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Aaron Beck Cognitive Behavior Therapy

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Initially developed by Aaron Beck in the 1960s, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) also referred to as Cognitive Therapy (CT) focuses on understanding a client’s behaviors and feelings through focusing on their underlying cognitions and thoughts (Weinrach, 1988, p.159). Aaron Beck believed that our thoughts impact our feelings and in order to change negative feelings, we must identify and modify our dysfunctional thoughts (Weinrach,1988). A client’s symptoms or dysfunctional behaviors do not take place due to a situation or their feelings. Instead, Beck explains that between the situations or events and the emotional responses and behaviors, a conscious stream of thoughts take place (Craske, 2010). CBT explains human nature with an anti-deterministic…show more content…
Automatic thoughts take place as a stream of thoughts that constantly flow through our minds as we experiences daily situations. These automatic thoughts arise in response to a situation and then lead to an emotional response. Therefore, in order to change a client’s feelings, the client must understand, identify, and modify their automatic thoughts (Seligman & Reichenberg, 2014). Intermediate beliefs consist of the rules and attitudes that shape an individual’s automatic thoughts. The core beliefs reflect the views we have of others, the future, the world, and ourselves. These core beliefs underlie automatic thoughts and usually reflect back to the intermediate belief (Seligman & Reichenberg, 2014). A client may have a positive or negative core belief, however, the negative core beliefs lead to the dysfunctional thoughts far from reality. The schema includes these core beliefs and works as a mental structure that organizes information and experiences (Seligman & Reichenberg, 2014). Schemas act as a filter as they process experiences and current info, thus shaping the client’s thinking and often time fostering cognitive errors (Knapp & Beck, 2008). Therefore, in relation to an emotional and behavioral reaction, the core beliefs influence the intermediate beliefs, which then shape the automatic thoughts that lead to the…show more content…
However, CBT relies heavily on therapeutic relationship for the success of the treatment. Many may decide that CBT feels cold and too mechanical due to the heavy focus on cognitions and the structure. In Beck’s earliest manuscripts, however, he stresses the importance of developing a strong therapeutic relationship with the client (Beck, 2011). Throughout the counseling process, the counselor works to build trust and rapport with the client through collaboration and encouraging optimism (Seligman & Reichenberg, 2014). The therapeutic relationship remains collaborative, empathetic, active, flexible, nonjudgmental, and goal-oriented (Seligman & Reichenberg, 2014). Due to the collaborative nature of the therapeutic relationship, the counselor encourages the client to provided feedback throughout the process. Anytime problems arise within the relationship, the counselor and client explore them together (Beck,
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