Cognitive Therapy for Depression Essay Example
Cognitive Therapy for Depression Essay Example

Cognitive Therapy for Depression Essay Example

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  • Pages: 8 (2071 words)
  • Published: November 8, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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Summary: This article endeavors to furnish the audience with a comprehensive account of Cognitive Therapy for Depression, encompassing its evidence-based methodology as well as its advantages and drawbacks.

The article addresses the use of cognitive therapy in treating depression among children and the associated assumptions. Cognitive Therapy is a psychotherapy technique developed by psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck that aims to change patients' unrealistic thoughts and perspectives. Practitioners recognize that psychological issues such as depression can result from different life experiences. According to Wikipedia (2007), Beck found cognitive therapy to be a successful treatment for depression, potentially even the most effective intervention.

The main objective of CT is to alleviate the patient's discomfort through the identification and challenging of negative thoughts and imagery. A crucial aspect of successful treatment is the therapist's accurate implementation of the approach. Cognitive therapy aims


to increase awareness of distorted thought processes and maladaptive behavior that contribute to psychological distress. The goal is not to correct all distortions in a client's worldview as cognitive biases are ubiquitous. Therapists strive to comprehend clients' perspectives and work collaboratively with an empirical mindset, much like scientists, to investigate thoughts, assumptions, and inferences.

The therapist assists the client in verifying assumptions by comparing them against reality and other assumptions. Cognitive therapy was created as an alternative to traditional methods of mental illness treatment. Aaron Beck, a cognitive therapy pioneer, noticed during patient sessions that negative behaviors and moods often stem from distorted beliefs and thoughts, not from unconscious forces as Freudian theory proposes. Beck's studies and meta-analyses support the effectiveness of cognitive therapy or CBT in treating major depressive patients (Beck, 1995).

Two meta-analyses have demonstrated that Cognitiv

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Therapy, as noted by Beck (1996), is just as effective in treating depression as interpersonal or brief psychodynamic therapy. Furthermore, the same studies indicate that for mild to moderate depression, Cognitive Therapy may be more effective than pharmacotherapy, an observation made by Beck (1995). Miller's (1989) research involved 250 individuals with major depressive disorder who underwent either interpersonal therapy or Cognitive Therapy while taking imipramine or placebo. Although no significant differences were evident between the therapies, both psychotherapies were found to be slightly less efficacious than imipramine but superior to placebo.

Miller's (1989) study found that cognitive therapy (CT) and tricyclic antidepressants had similar results in treating major depression. The analysis included four studies with 169 patients, revealing CT was effective for mild to moderate cases as well as potential severe ones. The Department of Health group confirmed the effectiveness of multiple psychological approaches, including cognitive therapy and interpersonal therapy, for adults and older adults experiencing depression regardless of hospitalization status. Miller also suggests other forms of psychological therapy like focal psychodynamic therapy, psychodynamic interpersonal therapy, counseling may be helpful too.

Cognitive Therapy is more effective than antidepressant medication in preventing relapses or recurrences of depression, according to research. Depression remains prevalent and its cause and occurrence are not yet fully understood. However, three primary models - cognitive, biological, and diathesis-stress - propose that contextual and intra-individual factors contribute to depression.

According to Miller (1989), patients who attain remission from depression with medication have a higher chance of relapse compared to those receiving cognitive therapy. Negative attitudes towards oneself, the future, and automatic thoughts are among the unfavorable cognitive patterns associated with depression (Miller, 1989). Dysfunctional attitudes and

latent cognitions are possible triggers for depression as identified by scholars. Cognitive models proposed by Beck and Ellis suggest that depressogenic self-schemas contribute to vulnerability.

Miller (1989) conducted research that involved testing different models with 93 undergraduate students who varied in scores on the Beck Depression Inventory. The participants were monitored prospectively for 4 months to track instances of stressful life events and depression. The results supported the connection between depressogenic cognitive schemas and depression. Furthermore, Miller (1989) also utilized the Beck Depression Inventory, Life Events Inventory, and Cognitive Distortion inventory to measure cognitive bias among 632 undergraduate students. The findings indicated that individuals with higher levels of depression tended to endorse a higher quantity of depressed-distorted responses.

According to research, cognitive treatments vary in effectiveness depending on the domain being treated. In treating depression, cognitive restructuring techniques have proven to be more effective while performance-based techniques are better suited for treating phobic anxiety. Additionally, recent evidence suggests that incorporating cognitive, stress, and interpersonal factors can improve cognitive theories of depression. This includes examining the relationship between perceived stress, negative life events, and depression levels. (Beck, 1996).

The research was carried out on 120 undergraduates who filled out questionnaires for the Life Experiences Survey, Beck Depression Inventory, and perceived stress scale. The findings indicated a direct correlation between negative life change scores and depression levels. Furthermore, overall perceived stress had a notable impact on moderating the connection between depression and adverse life events. Cognitive Therapy is founded upon the notion that an individual's emotions, thoughts, and behavior are interrelated and can affect their sentiments, ideas, and conduct.

Reflecting on specific thoughts may cause discomfort. Axis I disorders

can become more complex when combined with personality disorders, which presents a difficulty for inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment. Patients who have multiple conditions usually have lower success rates with medical and psychological therapies compared to those who only have one disorder (Coyne, 1983). Nonetheless, cognitive therapy has been proven effective for this patient population because it is organized and proactive in instructing patients on how to identify and alter their distorted thought processes, dysfunctional behaviors, and problem-solving skills (Coyne, 1983).

When it comes to treating Axis I disorders, the primary focus is on dealing with present issues. However, when it comes to Axis II treatment, the emphasis shifts towards identifying and adjusting patients' dysfunctional beliefs that date back to their childhood. Treating personality disorder patients can be particularly challenging as they have a tendency to bring these same dysfunctional beliefs and behaviors into therapy sessions. Based on DSM-IV criteria, personality disorders are characterized by prolonged patterns of behavior that deviate from societal expectations, are inflexible, begin during early adulthood or adolescence and lead to impairment or distress. These tendencies not only manifest during acute Axis I episodes but also hamper patient adaptation over time.

Friedberg (2002) notes that personality disorders often exhibit dysfunctional behavioral patterns such as dependence, obsessiveness and histrionic behavior. Although better-adjusted individuals may also demonstrate these behaviors on occasion, the key distinction lies in the inflexible and compulsive use of these strategies without adaptability seen in those with personality disorders. Such individuals lack a diverse range of behaviors to choose from and display a consistent pattern regardless of situation or consequence (Miller, 1989).

According to Aaron Beck, a person's susceptibility to personality disorders can

be influenced by an imbalanced gene pool and early life experiences. For instance, if a child has inherited introverted tendencies and is raised by abusive parents, they may develop feelings of inadequacy and avoid intimate relationships due to fear of rejection. Children with the genetic trait of risk aversion who have overly protective parents might believe they lack self-sufficiency and self-reliance, feeling weak and incompetent. Cognitive Therapy presents a straightforward approach to psychotherapy that even children can comprehend and utilize (Friedberg, 2002).

Therapists and patients work together to discover information that leads to new attitudes and transformations in behavior and emotions. This approach uses the scientific method by questioning hypotheses and examining the practicality of different thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Evaluations can be conducted to measure the efficacy of particular thought processes and behaviors, while patients can subjectively evaluate the accuracy of certain cognitions. There are no hidden agendas with this methodology.

Cognitive therapy is a practical and effective way to modify human behavior. Its emphasis on present-centered, pragmatic approaches helps individuals explore and reshape their maladaptive thought processes. For instance, a person with anorexia might be requested to survey friends about how they perceive her current weight and discuss the findings with the therapist. Cognitive therapy's versatility in treating various disorders makes it a comprehensive and efficient model for behavioral change.

Although CT is used with children under 9 years old, research suggests that older children tend to benefit more (Friedberg, 2002). A review of CT in children aged 13 or younger indicates that while all age groups typically experience benefits, younger children may not experience them as strongly (Rupke, 2006). In this study's cognitive therapy

treatment, explicit tasks and goals are crucial components. As a result, alliance proves to be an invaluable tool for identifying critical treatment processes (Friedberg, 2002).

According to Friedberg (2002), research suggests that cognitive therapy may be more advantageous for adolescents as they possess advanced perspective-taking abilities, expressive and receptive language skills, and overall development compared to younger children. In fact, a meta-analysis of 64 studies conducted in 1991 found that cognitive-behavioral approaches are more effective with adolescents than with children, likely due to the verbal comprehension and expression as well as perspective-taking ability required for cognitive therapy, which younger children may not have (Miller, 1989). Younger children often encounter difficulties such as distractibility, disengagement, and memory organization (Rupke, 2006). It is essential to note that conduct disorder in children can adversely impact families, caregivers, teachers and lead to negative outcomes in adulthood.

The current cognitive therapy methods that were initially developed for use with adolescents have shown some resistance in treating conduct disorders in children. Due to the comorbidity of conduct disorders with other childhood disorders and the potential involvement of family or environmental pathology, treatment approaches must be multimodal. School psychologists who are dealing with children with conduct disorders should consider the developmental stage and needs of the child while designing treatment methods, such as less complex cognitive treatment regimens and establishing connections with non-deviant school peers. Cognitive therapy treatments that teach pro-social skills with peers in school settings show promise with children (Friedberg, 2002). The theory behind cognitive therapy for depression is to build a relationship with the client, enable them to express suppressed emotions, and assist them in prioritizing their issues. Cognitive theory

also recognizes the desire for personal growth and fulfillment.

The cognitive learning approach emphasizes the significance of situational changes, rather than concentrating solely on an individual's inner psyche. This approach recognizes that people can alter their behavior by modifying their environment, instead of assuming that one's nature is unalterable. Cognitive theory has a positive perspective on human potential and encourages individuals to take charge of their surroundings. The philosophy behind cognitive therapy involves education, wherein the therapist acts as a teacher who educates clients about communication and problem-solving skills. Collaboration between therapist and client is vital as they work together to identify issues and develop an action plan (Beck, J.).According to S. (1995), "Cognitive Therapy: Basics and Beyond," a book by A.T. Beck that covers the fundamentals and advanced uses of Cognitive Therapy, was published by Guilford Press in New York.

, Steer, R.A., and Brown, G.K.

The manual titled "Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition" was published in 1996 by the Psychological Corporation based in San Antonio, TX. It was authored by J.C. Coyne and I. Gotlib.If you need to reference Friedberg's piece titled "The Role of Cognition in Depression: A Critical Appraisal," which was printed in Psychological Bulletin in 1983, make sure to use this format:

Friedberg, R. D. (1983). Psychological Bulletin: The Role of Cognition in Depression: A Critical Appraisal, 94(3), 472-505.

The book "Clinical Practice of Cognitive Therapy with Children and Adolescents" was authored by J. M. McClure in 2002.

Miller, I.W. wrote The Nuts and Bolts which was published by Guilford Press in New York.

, The individuals listed are Norman, W. H., Keitner, G. I., and Bishop, S. B.

The publication "Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Depressed Inpatients" by Beck

and Dow (1989) can be found in the journal "Behavior Therapy," volume 20, pages 25-47. The text is enclosed in a paragraph HTML tag.

Robinson, L.A., Berman, J.S. and Niemeyer, R.A.

The American Journal of Psychiatry published an article in 2005 on the use of psychotherapy to treat depression. The source for this information can be found at http://ajp and was accessed on November 28, 2007.The full content of Rupke, S.J., Blecke, D., and Renfrow, M. can be found at 2006, the American Academy of Family Physicians made available an article titled "Cognitive Therapy for Depression" on their website at http://www.aafp. On November 28, 2007, the article was accessed.

On November 28, 2007, information about cognitive therapy was obtained from Wikipedia and can be found on

Is the cognitive therapy website located at

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