Cognitive Behaviour Modification
Cognition- means belief, thought, expectancy, attitude, or perception.
- Cognitive therapists regard their approach to be primarily that of helping a client
overcome his or her difficulties by getting rid of an unproductive, debilitating
thoughts or beliefs and adopting more constructive ones.
-We have organized the different procedures referred to as cognitive or cognitive
behavior modification into three categories:
1) Treatment that emphasize cognitive restructuring to decrease maladaptive
thoughts that are assumed to cause troublesome emotions
2) Self-directed strategies to enhance overt coping skills
3) Treatments that include “mindfulness,” “acceptance,” and “values” as
important components of therapy.
Cognitive Restructuring Methods
- An assumption to cognitive therapy is that individuals interpret and react to event
in terms of their perceived significance; that is, our beliefs, expectations, and
attitudes affect our behavior.
- Cognitive deficiencies can cause emotional disorders.
- Many therapists believe that faulty thinking is the cause of emotional and
behavioral problems, and the primary focus of their approach to therapy is to
change faulty thinking. This is called cognitive restructuring.
Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
- Created by Ellis
- Emotional problems (and related behaviors) stem from irrational interpretations
(ex! I always screw things up! I never do things right!) that people make of
events in their lives. People tend to think in absolute terms, such as a student
thinking, “I must do well in all my courses.”
- ! They tend to over generalize such as a student thinking after getting a poor
mark on one exam, “I’ll never be a good student.”
- ! People also tend to catastrophize: they tell themselves that things are so
horrible they can’t possible stand it.
- The therapist’s approach to this is to counteract the client’s “irrational” self-
statement with more positive and realistic statement. This is accomplished
through the three main phrases
1) The therapist helps the client to identify troublesome thoughts that are based
on irrational beliefs.
2) In a very confrontational, argumentative way, the therapist vigorously
challenges the client’s irrational beliefs that are thought to be the basis for the
3) The client is taught (through modeling and homework assignments) to replace
the “irrational” self-statement with statement based on “rational” beliefs.