16 September 2011

Basic CBT theory

CBT incorporates the central theoretical principles of cognitive and behavioural therapy.

CBT incorporates the central theoretical principles of cognitive and behavioural therapy. CBT thus encompasses a variety of theoretical notions and accompanying intervention strategies from two initially separate frameworks:

  1. Cognitive therapy seeks to identify, evaluate and restructure dysfunctional beliefs that are considered central to emotional disturbance and self-defeating behaviour.
  2. Behavioural techniques are used as a means of reducing emotional distress, altering dysfunctional behaviour and restructuring cognition.

In addition, what Beck has referred to as intermediate or core beliefs, and what Ellis has referred to as core evaluative beliefs that are often more entrenched and more difficult to change, are often present but not verbally articulated and thus need first, to be uncovered. Cognitive therapy thus often initially involves the uncovering of such attitudes, assumptions, rules and core beliefs prior to any sort of intervention. Once identified, the most clinically-relevant beliefs are typically evaluated as either helpful or unhelpful and then replaced with healthier alternatives. This is referred to as “cognitive restructuring” or “cognitive disputation”.


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Lifestyle »

E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places.

Allergy »

Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives

A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.