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Roots

This particular kind of therapy is the work of a psychiatrist of American descent, named Aaron T. Beck. Its particular purpose is to address the issues that are in direct relation with the cognitive behavioral therapy. The psychiatrist in question also set the grounds and paved the way for the development of such branches as psychotherapy, psychopathology, and also psychometrics.

The substance behind the approach

One of the basis of Beck’s approach is the fact that unless one alters his present beliefs, the improvement will just never come and be evident. For once these beliefs have changed, so will the manifestations themselves. One of the functions that beliefs perform is that of operational units. Put more bluntly, this is to say that person’s beliefs and thoughts directly influence this person’s behavior, as well as all the actions that are to follow from that moment on. In addition, according to Aaron Beck, the main culprit for the occurrence of dysfunctional behavior are exactly those dysfunctional thoughts, i.e. dysfunctional thinking that is molded by the person’s own beliefs. And it is these beliefs that determine the way in which further actions will develop and be performed.

In practice and against the mean blues

Theorists who belong to this behavioral/cognitive school of thought put forth the notion that depression springs from distorted and senseless psychological perception. This further affects the learning and the reasoning processes, twisting them completely. This particular type of depression might have its roots either in some sort of a traumatic experience, or due to the inability for the person in question to develop the adaptive coping skills. What follows people suffering from depression on every step they make is a negative perception and/or belief directly related to their personality, as well as the surroundings they find themselves in. Another minus point is that such people often view themselves as improper for any line of activities, unable to achieve any success in their lives and always assume the role of a victim of influencing factors.

How to remedy it?

A. Beck emphasized the importance and the necessity for a more in-depth comprehension and change of beliefs, in order for the depression to be treated effectively. In the course of changing and transforming that destructive thinking spontaneously, the person being treated would come to a number of positive changes. Therefore, A. Beck pointed out to the immense importance a therapist would have in this situation, and regarded the help of the therapist as essential for the most successful treatment. The way in which a therapist succeeds this is by encouraging the person treated in putting forth more realistic aims, while at the same time accepting responsibility each action carries with it, as well as for the thoughts themselves. 

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