What Principles Underlie Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?


Do you ever think positive thoughts significantly impact your overall behavior? Among many therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy considers the best form of psychotherapy that rationalize your negative thoughts and behaviors. This therapy addresses a variety of conditions like anger, anxiety, depression, ADHD, and physical pain.

In the American psychology association, a published book by Dr. Michelle Craske told how and why CBT became the popular model of psychotherapy used in clinical practices. Let’s learn about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and its principles.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

What Principles Underlie Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Aaron Beck developed the term CBT in the 1960s. Originally it is called cognitive therapy and known as cognitive behavioral therapy. A well-known therapy to treat depression by changing a person’s thoughts and beliefs. The major goal of this therapy is to help people with physical and mental challenges, such as

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chronic Pain
  • Trauma
  • OCD
  • Irritable Bowl Syndrome

How Does CBT Work?

CBT works by identifying, tackling, and changing negative thinking and improves your thinking patterns and overall well-being with practice. The benefit is that if you feel any specific situation in the future, it will be easier to tackle the behavior.

Many conditions lead to severe psychological issues, such as stress, anxiety, and depression. In these forms, thinking in black and white, over-generalizing, ignoring the positive and focusing on the negative, catastrophizing, etc., are included.

In cognitive behavioral therapy, you help yourself along with the therapist and identify the thinking patterns that cause the distress. That is a significant step to managing overwhelming emotions and unhelpful behaviors. The therapy is well structured, and
over time, through CBT techniques, you change the way of thoughts.

Benefits of CBT

  1. How to track your thoughts from negative to positive
  2. Confronting situations that create stress and anxiety and learning the coping mechanism.
  3. Problem-solving techniques with the help of a therapist.
  4. Role-playing interactions with others.
  5. Get a more logical understanding of people’s actions.
  6. Cope up with upsetting and triggering situations
  7. Positive self-talk to boost the confidence
  8. Relaxation techniques in a difficult time.

Principles Underlie Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Principles Underlie Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Judith Beck defines 10 basic principles that underlie cognitive behavioral therapy. These were mentioned in the book Cognitive therapy: Basics and Beyond.

1. Ever Evolving Formulation of Patients Problems and An Individual Conceptualization in Cognitive Terms

In the first principle. Thinking patterns and problematic behaviors identify in which several factors examine the patient’s life experiences and childhood thoughts.

For the conceptualization of patients, the information collects for an accurate picture of the patient’s situation. Through these factors, therapists can evaluate his/her progress.

2. Sound Therapeutic Alliance and Good Client-Therapist Relationship

The second most important thing is to develop a strong relationship between the patient and therapist. The therapist must keep the environment friendly so that the therapist can provide warmth, empathy, and competence.

3. CBT Emphasizes Collaboration and Active Participation

Teamwork encourages both therapist and patient throughout the session. Moreover, Active participation of the patient is important for making a lasting impact on treatment.

4. Goal Oriented and Problem Focused Therapy

The patient should set specific goals at the beginning of the session. These are necessary to evaluate and respond to thoughts and interfere with those goals. Through this, the patient can identify and interrupt those negative thoughts.

5. CBT emphasizes On Current Situation

In The treatment, therapist focuses on current problems which cause the worst situation. Cognitive behavioral therapy considers the past when patients are strongly stuck in dysfunctional thinking and try to understand their childhood to modify their core beliefs.

6. Educate the patient by therapist and emphasizes relapse prevention

CBT completely understands the patient and how thoughts affect emotions and behavior. Moreover, it also identifies and evaluates the thoughts and beliefs regarding the constant behavioral change in patients.

CBT educate the patient on how they can manage their own negative thoughts. The purpose is to acknowledge the patient psycho cognitive parts and learn how to discard and improve cognitive therapy.

7. CBT – Time Limited

The structure treatment should always time limited. Anxiety and depression takes almost 6 to 14 sessions through this therapy. However, the time range can vary even from months to years for severe mental illnesses and rigid beliefs.

8. Structure Sessions of CBT

Structure treatment plan maximizes effectiveness, and in the process, three stages are included such as introductory, middle, and final. In the introductory stage, a brief review of the week and setting an agenda for the session are included. The second and mid-stage discuss problems and set the new homework; the final stage is eliciting feedback.

9. CBT- identify, evaluate and respond the dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs 

Therapists always help patients to identify key cognitions and adopt realistic, rational perspectives. Therapists identify key cognitions and adopt more realistic, rational perspectives. It is achieved by questioning their thoughts to evaluate their thinking. The therapist always creates behavioral experiments to set the thinking process.

10. CBT- Variety of techniques to Change Mood, Thinking, and Behavior

Problem-solving techniques are essential in cognitive behavioral therapy. There are different techniques that therapists select to influence the conceptualization of the patient.

Bottom Line

Cognitive behavioral therapy is popular and well-structured, which underlies the above-mentioned principles. The therapy is effective in many psychological conditions, even for more serious ones such as schizophrenia. The therapy educates the patient to deal with these issues in the future.

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Author: Sadia is a regular contributor at How To Increase, a health related blog.