Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – An Empirically-Proven Model
According to Hyer, Kramer, and Sohnle (2004), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works to “(a) identify cognitive distortions, (b) examine the evidence to support or dispute particular beliefs, and (c) teach the client specific skills for challenging unhelpful thoughts and developing alternative views” (p.284).
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a popular model for treating addictive behaviors, including substance abuse, gambling, internet addiction, and eating disorders. It is also known for treating individuals with depression, anxiety, issues relating to body image, and other maladaptive symptoms. It has also been shown that online CBT therapy (therapy delivered through videoconferencing software) is also an effective means of therapy.
Advancements have been made in cognitive behavioral therapy to also include a contextual approach in couple’s therapy (Epstein & Baucom, 2002). Cognitive-behavioral techniques assume responsibility for analyzing and identifying relational processes and ensuring clients know how they develop. By incorporating a systemic approach to cognitive behavioral strategies, therapists can help identify relational needs and give more attention to altering interactional patterns (Dattilio, The Critical Component of Cognitive Restructuring in Couples Therapy: A Case Study, 2005).
Furthermore, Nichols (2006) outlines how following a structured assessment in cognitive behavioral therapy, an analysis of relational interaction would likely be provided. As such, “the therapist introduces a focus that implies mutual responsibility for problems—and mutual possibility of change” (p. 262). He continues that “behavior analysis makes it clear that each one has some control over the contingencies that govern the relationship” (p.262).
In cognitive behavioral therapy, the practice of tracking cognitions or automatic thoughts is evaluated. The aim behind this tracking sequence is to identify whether certain thoughts are beneficial to the client (Hyer, Kramer, & Sohnle, 2004). There are a variety of interventions in cognitive behavioral therapy, including addressing patterns of dysfunctional thinking, teaching coping skills, identifying triggers, relapse prevention, personalized feedback, cost versus benefit analysis, behavioral strategies, calming self-statements, and developing new skills.
Research in cognitive behavioral therapy shows that, both, the relationship between client and therapist and the interventions used are helpful as it relates to therapeutic outcomes. Some suggest the relationship between the therapeutic alliance and cognitive behavioral interventions can be continuously intertwined during treatment (Holtforth & Casonguay, 2005). Still, other findings suggest that therapeutic interactions may lead to internalizing new adaptive and interpersonal behaviors which in turn can decrease the amount of maladaptive behaviors in individuals. Such has been evident in the case of binge eating disorders and attachment insecurity (Tasca, Balfour, Ritchie, & Bissada, 2007).Reference Dattilio, F. M. (2005). The Critical Component of Cognitive Restructuring in Couples Therapy:
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Epstein, N. B., & Baucom, D. H. (2002). Enhanced Cognitive – Behavioral Therapy for Couples:
A Contextual Approach. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Holtforth, M. G., & Casonguay, L. G. (2005). Relationship and techniques in cognitive-
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Hyer, L., Kramer, D., & Sohnle, S. (2004). CBT With Older People: Alterations and the Value of
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Nichols, M. P., & Schwartz, R. (2006). Cognitive-Behavioral Family Therapy: Beyond Stimulus
and Response. In M. P. Nichols, & R. Schwartz, Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods
(Seventh ed., pp. 246-274). Pearson Education, Inc.
Tasca, G., Balfour, L., Ritchie, K., & Bissada, H. (2007). Change in attachment anxiety is
associated with improved depression among women with binge eating disorder.
Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training , 44 (4), 423-433.