A Brief on History of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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Brief history of the theory and theorist.

In it's simplest form, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, (or CBT as it will be referred to from here on out), refers to the approach of changing dysfunctional behaviors and thoughts to realistic and healthy ones. CBT encompasses several types of therapy focusing on the impact of an individual's thinking as it relates to expressed behaviors. Such models include rational emotive therapy (RET), rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT), behavior therapy (BT), Rational Behavior Therapy (RBT), Schema Focused Therapy, Cognitive therapy (CT). Most recently a few other variations have been linked to CBT such as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), dialectic behavioral therapy (DBT), and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) (Harrington and Pickles, 2009). The main aspect that all of these branches of therapy share, is that our thoughts relate to our external behaviors. External events and individuals do not cause the negative thoughts or feelings, but, instead the perception of events and situations is the root cause (National Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists, 2010).

The idea of thoughts as they connect to behaviors can be traced back to Epictetus (55 AD -135 AD , Greek Stoic and Philosopher). He stated, “Men are not disturbed by things, but by the view which they take of them (Epictetus and Higgonson, 1944). Epictetus also wrote, “Do not strive for things occurring to occur as you wish, but wish things occurring as they occur, and you will flow well (Epictetus and Lebell, 1994).” In other words, see things for what they really are and good health will follow (Romaneck, 2007).” Another belief was that a sage or teacher was immune to unhappiness and misf...

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...cur via story, instruction or through music enhancement (Deggs & Davis, 49. 2011).

Homework for CBT clients may include reading suggested articles or books, taking surveys, journaling, recording thoughts and challenging negative automatic thoughts, creating timetables and graded exposures (slowing bringing feared items to the forefront).

Guided discovery, structured sessions, homework and collaboration. Socratic reasoning/questioning (open questioning). Challenging NATS (Negative Automatic Thoughts), challenging core beliefs. ERP (exposure and response prevention).

Cognitive behavioral therapy uses the ABC model. A stands for action or activating event, B represents beliefs or thoughts that are created from the activating event, and C represents consequences or how we react to the event.

Homework is a key component of this therapy.
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