A History of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
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A History of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) By Yasemin MERIÇ - June, 2005 Social Science Inst. of Istanbul Dogus University Clinical Psychology Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is not a specific therapy but rather, a general classification of psychotherapy ("History," 2004). Within the CBT model, there are a few approaches and this include Cognitive Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Rational Behavior Therapy, Schema Focused Therapy, Rational Living Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (2004). Each of these methods has a different developmental history (2004). Some are more popular than others. For example, REBT is well embraced as is cognitive therapy. Within the same family of psychology, each of these theories have different authors and different techniques employed in the course of treatment. First, what is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy exactly? CBT is a psychotherapeutic model that is utilized by psychologists or therapists in order to enhance positive changes in individuals ("Cognitive Behavioral," 2004). It is supposed to help in the alleviation of emotional distress, as well as to look at a variety of issues that relate to psychological, behavioral and social difficulties (2004). Therapists who engage in this approach serve to identify and treat problems which arise as it relates to an individual's irrational thought processes (2004). Their faulty learning, misperceptions, and dysfunctions are a part of the process (2004). It is not necessarily the case that such individuals have serious difficulties.
They often choose when the treatment will end. Again, CBT is divided by different types of therapy. It seems that the first approach was developed by Albert Ellis and called Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) ("History," 2004). Rational Emotive Therapy (RET), also called Rational Emotional Behavior Therapy (REBT) since 1993, is rooted in the 1950s, and maintains that all people are born with self defeating tendencies (McGinn, 1997). It is the brainchild of Albert Ellis and is quite well known amongst psychologists. According to R.E.B.T., when something goes wrong, people have a choice of feeling healthy emotions such as sorrow, disappointment or frustration or negative emotions such as terror, depression and self-pity (1997). The former are considered healthy because they entice the individual to try again (1997). For example, if a child loses at baseball and decides not to play the game again because of the emotional consequences, he is feeling sorry for himself. On the other hand, if he becomes angry because he was not paying attention or did not practice enough, he may go home and practice pitching or batting so that he might win the next time. While he is experiencing negative emotions in both instances, there is only a positive and rational component in the latter. Interestingly, Ellis created the approach due to the fact that he did not like Psychoanalysis ("History," 2004).
Maultsby would contribute several ideas including an emphasis on "client rational self-counseling skills and therapeutic homework" (2004). Maultsby's did contribute the concept of "thought shorthand "and calls these "attitudes" (2004). Those types of thoughts Beck would later refer to as "automatic thoughts" (2004). Other disciplines that fall under this therapeutic umbrella include Rational Emotive Imagery, the Five Criteria for Rational Behavior, and Rational Self-Analysis (2004). Additional therapists who made contributions in this area are Michael Mahoney, Ph.D., Donald Meichenbaum, Ph.D. and David Burns, M.D (2004). David Burns would once again make CBT popular with his best seller entitled Feeling Good, a book that came out in the 1980s (2004). Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has in fact become a respected and empirically established mode of psychotherapy and a review of the experimental literature demonstrates the effectiveness of CBT for adults (Dia, 2001). In the review, CBT had been efficacious for depression and generalized anxiety disorder as well as social phobia and obsessive compulsive disorder (2001). It has also been recommended for substance abuse and dependence, agoraphobia, and panic disorder (DeRubeis & Crits-Christoph, 1998 as cited in Dia, 2001). CBT obviously involves the use of both behavioral and cognitive techniques so that the patient, when confronted with a situation, can use self talk methods as well as specific behavior modifications. Key concepts of the approach will again depend upon the disorder being treated. However, it becomes clear that CBT and its various forms are appropriate to treat a variety of patients.
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