AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

For many people with mental, behavioural or personality issues Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, is part of a course of treatment that changes their lives.

The basic idea of this type of therapy is that your thoughts influence your emotions and behaviours and the therapy helps patients alter their negative thoughts, emotions and behaviours for the better.

Although this type of therapy is often considered to be a modern form of treatment it actually has a long history and many famous faces involved in mental health treatments have contributed to its development.

Here is a brief history of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy:

Early days

The behavioural treatment of mental disorders has been pioneered by many high profile behaviourists such as Pavlov, Skinner, Watson, and Eysenck. These therapists were among those who first developed Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as a valid form of treatment.

Behavioural modification is a type of treatment that uses positive reinforcement and punishment to alter the way the patient reacts to certain situations. In the early days the treatment did not include examining the patient’s thoughts and focussed on behaviours that were easily observable.

Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck – the ‘fathers of modern CBT’

It wasn’t until the 1960s and 1970s that therapists started to reconsider the original model of behavioural modification therapies. Albert Ellis developed a course of treatment known as Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) which suggested that a patient’s emotional distress originates from their thoughts about a traumatic event, rather than the event itself.

Another therapist, Aaron T. Beck, developed a treatment called Cognitive Therapy. This treatment stated than an individual’s behaviour is affected by the way they structure the world based on the attitudes and assumptions they encountered from previous experiences.

Modern CBT

Both theorists’ methods of treatments have been combined and developed into what we now know as CBT. Treatment usually begins with educating the patient about the CBT model and introducing the idea that your emotions and behaviours are influenced by your thoughts and perceptions of events.

The next part of the treatment trains the patient to identify and evaluate their thoughts and core beliefs. Once the patient recognises the ‘triggers’ to negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviour they can then begin to tackle them.

How does CBT help patients?

The aim of CBT training is to teach the patient adaptive responses to negative events to enable them to cope in the future. These skills are taught during a session and the patient is then asked to practice them outside of the treatment room as a form of ‘homework’.

The ultimate goal of the treatment is for the patient to be able to independently recognise, challenge, and change their negative thoughts. Patients may combine treatment with assertiveness, communication or relaxation training. If patients are struggling with depression they may also include taking part in pleasurable activities in their treatment programme.

If you think you might benefit from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) then get in touch with your GP and they will be able to put you in touch with a qualified practitioner.

About the Author: Rob Rudd enjoys learning and writing about hypnotherapy and CBT. He regularly contributes to several health and wellbeing websites. When he isn’t writing he likes to relax in his home town of Portsmouth UK.


Leave a Reply