Over time, when dealing with a large range of disorders from those related to mood, substance abuse, personality, anxiety and many other, several approaches have been employed in order to obtain the best results possible. One of the therapies that have proved to be among the most efficient ones is the cognitive behavioral therapy. However, at its turn, this therapy contains other different techniques, of which one is the Aaron Beck therapy, but even if the path to healing or improvement is different, they all aim at figuring out ways to overpass mental disorders and illnesses.
The cognitive behavioral therapy is using a very goal oriented approach in order to control and improve behavior, cognitive and emotional problems. This therapy employs a certain number of sessions, generally sixteen, for the effects to become visible and bases itself on the idea that the causes for the behavior, feelings and thoughts reside within the patient and are not external, independent ones.
Different techniques of the cognitive behavioral therapy are in fact whole sets of instructions that are meant to alter a person’s behavior in a positive manner, by dealing directly with the patterns behind it.
One of the techniques of the cognitive behavioral therapy is the cognitive rehearsal, in which both the patient and the therapist are engaged. The patient is asked to recall a problematic situation from the past and they both go through it and discuss various aspects of it, so that if it does occur in the future, the patient would know what the best, correct approach would be. By rehearsing this role, the patient gets to enforce a positive and healthy cognitive process that stand behind his or her behavioral in a situation or another. Imagination is one of the tools employed in this technique.
The validity test consists of the patient made to defend one of his or her beliefs using reasonable evidence. If one of his or her beliefs is invalid, this would be reflected by the impossibility of bringing new, plausible evidence.
Another technique of the cognitive behavioral therapy is keeping a diary. The situations described in it, along with the thoughts they generated and the behavior associated with them, are then discussed with the therapist and conclusions are drawn about the maladaptive patterns.
The goal of the Guided Discovery is to make the patient understand how his mind perceives information and how it interprets it. Understanding these processes, the patient is more able to make a change if needed to his or her cognitive processes, with the guidance and support of the therapist. This is basically “seeing things in a different new way”.
Modeling is another technique which requires both the patient and the therapist to play roles and aims that the patient gets to learn and practice a particular approach in a difficult situation. In this play, the therapist is playing the ideal role which the patient will use as a model.
Cognitive behavioral therapy makes use of other techniques as well, like the Aversive Conditioning, Systematic Positive Reinforcement and some Homework activities given to the patient.