Revolutionary Treatment of Depression

Revolutionary Treatment of Depression post image

How cognitive therapy works.

It seems incredible that a
successful form of psychological therapy could be based on telling people their
thoughts are mistaken. And yet that is partly how cognitive therapy works.
“The founding father of cognitive therapy is
Aaron T. Beck, a psychologist not well known to the lay public, but widely
revered amongst psychologists.”


This type of therapy has
easily overtaking Freudian-style psychotherapy in recent decades to become the
most popular form of treatment for depression, phobias and many other common
psychological problems. The founding father of cognitive therapy is Aaron T.
Beck a psychologist not well known to the lay public, but widely revered
amongst psychologists. One of his studies is the third nomination for the Top
Ten Psychology Studies.
Cognitive therapy was
originally developed for the treatment of depression. In his work with patients
Beck developed the idea that at the heart of depression lay one or more
irrational beliefs (Beck, 1963). Here are a few examples:

  • Over-generalisation. Drawing
    general conclusions from a single (usually negative) event. E.g. thinking that
    failing to be promoted at work means a promotion will never come.
  • Minimalisation and
    Maximisation. Getting things out of perspective: e.g. either grossly
    underestimating own performance or overestimating the importance of a negative
    event.
  • Dichotomous thinking –
    Thinking that everything is either very good or very bad so that there are no
    gray areas. In reality, of course, life is one big gray area.
“Beck thought depressed
patients could be helped if therapists could challenge these irrational
beliefs.”


These irrational beliefs took
the form of ‘automatic thoughts’ which seemed to be accessible to conscious
introspection. Beck thought depressed patients could be helped if therapists
could challenge these irrational beliefs. At heart cognitive therapy encourages
people to see that some of their thoughts are mistaken. By adjusting these
thoughts it has been found that people’s emotional distress can be lessened.
For many people he treated,
and for the many more subsequently treated with his – and related techniques –
his methods have turned out to be remarkably effective. It’s no exaggeration to
state that the ideas and techniques that have flowed from Beck’s study and
similar findings brought about a revolution in treatment for many psychological
disorders.
About the author


Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD
is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from
University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about
scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book
“Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks.





SOURCE: PSYBLOG
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.