CBT combines both the cognitive and behavioural approaches to psychology to provide a treatment for many things, in this case stress. It is based on two assumptions.

  1. Abnormal behaviour is the result of thinking traps e.g. catastrophising, black or white thinking and an all or nothing attitude and
  2. Behaviour can be learnt ,thus it can also be unlearnt

CBT sees behaviour as the result of a stimulus and a thought. So a stimulus is present in the persons environment, for example exams, a faulty thought or cognition occurs like ‘I don’t know anything!’ and this causes an abnormal behaviour like throwing your revision guide at someone. CBT believes that by changing these faulty cognitions to healthier ones the behaviour will change as a result.

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In stress this form of therapy can be broken down into two sections – hardiness training and stress inoculation therapy.

There are three stages to SIT -

Stage 1: Conceptualization – The therapist and client explore how the client views and copes with stress

Stage 2: Skill acquisition & rehearsal – This can be broken down into two types: Direct action and Cognitive Coping. Direct action is physical coping skills e.g. knowing an escape root in a stressful environment or breathing techniques. Cognitive coping is training the client to think differently e.g. ‘I can cope’, ‘If I miss ...

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