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Who’s goals is cognitive therapy designed to achieve?

 

 

Beck’s cognitive therapy

This theory was developed in the 1950’s by Beck. He came to a conclusion that the manner in which people had an interpretation of events and the way in which they perceived and gave meaning to events occurring during their day to day basis was a good form of therapy. The theory is, therefore, used in psychotherapy whereby the client and a therapist work together to solve a clients’ problems by changing the manner in which they think and respond to emotions. According to the cognitive therapy, the way in which people perceive and think about situations plays a key role in influencing their emotional and psychological responses (Back et al., 2006). The manner in which a person perceives the surrounding is in most cases distorted in case a person is distressed. (Butler and Beck, 2000) argues that the various kinds of distortions include:-

Catastrophizing- this form of cognitive distortion involves the thinking that the worst thing in a given situation will happen without giving an in-depth account of the possibility of other positive outcomes occurring.

Emotional reasoning- this kind of distortion occurs whereby a person assumes that feelings are facts. In this kind of distortion, a person thinks that something is right because they hold a very strong feeling regarding it. They therefore leave their feelings to be the guide in the interpretation of the reality.

Polarization- this kind of cognitive distortion only focuses on a given situation on only two categories. A person therefore looks into circumstances and individuals in obsolete terms. For example, “everyone is a liar.”

Mental reading- in this case, a person presumes a situation without having any form of evidence. One assumes to know what the other person is thinking and they therefore easily become judgmental.

Labeling- here, a person puts the global label on themselves, others or on a given situation without specifically labeling a certain specific behavior or even a situation. For example, “she is Everyone is against me.”

Minimization and maximization- this form of cognitive distortion entails the minimization of characteristics and experiences which as positive in oneself or others and also the maximization of the negative aspects, for example, “I can attain that career, but everybody else can.”

Imperatives- This one occurs whereby an individual interprets events and occurrences in the way that they should have been rather than the way that they are.

Butler and Beck (2000) further state that with the aid of a therapist, an individual can learn how to correct their thinking and shift it to reality, something that helps in reducing the distress. According to the theory, the goal is usually to help an individual change their distorted thinking and achieve a quality life.  O’Donohue and Fisher (2009) argue that various principles are characterizing the cognitive approach to therapy. They include:-

  1. Individual’s cognitive responses are based on the environmental events rather than the actual events.
  2. Learning normally is cognitively intervened
  3. Cognition could initiate emotional and behavioral dysfunction
  4. Some forms of perception can be monitored
  5. At least some perceptions can be altered
  6. Altering cognition can change dysfunctional patterns of behavior and emotions

Roles of cognitive factors in psychotherapy

Cognitive factors refer to those personal characteristics which play a very significant role in affecting a persons’ performance. Based on these factors an improvement or a decline in an individuals’ performance may arise. The cognitive factors include but not limited to attention, memory and reasoning. The cognitive factors normally are internal, and they control behavior and the responses to external triggers such as stress (Danili and Reid, 2006). The cognitive factors play various roles in psychotherapy:-

Behavior management- one of the functions of cognitive factors is behavior management. A factor such as reasoning influences the way in which an individual is going to behave towards a certain issue based on the way in which he/she reasons. A s such if a client had a goal of reducing certain behavior like breaking cigarette smoking, such a goal would be achieved…………………………………………………………………………………….

 
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