Cognitive Restructuring As A Therapeutic Technique

1635 words - 7 pages

In Dr. Judith Beck’s video on cognitive therapy, she also emphasizes the importance of identifying distortions in the thinking of the clinically depressed. It is a “garbage in, garbage out” syndrome wherein reflexive self-criticisms trigger distorted conclusions. Beck teaches how to build a self-image only after examining actual evidence about people’s talents and abilities, or lack thereof. Depression is best treated when therapist and patient identify and respond to fact-based thoughts and evaluations (Freedomff, 2008).
Dr. Aaron Beck conducted a question and answer session for “CBT and a Triad Model”, a video shot at the Beck Institute’s 2011 workshop for active duty and veteran military. The “triad” consists of the vicious cycle of self-focus, dysfunctional beliefs, and dysfunctional behaviors, all of which contribute to difficulties in recovering from the after-effects of war. Beck emphasizes the importance of relying on facts to overcome habitual, inaccurate self-generated distortions about oneself (Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, 2011).
Techniques
Counterfactuals are the belief that, “If A did not happen, then C would not have happened.” For a grieving child, a counterfactual could be: “If I had not gone to summer camp, then daddy would not have gotten sick while I was gone.” Skilled CBT therapists can help clients restructure the false assumptions they made leading up to a loved one’s death. As a result, children are able to shift their focus to coping and healing rather than worrying about how they may have caused it (Butler & Northcut, 2013). A middle-school age child would be capable of understanding the rational that “Daddy did not get sick because you were at summer camp, he got sick because a tumor had been growing in his lungs for a few months.”
A therapist may encounter a client who is inhibiting their mourning process for and is unable to break down the grief they are experiencing. Using the cognitive perspective, the death of a loved one is a negative external event that the client has no control over even though it has the potential to change their belief system, emotions, and behaviors (Butler & Northcut, 2013). This means that grief is more than just an emotional process. Bereavement requires behavioral and cognitive adaptation to the loss. Nevertheless, scholars believe that emotions override cognitions in regards to grief, perhaps because most people have a flood of emotions immediately following a death (Butler & Northcut, 2013).
Comparison and Contrast of Art Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Contrast
In their organic forms, art therapy is based on the creative expression of a child’s journey through their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. CBT is focused on helping children understand their thoughts and feelings that influence their behaviors. Art therapy often takes a more client-centered approach than CBT because when a child begins to draw, they take the lead. Last year, I had the...

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