This essay will consist of a brief description of three principles or techniques of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which help it be an effective therapy. It will also describe the cognitive perspective on client problems. Based off of a philosophical background the cognitive behavioural model was formed and can be defined as “A broad set of approaches to improving adaptive and emotional functioning based on theories of learning and behaviour change.” (Westbrook, Kennerley & Kirk 2008). Additionally, this psychotherapy takes into account the negative prototypes of thinking and/or behaviour that can be the cause of a person’s worries, and attempts to adjust their frame of mind (Mind, 2001). It is commonly believed amongst theorists that the learning theory is at the basis of CBT. The assumption is that environments influence behaviour and learning is central to both, adaptive and maladaptive behaviours, forming a platform to teach more efficient functioning. Emotional responses are supposedly what shape people’s viewpoint about their atmosphere and events taking place in and around it (Westbrook, Kennerley & Kirk, 2008).
Firstly, this essay will present a brief outline of the theoretical foundations of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This will then be followed by an evaluation of the behavioural model, Socratic questioning and the ABCs of CBT. Westbrook and others (2008) state that the behavioural model is one of the main principles of CBT. Supported by theories of change and learning, the aim of this model is to improve adaptive and emotional performance around the basis that “behaviour is learnt, and can therefore be unlearnt, or reconditioned…” (Memiah Ltd. 2012) There is an emphasis on the hypothesis that it is a person’s thoughts and feelings that influence behaviour (Westbrook, Kennerley & Kirk, 2008). The conceptual framework of the behavioural model describes features that may have an effect on the stability of behaviour and by examining systems of behaviour (Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 2009).
Blackburn and others (1981, quoted in Williams and Garland, 2002) The Behaviour model is effective in a sense that it is compatible with the use of medication, it is also effective for individuals requiring treatment for some sort of behaviour change and give attention to the present without focusing on the past to find a reason for the behaviour. “The most famous examples of conditioning are those of Ivan Pavlov and B.F Skinner.” (Memiah Ltd. 2012) Socratic Questioning can be identified as a helpful technique used in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy named after an ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. His method of educating was to teach by asking questions and as a consequence, this protracted answers from his students (Straker, D. n.d.). Often used in a provocative nature. This skill is frequently exercised to challenge client’s fundamental beliefs about themselves which are characteristically unwholesome, subsequently resulting in awkward or negative behaviour patterns (Le Page, 2010).
Socrates posed six types of questions with this technique and they were categorised as; Conceptual clarification questions, Probing assumptions, Probing rationale, Probe implications and consequences and finally, questions about the question (Straker, D. n.d.). According to an article written by Le Page (2010), applying a Socratic style to questioning can come with good effect. This skill-set effectively uses an open questioned manner to facilitate the guidance of sufferers. It enables the acknowledgement of unhealthy beliefs and is useful in challenging the accuracy of them. Utilising Socratic questioning helps patients discover a more logical outlook of thinking and their behaviour. Another practice used in CBT is Cognitive Behavioural Assessment, where an adaptation of the ABC model takes place. Originally developed by Ellis and Harper (1961) the ABC model can be used as a tool to organise confusing experiences for a patient.
There are various steps within this CBT technique and with the involvement of Socratic questioning; it associates a person’s thoughts and beliefs in relation to an experience. It then evaluates the accuracy of these perceptions in an attempt to change future reactions to events(Hansen, Kingdon and Turkington, 2006). “The ABC Model asks you to record a sequence of events in terms of: •A – Activitating Event (also sometimes described as a ‘Trigger’) •B – Beliefs (for example, the thoughts that occur to you when the Activating Event happens) •C – Consequences – how you feel and behave when you have those Beliefs (consequences may be divided into two parts: your actions and your emotions)” (Bonham-Carter, D. n.d.) This technique is said to be structured at the heart of applied behaviour analysis, thus forming the core of behaviour modification (O’Donohue & Ferguson, 2006).
Cognitive Behavioural Assessment, with an adaptation of the ABC model can be effective because, it is specific to an issue. When used efficiently, this assessment can bring clarification of the links between emotional distresses and philosophies held by patients (Hansen, Kingdon and Turkington, 2006). This essay demonstrates an evaluation of the effectiveness of CBT; The Behavioural Model, Socratic questioning and Cognitive Behavioural Assessment (ABCs) by providing a detailed account and highlighting the main characteristics of each. The essay then goes on to give clear reasons as to why CBT is effective and how the principles and techniques assist the therapy’s efficacy. My conclusion is that CBT is founded on the principle that a person’s thoughts and feelings that influence behaviour (Westbrook, Kennerley & Kirk, 2008).
“Its purpose is for patients to learn new skills of self-management that they will then put into practice in everyday life. It adopts a collaborative stance that encourages patients to work on changing how they feel by putting into practice what they have learned.” (Williams and Garland, 2002). The two techniques and principle described in this essay are common to one another for the reasons that, they are all effective in attempting to tackle negative patterns of thought and triumph over difficult feelings by creating a relationship that offers a means of self-help in a compassionate manner (Edelman, S. 2006). CBT is effective because there is; a focus on existing problems relevant to the patient in their point of view, an understandable underlying model, structured treatment and delivery is collaborative (Williams and Garland, 2002).