Cognitive psychotherapy - methods, techniques, exercises

Cognitive psychotherapy is a form ofstructured, short-term, directive, symptom-oriented strategies to stimulate the transformation of the cognitive structure of the personal "I" with evidence of transformations on the behavioral tier. This direction generally refers to one of the concepts of modern cognitive-behavioral learning in psychotherapeutic practice.
Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy studies the mechanisms of perception
circumstances and thinking of the person, promotesthe development of a more realistic view of what is happening. Due to the formation of an adequate relation to the events that occur, more conformable behavior arises. In its turn, cognitive psychotherapy is purposeful to help individuals in finding solutions to problem situations. It works in circumstances where there is a need to search for new forms of behavior, build the future, consolidate the result.
Techniques of cognitive psychotherapy constantlyare used in certain phases of the psychotherapeutic process in combination with other methods. The cognitive approach to the defects of the emotional sphere transforms the point of view of individuals into their own personality and problems. This type of therapy is convenient because it harmoniously combines with any approach of a psychotherapeutic orientation, is able to supplement other methods and significantly enrich their effectiveness.

Cognitive psychotherapy Beck

Modern cognitive-behavioralpsychotherapy is considered a common name for psychotherapy, the basis of which is to affirm that the factor provoking all psychological deviations is dysfunctional views and attitudes. Creator of the direction of cognitive psychotherapy is Aaron Beck. He gave a start to the development of cognitive direction in psychiatry and psychology. Its essence lies in the fact that absolutely all human problems are formed by negative thinking. Personality interprets external events according to the following scheme: stimuli affect the cognitive system, which, in turn, interprets the message, that is, thoughts that generate feelings or provoke certain behavior are born.
Aaron Beck believed that people's thoughts conditiontheir emotions, which determine the corresponding behavioral reactions, and those, in their turn, form their place in the society. He argued that the world is not bad from the beginning, but people see it as such. When the individual's interpretations strongly disagree with external events, mental pathology appears.
Beck observed patients suffering from neurotic
. During observations, he noted that inthe patient's feelings constantly affected the themes of defeatism, despair and inadequacy. As a consequence, he derived the following thesis that the depressed state develops in subjects who comprehend the world through three negative categories:
- a negative look at the present, that is inindependence from what is happening depressive personality concentrates on negative aspects while everyday life gives them a certain experience that most people enjoy;
- despair, felt about the future, that is, a depressed individual, presenting the future, finds in him exceptionally gloomy events;
- a lowered sense of self-worth, that is, a depressed subject thinks that he is insolvent, nothing is a worthless and helpless person.
Aaron Beck in cognitive psychotherapy has developed a therapeutic program of behavioral orientation, which uses mechanisms such as
, modeling, homework, role games, etc. Mostly he worked with patients suffering from various personality disorders.
His concept is described in a work entitled: "Beck, Freeman cognitive psychotherapy of personality disorders." Freeman and Beck were convinced that every personality disorder is characterized by the prevalence of certain views and strategies that form a specific profile that is specific to a particular disorder. Beck put forward the statement that strategies can either compensate for a certain experience, or flow from it. Deep schemes for the correction of personality disorders can be derived from a rapid analysis of the individual's mechanical thoughts. The use of imagination and the secondary experience of traumatic experiences can provoke the activation of deep circuits.
Also in the work of Beck, Freeman "Cognitivepsychotherapy of personality disorders ", the authors emphasized the importance of psychotherapeutic relations in dealing with individuals suffering from personality disorders. Because quite often in practice there is such a specific aspect of the relationship that liaisons between the therapist and the patient, known as "resistance."
Cognitive psychotherapy of personality disordersis a systematically designed, resolving problem situations the direction of modern psychotherapeutic practice. Often it is limited to a time frame and almost never exceeds thirty sessions. Beck believed that the therapist should be benevolent, empathic and sincere. The therapist must be the standard of what he wants to teach.
The ultimate goal of cognitive psychotherapeuticassistance is the detection of dysfunctional judgments that provoke the emergence of depressive attitudes and behavior, and then their transformation. It should be noted that A. Beck was not interested in what the patient thinks about, but what he thinks. He believed that the problem is not whether the patient really likes himself, but what categories he thinks in terms of conditions ("I'm good or bad").

Methods of cognitive psychotherapy

To the methods of direction of cognitive psychotherapyinclude the struggle with negative thoughts, alternative strategies for perceiving the problem, secondary experience of situations from childhood, imagination. These methods are aimed at creating opportunities for forgetting or new learning. Practically, it was revealed that cognitive transformation has a dependence on the degree of emotional experience. Cognitive psychotherapy of personality disorders involves the use of both cognitive methods and behavioral techniques that complement each other. The main mechanism for a positive result is the development of new schemes and the transformation of old ones.

Cognitive psychotherapy used ingenerally accepted form, counteracts the individual's striving for a negative interpretation of ongoing events and for himself, which is especially effective in depressive moods. Since depressive patients are often characterized by the presence of thoughts of a certain type of negative orientation. The identification of such thoughts and victory over them is of fundamental importance. So, for example, a depressed patient, recalling the events of the past week, says that he was still able to laugh, but today it became impossible. A psychotherapist who practices a cognitive approach, instead of making such thoughts unquestionably, encourages the study and challenge of the move of such thoughts, suggesting that the patient remember situations when he defeated the depressive mood and felt great.
Cognitive psychotherapy is aimed at working withwhat the patient tells himself. The main psychotherapeutic step is the patient's recognition of certain thoughts, which makes it possible to stop and modify such thoughts until their results lead the individual very far. There is the possibility of changing negative thoughts to others, which can certainly have a positive effect.
In addition to counteracting negative thoughtsAlternative problem perception strategies also have the potential to transform the quality of experiences. For example, a general sense of the situation is transformed if the subject begins to perceive it as a challenge. Also, instead of desperately striving to succeed, producing actions that an individual is not able to perform well enough, one should set himself the immediate goal of practice, as a result of which much more success can be achieved.
Psychotherapists who practice a cognitive approach,use the concepts of challenge and practice, to confront certain unconscious assumptions. Recognition of the fact that the subject is an ordinary person, who is characterized by shortcomings, can minimize the complexities generated by the installation on the absolute aspiration to perfection.
To specific methods for detecting automaticthoughts include: the recording of such thoughts, empirical verification, the method of reassessment, decentralization, self-expression, decatalisation, purposeful repetition of the use of imagination.
Cognitive psychotherapy exercises combine inimagine the actions to investigate automatic thoughts, their analysis (which conditions provoke anxiety or negativity) and the fulfillment of tasks in places or conditions that trigger an alarm. Such exercises contribute to the consolidation of new skills and gradually modify the behavior.

Techniques of cognitive psychotherapy

The cognitive approach in therapy is inextricably linked withthe formation of cognitive psychology, which focuses on the cognitive structures of the psyche and engages in personal elements and abilities of a logical nature. The teaching of cognitive psychotherapy today has become widespread. According to A. Bondarenko, the cognitive direction connects three approaches: A. Beck's cognitive psychotherapy, A. Ellis's rational-emotional concept, and the realistic concept of V. Glasser.
The cognitive approach is tostructured learning, experiment, training in the mental plane and behavioral aspects. He is called upon to assist the individual in mastering the operations described below:
- Detection of your own negative automatic thoughts;
- finding a link between behavior, knowledge and affects;
- finding the facts "for" and "against" the revealed automatic thoughts;
- finding more realistic interpretations for them;
- training in the identification and transformation of disconcerting beliefs leading to the disfiguration of skills and experience.
The training of cognitive psychotherapy, its mainmethods and techniques helps to identify, disassemble and, if necessary, transform negative perception of situations or circumstances. People, often, are beginning to fear that they have predicted themselves, so they expect the worst. In other words, the subconscious of the individual warns him of a possible danger before reaching a dangerous situation. As a result, the subject is frightened in advance and seeks to avoid it.
By systematically monitoring your own emotions and seeking to transform negative thinking, you can reduce premature
, which is capable of being modified into a panic attack. With the help of cognitive techniques, it is possible to change the typical for such thoughts fatal perception
. This shortens the duration of the panic attack, and reduces its negative impact on the emotional state.
The technique of cognitive psychotherapy isthe identification of patients' settings (that is, their negative attitudes should become apparent to patients) and help in understanding the destructive impact of such facilities. It is also important that the subject, based on his own experience, makes sure that because of his own convictions, he is not happy enough and that he could be happier if he was guided by more realistic attitudes. The role of the therapist lies in providing the patient with alternative settings or rules.
Cognitive psychotherapy exercises forrelaxation, stopping the flow of thoughts, managing motivations are used in conjunction with the analysis and regulation of daily activities with the purpose of multiplying the skills of subjects and their emphasis on positive memories.

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