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Background and Development of Cognitive Psychotherapy Pt3

Background and Development of Cognitive Psychotherapy Pt3

The cognitive structures that organise and process incoming information he called schemata.  These schemata he uses to represent the thought patterns that are laid down early in an individual’s development.  In that development, if logical errors in thinking are included in those schemata, then these will predispose the person to experience emotional problems.  A well-adjusted person would

have a realistic appraisal of life events due to his well-formed schemata, but the schemata of maladjusted individuals result in a distortion of reality, leading to psychological disorder. Most of the research work to date has concentrated on the schemata of depressives but it is being broadened to other emotional disorders as more and more cognitive therapy is being used and the outcome studies are encouraging.

Beck’s approach to cognitive therapy involves working on the cognitive, behavioural and emotional responses of the client.  The goal of therapy is to replace the client’s distorted appraisals of life events with more realistic ones.  Treatment involves teaching clients to monitor their automatic thoughts, to recognise the relations between cognition, affect and behaviour, to test the validity of those automatic thoughts, to substitute more realistic cognitions for those distorted thoughts and to learn to identify and alter the underlying assumptions or beliefs that predispose individuals to engage in faulty thinking patterns.

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