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Cognitive Therapy


Cognitive Therapy is a here-and-now type of psychotherapy. Its therapists aim to help their clients identify negative thought patterns and replace them with more positive beliefs. The approach is usually time-limited with strong emphasis placed on problem-solving and behavioural alteration.

History

Cognitive Psychotherapy was pioneered by psychiatrist Aaron T Beck during his time at the University of Pennsylvania, in the 1960s. It was largely a result of experiments he conducted to test traditional psychoanalytical ideas about depression. His seminal work Depression: Causes and Treatment (1967) was highly influential and set out his findings and theories about the Cognitive approach.

Approach

Cognitive Therapy is based on the Cognitive model. It takes as its premise the idea that people's emotions are heavily influenced by their own personal perceptions about certain stimuli. In other words, it is not the situation that is perceived to have an effect, but rather people's own thoughts regarding a situation. Cognitive therapists encourage individuals to confront these thought patterns and consider whether or not they are reasonable.

How can it help?

Cognitive psychotherapy has been used extensively over the past 40 years, to treat a wide range of conditions. Depression is the most commonly addressed problem but the Cognitive approach is also suitable for many other issues. The amount of sessions is dependant upon an agreement between therapist and client.



Cognitive Psychotherapy resources

The Academy Of Cognitive Therapy

The British Association for Behavioural And Cognitive Psychotherapists

 
Therapy Guide

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