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Judith Beck 1995, "Cognitive Therapy: Basics and Beyond" book review

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Beck, Judith S 1995, Cognitive Therapy: Basics and Beyond, 1st edition, The Guilford Press, New York. The author Judith Beck is an American psychologist who is known for her work in cognitive therapy. Her father is Aaron T. Beck, M.D., who is the founder of cognitive therapy. She has worked closely with him developing the therapy for use in clinical treatment. Judith Beck has written this book in a clear, step by step style, for a novice or experienced therapist who wants to learn and practice Cognitive Therapy. She explains the methods of the cognitive therapy originated by Aaron T. Beck and has added her own perception on how to become a skilful cognitive therapist. The book focuses on explaining the main cognitive conceptualisations and techniques used in cognitive therapy. The conceptualisation provides a framework for the therapist to gain an understanding of the patient, diagnose the patient, and plan treatment within sessions and throughout the course of the therapy. Within the sessions the progress of the patient is continually monitored and the primary focus is on helping the patient to solve or cope with the problems that they have, and achieve goals which they have deemed important during the process. The book demonstrates the way in which a therapist would achieve this understanding of the patient using a range of techniques. ...read more.


The most important advice that the book gives to a councillor or psychotherapist is that in order for the therapy to be effective the patient must be fully involved in the process. The Author explains that in each cognitive therapy session it is necessary to bridge from the previous session, to find out how the patient found the session and use this and other information to set the agenda for the current session. The author emphasizes that problems that may occur if a patient may not be able to conform to the structure of the therapy. The patient should be able contribute to setting the agenda, and put into practise lessons learnt during the session. If the patient finds difficulties in doing this then the patient my need to be further socialised into the process. The majority of the book is based on the fundamental ideas and theory of the cognitive therapy, and therefore I believe this book would be of use for students or therapists who don't have a background in the area and want to gain an understanding of the therapy and use it in practice. One criticism I would make is that the book contains a vast amount of material and I believe it could overload a reader. ...read more.


I also think that the therapy in the book neglects to deal with the root of the patients emotions. I believe the emotions may be where the true meaning of issues is held and the information gained from guided discovery into their emotions can be effective. Throughout my own learning I have begin to study the theory of cognitive therapy. There is a huge array of different applications of the therapy and I can see they are based on the same fundamental principles which are outlined very clearly in this book. For me this book has helped to illustrate the theory and learn the stages of the process effectively using dialog and examples. This has facilitated me in my use of the cognitive therapy in my own life, and become aware of other peoples cognitive distortions. This is an excellent read and is geared towards teaching the basics of cognitive therapy in the clinical setting. I would recommend this book to anyone studying in the field because I think the information presented encompasses self-evaluation and rationalisation of thoughts. It would be of benefit to everyone and not only someone training in cognitive therapy. It has given me tools to use on a daily basis to recognise my unhelpful thinking patterns and change the way I look at situations that arise in my life. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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