Cognitive Behavior Therapy

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The types of therapies used today are as numerous and diverse as the disorders they look to treat. Techniques range from absolutely brilliant to questionably immoral and virtually everywhere in between. Out of this bountiful selection, four main therapies have risen as the most notable. They are psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, and family and couples.
Briefly summarized, the psychodynamic theory concentrates on digging into one’s unconscious to understand the source of their area of concern. For example, if a person is struggling with feelings of anxiety in a relationship, a psychodynamic therapist may suggest that these feelings are prompted by negligent caregivers in the first two years of life. Humanistic therapy encourages
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The behavioral side of the equation places a focus on how environmental reinforcers encourage and sustain the specific behavior. According to Wade, aspects of both classical and operant conditioning are foundational in the development of behavior therapy (Wade, 593). Although there are many techniques associated with behavioral therapy, here are four commonly used methods:
• Exposure is the process of confronting the fear directly. It is normal for a person to push away the thoughts of a traumatic event in hopes of avoiding them; however, this often intensifies the anxiety surrounding the event. For example, if someone suffered a traumatizing car accident, they may be afraid of driving again. Exposure would suggest placing the person behind the wheel and work up to driving normally again.
• Systematic desensitization is demonstrated in a concept stated earlier: counterconditioning. If the fear is public speaking, a therapist using systematic desensitization may suggest speaking to someone one-on-one until they are able to relax while doing so. Then, try speaking to a group of 2-3 people until the same result is acheived. This process would be repeated in incremental steps until the client is no longer afraid of public
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Often times, the negative thoughts that lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders are founded on unrealistic expectations of oneself or beliefs that are entirely untrue. Cognitive therapy seeks to identify those thoughts and replace them with accurate, more realistic views. Possibly Albert Ellis’ greatest contribution to the field of psychology is the school of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). REBT is “a form of cognitive therapy devised by Albert Ellis, designed to challenge the client’s unrealistic thoughts” (Wade 596) Ellis found that people frequently overgeneralize –concluding that “all men are cheaters” after a bad relationship - or catastrophize –believing that you’re the worst parent ever because your child scraped their knee. A cognitive therapist aims to bring these claims back down to earth by presenting more rational responses –your ex-boyfriend does not dictate the actions of all (or even most) men and all children scrape their knees at some point or

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