What is different about Cognitive Therapy?
The other major models of emotional disturbances include the psychoanalysis,
behavioral, and neuropsychiatric schools.  While these have important differences
with each other, they also have an important similarity:  They all assume that
emotional disturbances are caused by forces that the patient cannot either see or
influence - or both.  These may be repressed unconscious factors, hidden
conditioned reflexes, or biological imbalances.  These models all depend on the
therapist to discover and resolve them.

Cognitive Therapy, on the other hand, is based on the assumption that emotional
disturbances arise from thoughts that are created in order to interpret and react to
specific events.  These thoughts are accessible by the patient.  In Cognitive Therapy,
the therapist doesn't identify and treat these.  Instead, he or she teaches the patient
to discover, examine, and modify them in a manner that the patient determines to be
appropriate and functional.
The Cognitive Therapy Model
According to the Cognitive Therapy Model, our
emotions and behaviors are formed by the way we
interpret events.  In other words, it is not the events
that affect us, but the way we perceive them.
From early childhood, we develop basic beliefs about the nature of ourselves, other
people, and the external world.  Based on these core beliefs, we develop general
assumptions and attitudes that we use as a general philosophy for viewing and
interacting with the external world.  These are called intermediate beliefs.  As
particular events occur, our basic philosophy of life steps in to supply us with
thoughts about those events that we use to interpret and react to them.  These are
called automatic thoughts.

The Cognitive Therapy Model says that all of these, from core beliefs to automatic
thoughts, can be discovered and examined by the patient.  If they are found to be
irrational or dysfunctional, the patient can modify them.  The therapist's role is to
instruct and guide the patient through the process.
© 2005 - All rights reserved.
Dr. Emel Stroup
(0538) 304 04 15
The Cognitive Therapy Model
Beckian-approach, evidence based