There are many theories used in counseling, but I find cognitive behavioral theory as the best approach to use when trying to help a patient this is because the theory focuses not only on the way the patient thinks, but also on why he or she behaves in a certain manner. The actions and feelings a person has, is directly related to the mind and any negative feelings and behaviors originate from thinking that causes one to react in a particular manner.
Definition of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral theory is a therapy applied in treating depression, anxieties, delusions and metal disorders. This theory is about recognizing how unhelpful behaviors or patterns of thinking destroys ones mode of thinking and seeks to replace them with helpful thinking patterns. Therapists use this theory with the believe that depression and other mental disorders originate from negative thinking and illogical thoughts. This is a kind of therapy where the client and the counselor work together to solve the patients negative thinking patterns. It is based on how we think and feel and the result is how we behave in relation to our feelings and thoughts (Wells, 2005). This theory focuses on how negative thoughts results in negative feelings and negative behaviors. The application of this theory can be seen in how a counselor tries to identify the thoughts that trigger certain behaviors and feelings in a client and how well they can replace those emotions with positive ones. It is about taking into consideration the plight of the patient and understanding their point of view of things in order to help them recover.
Origin of Cognitive behavioral therapy
Albert Ellis, Ph.D. was the first man to apply cognitive therapy using the Rational Emotive Therapy (RET), in 1950s. He came up with this theory from his negative attitude and dislike for in-efficiency of psychoanalysis. This idea also originated from the Stoic Philosophers who believed that men are disturbed by how the view things. He developed the model ABC used for evaluating emotions and later on applied the A-B-C-D-E approach or the Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REPT) approach. At the same time 1960's, Aaron Beck, M.D., developed the Cognitive therapy, which was the first therapy to effectively treat depression. The application of these two theories has ever since evolved and therapists are now combining both of them to get effective results (Vacc, Loesch, 2000).
Ellis used the A-B-C Model to record the steps causing one to have irrational believes. He records it in the column where A is the ion that causes one to have negative thoughts and feelings. B represents Beliefs and this is the column where the client writes the negative feelings and thoughts that occur after activating object. C is the consequence of the beliefs that result in certain behaviors. After finishing the ABC process, the next step was to rectify the negative feelings and persuade the client to have a positive view of him or herself by changing their perspectives of the activating Event or objective situation.
Classifying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
There are different approaches to CBT and these are the classes used to treat different patients. The classifications of cognitive behavioral therapy are REBT, Rational Living Therapy, cognitive therapy, dialect behavior therapy and rational-emotive therapy (RET).
REBT: Rational Emotional Behavioral Therapy
This was among one of the first therapies used by in the 1950s. It states that people focus on surviving and pursuing happiness. However, they may not achieve their dreams because of irrational feelings that block them. The persistence of irrational thoughts drives on to anxiety and depression because of the chain of negative thoughts and feelings that bar one from attaining desired happiness. REBT emphasizes on learning how to accept and interpret in a flexible way and to stop blaming yourself for any failure you face, (Wells, 2005). The counselors using this therapy encourage the patient to develop a reasonable view of one’s emotions and learn to control them in order to overcome the negative and irrational thoughts. This way, the client is able to develop a more realistic sense of emotional stability by embracing your anxiety and thinking positively. This is majorly applicable for those people who do not believe in their abilities to make themselves happy and get themselves into more anxiety and depression.
Rational Living Therapy
This is another form of Cognitive behavioral therapy and was developed by Dr. Aldo Pucci. It combines other therapies used in treating mental disorders. The counselor has to convince the patient that the problem lays within his or her mind. This way he is able to apply philosophical ideas to change the irrational thoughts flooding the mind of the client. The client needs to be really committed to self-monitoring role-playing in the therapy (Vacc & Loesch, 2000).
Rational-emotive Therapy (RET)
This was also one of Albeit Ellis work and he uses different therapies like cognitive therapy, emotive techniques and behavioral variations to challenge the irrational beliefs of the clients. The process identifies the patterns in behaviors and emotions of the patients and fosters the creation of new patterns of thinking. This initial process changed with technology and now therapists focus on a specific problem unlike the times of Becks where he tried to use cognitive therapy to stress its role in distortions like illogical inference, over viewing and polarized thinking in trying to maintain negative thinking or negative representations. The counselor in this therapy challenges the irrationality of the clients’ thoughts directly and his stance is didactic.
This is a therapy developed by Aaron Becks in the 1960s and treats patients by identifying their negative perspectives and then transforming them into positive thoughts. This therapy does not delve into the patient’s subconscious, but changes their perspectives on different actions and events. It applies similar approaches to negative thoughts by changing the negative thinking patterns that affects the client’s moods and behaviors. The primary goal of a therapist using this method is to change the patient’s pattern of seeing things and taking advantage of the new patterns to improve one’s feelings (Vacc & Loesch, 2000).
Dialect Behavior Therapy
This focuses on treating borderline disorders and patients with mood problems. The first part of the therapy focuses on keeping a diary recording the weeks’ events and then the second part involves discussing and teaching the patient how to change negative behaviors. The patient learns how to deal with low self-esteem and develop a sense of empathy from the ideas that he or she learns by knowing how to differentiate emotional irrationality (Wells, 2005).
There are different methods that a counselor can apply to see whether he or she has had an impact on the client. One of the ways he or she can test his impact is by the use of a pretest-posttest change scores. This is where the counselor checks the progress of the patient in changing his patterns of thinking. An example is if the patient had two alternative ways of approaching a matter at the beginning of the session, then the counselor measures his approaches at the end of a particular period to see how many alternatives he has. An increase in the alternatives shows that the client has improved in how he or she thinks and the counselor can report improvements in the client’s ability to control the negative perceptive he or she had on certain ideas and activities.