Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – CBT
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT as it is more commonly known, was developed by Aaron Beck in the 1960’s.
Professor Beck was the first person to recognise the significance of ‘thoughts’ in relation to people’s feelings and behaviours, in particular that our thoughts (cognition) determine the way that we ‘feel’ (our emotions).
Furthermore, Beck also recognised that what we ‘think’ on a day-to-day basis when encountering situations, are, in turn, determined by our core beliefs and values.
In this way, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy argues that we ‘understand’ and make sense of our experiences based on our core beliefs which determine how we think about those experiences which then leads to us behaving in certain ways.
Core Beliefs – Thoughts & Cognition – Outcomes
For example, if a person has a core belief that “making mistakes is unforgivable” then when they do (invariably) make some sort of mistake they may think to themselves “Oh NO! I hope nobody notices that mistake or I’ll be in trouble” and then, when somebody DOES notice the mistake, they may be filled with fear and anxiety about what sort of trouble they’re going to be in.
This experience can be thought of as comprising of three separate components:
- The Core Belief = Making mistakes is unforgivable.
- The Thoughts = “If somebody spots my mistake I’ll be in trouble”.
- The Outcome = Experience feelings of Fear and Anxiety.
Because the subsequent feelings of fear and anxiety are based upon the core belief that making mistakes is unforgivable, the outcome reaction is ‘coherent’ – it makes complete sense based on what is, fundamentally, believed to be true.
Anxiety and fear are not the problem here, the ’cause’ of the distress is the core belief itself because not only is the making of mistakes a completely NORMAL human trait, but mistakes are almost always forgivable.
The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approach seeks to address the core belief itself through understanding the how the feelings (fear and anxiety) relate to the thoughts (I’ll be in trouble).
Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with a Psychosocial perspective also helps to get away from the idea that the core belief is ‘dysfunctional’ and more towards the understanding that this core belief was almost certainly ‘taught’ to whoever believes it by parents or care-givers earlier on in their developmental years.
The Core Programme
The CORE Programme has been built upon the foundations laid down in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and has been designed to interactively teach these principles to those following the programme using our online platform.
For those clients who also opt to have face-to-face counselling sessions (at the Lee Psychology offices or using Zoom video sessions) these concepts are more fully explored explored using the Power Threat Meaning Framework as a way of helping the client to make sense of why they might have developed the core beliefs based on their life experiences.
No other approach to psychotherapy has been more rigorously examined than Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and there are vast amounts of scientific research showing it ‘effectiveness’ across a wide range of emotional problems.
Unfortunately, this also means that the bio-medical sector has tried to ‘medicalise‘ the approach by claiming that CBT is equivalent to ‘taking a drug’ for an illness.
This can often be seen in the bio-medical literature when describing a number of ‘doses’ of CBT that a client has been ‘given’ – a ridiculous concept at best!
Despite this attempted ‘coup’ by the psychiatric and medical community however, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy remains an excellent way of helping people to uncover, comprehend and change beliefs and values that may no longer serve a useful purpose in the present life context.
Ready to Begin a New Journey?
If you’d like to find out more about overcoming or recovering from your emotional distress or mental health difficulties then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.
During this consultation we will discuss your particular problems and the potential solutions in a safe and confidential environment without you having to commit to any counselling programmes or sessions going forward.
It is our view that not only do you need to decide whether the Lee Psychology approach suits who you are and what you have been through, but also whether or not you feel you will be able to work effectively with us as individuals.
To arrange your free initial consultation please contact: