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Disussing of Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Among all the existing therapeutic approaches, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) resonates with me the most. I find this approach very efficient, inspiring, yet also practical, as it “includes themes such as optimism, strengths, meaning and life-goals” and focuses on “making patients’ lives more fulfilled and resilient” (Geschwind et al., 2019, p. 120). Moreover, CBT is very well-researched and is known for its long-term effect on the patients who underwent it. CBT’s efficacy is achieved through an “explicit and systematic focus on positive emotions and positive mental health” (Geschwind et al., 2019. p. 119). Cognitive processes, emotions, and beliefs are the basis of CBT.

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Firstly, it is necessary to establish that two strategies can be implemented in working with a patient within the CBT framework. The first strategy implies the use of solution-focused brief therapy, which is aimed at guiding the patient’s attention towards a more positive outlook. Solution-focused brief therapy (SFT) emphasizes the “preferred future of the patient and identifies what works for a patient” (Geschwind et al., 2019, p. 120). In SFT, the therapist and the patient play the roles of co-experts, as the patient shares their needs.

In contrast, the specialist offers them effective strategies in complex situations. The second strategy stresses the patient’s optimism and comfort during the treatment period. The well-being therapy analyzes and finds ways to reduce patient’s problems and symptoms. In my mind, both of these strategies are crucial to the success of CBT treatment, and I would certainly implement them in my course of work.

Apart from these strategies, CBT cannot exist without REBT and A-B-C framework. REBT stands for rational emotive behavior therapy and is the fundamental cognitive behavior therapy. It is highly educational as its main aspects are “thinking, assessing, deciding, analyzing, and doing” (Corey, 2017, p. 271). REBT argues that people’s emotions derive from their beliefs, like people’s beliefs affect their sensitivity and reactions to different life situations. Figuratively, REBT teaches patients to reflect on their beliefs (which are often irrational) and separate them from emotions to protect their emotional state.

The A-B-C approach, on the other hand, explores “feelings, thoughts, events, and behavior” (Corey, 2017, p. 273). A symbolizes the events and how they influence the patient, C embodies an emotional or behavioral reaction to the event mentioned above, while B signifies the patient’s belief about A and is responsible for creating C. I view these approaches as highly beneficial techniques for understanding the cause-effect relationship and the patient’s feelings, thinking process, and perhaps even triggers.

Cognitive behavior therapy is possibly the most suitable approach for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). CBT takes into account that people (not necessarily depressed patients) tend to focus on negative events more than on positive ones. CBT does not guarantee a full recovery, but it “leaves an increase in positive mental health, characterized by features such as optimism, a general sense of well-being, and a return to usual or even better than premorbid levels of functioning” (Geschwind et al., 2019, p. 119). In comparison with antidepressants and other coping methods, therapy tends to affect individuals the most. Regardless of the severity of the patient’s condition, if it was carried out rightly by the therapist, CBT can have a long-term positive impact on consciousness and responses to complicated situations.

References

Corey, G. (2017). Theory and Practice of Counseling and psychotherapy, (10th Ed.). Cengage Learning.

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Geschwind, N., Arntz, A., Bannink, F., Peeters, F. (2019). Positive cognitive behavior therapy in the treatment of depression: A randomized order within-subject comparison with traditional cognitive behavior therapy. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 116, 119-130. Web.

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