C is for Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Psychology is the study of human behavior.  Like any study it has a large variety of theories regarding what is important to know and focus on.  Depending on the therapist will depend on what therapy will be like.  I am a cognitive behavioral therapist who seeks to help clients focus on the solving on their own exstistential issues
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is the presentation of the relationship of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to each other.  CBT has enjoyed a long history despite not always being popular.  It also enjoys diversity amongst its practitioners and the clients it is able to provide specialized treatment for.  Thoughts, feeling/emotions, and behaviors do not change in their definitions per se but how they influence a person’s ability to be well mentally may be approached differently depending on the type of CBT being used.  The three types of CBT I am going to talk about here are Rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT), dialectal behavioral therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

Rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) was packaged by Albert Ellis.  He wrote about the importance to be clear about taking responsibility for one’s responsibility for his or her own disturbances.  He spoke about self-acceptance over self-essteem.  This is because self-esteem needs to be kept up by constant new achievements while self-acceptance relies on the person’s ability to realize his or her own personhood cannot be measured.  He wrote of needing to discover your own personal relationship to thinking, feeling, and acting.  Where are you having difficulties and what are you willing to do about it?  Albert Ellis used experiments to show each client that he or she can change and is capable of making life his or her life what they want it to be.

Dialectal behavioral therapy (DBT) was brought about by Marsha Linehan.  This orientation of CBT was first created for the treatment of individuals with borderline personality disorder.  It has four different sets of skills emotional regulation, distress tolerance, mindfulness, and interpersonal skills.  Emotional regulation helps one learn to be aware of aceept and act appropriately with their own emotion.  Distress tolerance helps one learn to face adversity without resorting to beh vior that has caused problems in the past or may cause problems in the future.  Mindfulness helps one stay in the moment.  Interpersonal skills show clients how to be in healthy relationships with others.  Typically DBT is taught in groups.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) was initially presented by Steven Hayes.  It helps clients learn what value, remember these values in difficult times, stop struggling against difficulties inherent in life, and take meaningful actions.  By accepting thefact that life has suffering as a product of living one has to overcome obstacles in order to obtain what is really important.  Sometimes what happens with this presentation of CBT is that clients are confronted with inconsistencies with what they say is important with their mouths and what they say is important with their actions.
As a therapist I will admit to not strictly sticking to one form of CBT or another.  I go into a session just as open to the client as I hope they are with me.  I listen and work to earn where they are and act appropriately.  My goal is to help clients take steps to setting and achieve goals set for and by themselves.

So, what do you think about CBT in general?  What do you think about each of the three I have discussed?  Do you have one that you are particularrly interested in?  What draws your interest about that one?  Please feel free to leave comments and/or questions.

Until Tomorrow!



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