Cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT)
It´s an evidence based psychotherapy, first designed by Aaron Beck (1979) as a treatment for depression. It consists on the learning and practice of a set of skills to modify dysfunctional believes, thoughts, emotional reactions and behaviors, that has been linked to the onset and the relapse of depressive episodes and anxiety disorders.
Its rationale proposes that our believes and thoughts are built of our own experiences during life. Accordingly, our perception of the world and ourselves is filtered by biases that lead our attention to the information that would fit and confirm our own experiences. With this scenario, a lower mood and a lower motivation is a possible result.
There are alternative psychotherapies based on the CBT model, but still sharing a basic rationale.
As many evidence based approaches it is presented in a protocol form, consisting on:
– assessments forms: that provides feedback on the treatment goals.
– Case formulation: done by the psychologist and the client in a collaborative manner.
– Psychoeducation: provides information on symptoms and how the treatment would works.
– Practice awareness on the correlation between thoughts-emotions-behaviors as well as operating cognitive biases.
The psychologist has an active role, and the client will be invited to do homework and to practice different kind of skills, including physical exercise, as an essential part of the treatment. The focus is in the present problem and based on the functional assessment of the obstacles in daily life.
Although it is considered a short term psychotherapy, with some variations, regular protocols take at least 15 meetings.