Chapter 25: Cognitive Behaviour Modification
Behavior modification, began to emerge in the 1950s and 1960s.
•Publications that described an alternative approach to therapy called cognitive therapy,
appeared in the in the 1970s
•Word cognition means belief, thought, expectancy, attitude, or perception.
•Accordingly, cognitive therapists regard their approach to be primarily that of helping a
client overcome his or her difficulties by getting rid of unproductive, debilitating thoughts
or beliefs and adopting more constructive ones.
•Cognitive therapists , in turn have adopted some behavior modification methods.
•Cognitive behavior modification-cognitive behavior therapy
•Criterion for judging the effectiveness of any treatment is the amount of measurable
improvement that occurs in the clients behavior
•Stephen Hayes referred to early behavior modification as the first wave of behavior
therapy, and to cognitive behavior modification as the second wave.
•Hayes also described what he referred to as the third wave of behavior therapy—
therapeutic approaches that incorporate concepts of mindfulness , acceptance and values
into the cognitive behavioral tradition
•Cognitive behavior modification into 3 categories:
•1/ treatments 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
•Some cognitive 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
•Strategies for doing so are referred to as: COGNITIVE RESTRUCTURING
BECKS COGNITIVE THERAPY
•Aaron T Beck independently of Ellis, developed a cognitive therapy procedure that is
similar to REBT.
•His cognitive therapy was originally developed for the treatment of depression
•According to Beck 1976, people with emotional disorders engage excessively in aberrant,
fallacious, or dysfunctional thinking, and this is what causes ( or exacerbates) their
problems. Among the various types of dysfunctional thinking are the following.
•1. Dichotomous thinking-thinking in absolute terms; for example, assuming that one is a
failure if one gets any grade less than an “A”
•2. Arbitrary Inference- which is drawing a conclusion on the basis of inadequate
evidence, for ex. misinterpreting a frown on the face of a passerby to mean that the
passerby disapproves of him or her
•3. Overgeneralization- which is reaching a general conclusion on the basis of too few
instances for example, assuming that a single failure means that one cannot succeed at
•4. Magnification- which is exaggerating the meaning or significance of a particular event.
For ex. believing that it is terrible or catastrophic not to obtain something that one want
•Beck’s procedure involves three general components.
•First, clients identify the dysfunctional thoughts and maladaptive assumptions that may be
causing debilitating emotions
•This is usually accomplished through a series of visualization exercises and easily
•Second, once a thought or dysfunctional assumption has been identified, there are several
methods that are used in counteracting it.
•One method used by Beck is reality checking or hypothesis testing.
•Third Beck, frequently uses additional homework assignments that contain liberal doses
of behavior modification procedures to develop various desirable daily activities.
Comparison of the Approaches of Ellis and Beck
•There are some similarities between Beck’s approach and Ellis’s REBT.