Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in the Treatment of Depression
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a method of correcting invalid thought patterns to a more positive view of the person and their place in their world. Some people do not believe that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a real treatment for depression, claiming it is a form of positive thinking ("The Daily Mail," 2009). On the opposite end of the spectrum, others argue that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy should be used in all therapies for depression as it allows the patient to take an active role in their treatment. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the benefit of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as a viable treatment of depression, either as a stand-alone therapy or in conjunction with other therapies.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy appears to be a new treatment, although its roots can be traced to Albert Ellis’s Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy, published in 1962. Cognitive therapy assumes that thoughts precede actions and false self-beliefs cause negative emotions. It is now known that most depression treatments have cognitive components to them, whether they are recognized or not. In the 1970’s many psychologists began using cognitive components to describe depression. From there, they developed cognitive forms to treat depression with impressive results (Franklin, 2003).
Patterns of Faulty Thinking
Cognitive therapy recognizes ten common patterns of faulty thinking. “All-or-nothing thinking” refuses to see a middle ground and is characterized by the use of such words as always, never, and forever. This pattern can be recognized by statements such as “I will never pass this class”.
“Overgeneralization” takes an isolated incident and assumes that all other incidents will conclude in the same manner. If a person had a bad experience with a doctor, they assume that all doctor interactions will be bad. A “mental filter” concentrates on bad events by discarding the positive. If the patient goes to a three day conference and everything but one training session goes perfectly, then the entire conference was a failure.
Treating positive events as if they do not count is called “disqualifying the positive”. “Jumping to conclusions” is a huge factor in self-realization. By assuming the worst without any evidence to show that that is the outcome, jumping to conclusions is exposed. Likewise, paying more attention to negatives while downplaying or ignoring the positive is called “magnification and manipulation”. “Emotional reasoning” allows your emotions, not the facts, govern reactions. These last three items have been personal challenges as treatment progressed.
Only thinking about how things should be, rather than appreciating and dealing with how things are in the present are known as “should” statements. If the word “should” appears in a statement regarding oneself, it is generally a “should statement”. “Labeling and...