Beck’s Cognitive Therapy for Depression

Beck’s Cognitive Therapy for Depression

►Best known for its relevance to the treatment of depression, but has relevance to a wider variety of psychological disorders
►Psychological difficulties are due to
§Automatic thoughts
§Dysfunctional assumptions
§Negative self-statements
►The Cognitive Triad of Depression
1.Negative views of the self (e.g., “I am inadequate, undesirable, worthless”)
2.Negative views of the world (e.g., “The world makes too many demands on me and life represents constant defeat”)
3.Negative views of the future (e.g., “Life will always involve the suffering and deprivation it has for me now”)
►Research on Faulty Cognitions
►Much research in the 1980’s and 1990’s provided evidence that was consistent with Beck’s model
►Compared to nondepressed individuals, depressed persons
§Focused more on themselves
§Had more accessible negative self-constructs
§Had a bias toward pessimism rather than optimism, particularly in relation to the self
►Cognitive Therapy of Depression
►Designed to identify and correct distorted conceptualizations and dysfunctional beliefs
►Generally consists of 15 to 25 sessions at weekly intervals
►Involves highly specific learning experiences designed to teach the patient to
§Monitor negative, automatic thoughts
§Recognize how these thoughts lead to problematic feelings and behaviors
§Examine the evidence for and against these thoughts
§Substitute more reality-oriented interpretations for these biased cognitions
►Cognitive Therapy of Depression
►Beck’s cognitive therapy has been expanded to include the treatment of other difficulties
§personality disorders
§drug abuse
§marital difficulties
►Each difficulty is associated with a distinctive pattern of beliefs
►Recent evidence suggests that therapeutic change follows cognitive change


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