, made up of various sessions of about an hour. CBT has also been found to be quite effective even when the patient and therapist type in real-time to each other over the computer.

Some other ways to help cognitive disorders are computer or internet-derived and smartphone-app derived. Reading self-help books and participating in group educational courses can also help in improving the condition.

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Tags:  Mental Health,Mental Wellness,CBT, Therepies

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