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Cognitive therapy

I briefly describe cognitive therapy in terms of its definition, therapeutic rationales and techniques, as well as empirical support.

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Cognitive therapy fundamentally concerns the alternation of maladaptive beliefs or cognitions to bring about positive therapeutic outcomes. In short, it is the attempt to produce change by influencing thinking (Mahoney, 1977). Beliefs or cognitions, in cognitive therapy, play an important role in determining subsequent emotions and behaviours. Cognitions contribute to the aetiology and maintenance of disorders like depression and anxiety and can therefore mediate therapeutic change (Hollon and Beck, 1994); that is, changing a thought arising in a particular situation will change mood, behaviour, and physical reaction (Rupke et al, 2006).

Cognitive and cognitive-behavioural therapy/approach are very much alike. While cognitive approach tends to emphasize the role of meaning or what one believes, cognitive-behavioural approach tends to focus more on covert self statements. This difference has led cognitive therapists to develop strategies for evaluating the validity of the existing beliefs, ...

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Cognitive therapy is cited.