Cognitive School of Psychotherapy
On the other end of the spectrum is cognitive psychotherapy. And is based off the way people think and feel. How one thinks and feels will determine how he or she behaves. The goal is to change dysfunctional and negative ways of thinking. A keyword here is perspective. An important contributor is Aaron Beck. He developed cognitive therapy (CT), which, “is an insight-focused therapy that emphasizes recognizing and changing negative thoughts and maladaptive beliefs,” (Corey, 2005, p. 283).
The main aspects of cognitive therapy are, “(1) that people’s internal communication is accessible to introspection, (2) that clients’ beliefs have highly personal meanings, and (3) that these meanings can be discovered by the client rather than being taught or interpreted by the therapist,” (Corey, 2005, p.283). The pain principles consist of arbitrary inferences, selective abstraction, overgeneralization, magnification and minimization, personalization, labeling and mislabeling, and polarized thinking (Corey 2005).
Unlike various other forms, in cognitive psychotherapy, there is a strong emphasis on the therapeutic relationship between the client and the therapist. According to Beck, “successful counseling rests on a number of desirable characteristics of therapists, such as genuine warmth, accurate empathy, nonjudgmental acceptance, and the ability to establish trust and rapport with the clients,” (Corey, 2005, p. 287). The client is also encouraged to play an active role in therapy.
They also teach the client how to kind of become, “their own therapist, (Corey, 2005, p. 289). It has many beneficial attributes such as treatment for depression. Beck does not believe that depression merely comes from self-hatred or anger towards oneself. Instead he believes it more so comes from a negative biased outlook and how an individual views things. Beck developed the cognitive triad which has three components to depression. The first is when a client holds a negative view of his or herself. The second, “consists of the tendency to interpret experiences in a negative manner,” (Corey, 2005, p. 289). The third component has to do with the, “gloomy visions and projections about the future,” that the client possesses (Corey, 2005, p. 290).
It is additionally integrated into family therapy. The focus is on the family dynamic as well as the interaction between the client and the family, and the idea is that they all influence each other.
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