Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

cognitive therpay

CBT is a form of psychotherapy which is applied worldwide and is evidence-based.  Beckian Cognitive Therapy is founded on the model of a dynamic interaction between a specific context, biology, thoughts, feelings and behaviour and integrates some of the philosophical and theoretic contributions from Epicetus, Adler, Ellis, Lazarus and Wolpe.  Case conceptualization and treatment emphasis differs from that of i.e. REBT.   

The focus of therapy is determined by the specific problem and is individually tailored to the person. The process of therapy is facilitated by guided discovery, whereby thinking is tested by what is termed ‘collaborative empiricism’.  The truth is hereby investigated and derived at together through the therapist's facilitative questions.  Therapy consists of various cognitive and behavioural interventions, and the encouragement of appropriate affect. The therapeutic relationship provides the medium through which change is brought about and is determined by the condition treated.  It is always based on trust and compassion.  

"Cognitive Therapy seeks to harnass the best of clinical art and science in the service of helping people to overcome the burdon of maladaptive negative beliefs, biases in thinking and their emotional and behavioural consequences". A.T. Beck  


In view of standardizing the treatment CBT, Fidelity standards were developed. The Cognitive Therapy Rating Scale (> CBT Resources> Professional Tools & Resources or!/fileManager/CTRSmanual.pdf) is used for training and supervision purposes. Qualities such as therapeutic skills, conceptualization, strategy and technique are ensured herein.

The general principles of Cognitive Therapy include working collaboratively towards clear goals, with the therapist taking an active role. Strategies are based on individually tailored conceptualizations of problems. Specific protocols for specific diagnoses are available, which emphasize a point of focus (whether on emotional expression, behavioural activation or skill development, on thought modification, on physiological intervention or on circumstantial change). Work between sessions is encouraged and relapse prevention is accommodated.1

CBT Therapies

First Wave

Behaviour Therapy: Contributed by Thorndike, Wolpe, Lazarus, Skinner, Eysenck. Consists of a wide range of techniques that help to change unhealthy behaviour. Based on the theory that all behaviour is learned.

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CBT developed from Stoic 4 B.C, Taoism and phenomenological philosophies and the theories of Adler, Horney, Sullivan, Piaget and Bern.  

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What does a CT session look like?
The structure of a session is similar for all disorders, but interventions differ for individual patients.

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