Assignment on Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT) , a tool for mental health development

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Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT)


Anxiety and depression are two of the most frequent state of minds in the present world leading to several mental and physical health hazards. Cognitive Behavioral Theory talks about addressing mental health problems, focusing on emotional regulation and getting rid of cognitive distortions (Bryan et al. 2018). It helps in addressing depression, anxiety and a host of other problems through psychotherapy methods. The process aims at changing the thoughts, beliefs and attitudes that a person posses and the effects it can have on their feelings and behavior. 

Cognitive Behavioral Theory in assessment, intervention, and evaluation 

Dobson, D & Dobson, K. S. (2018), have observed that cognitive behavior is a prime concern for victims of abuses, addiction and disability as they often lose the normal thinking pattern due to reduction in logical ability. In these cases cognitive behavior therapist brings the therapist and client together for identification of unhelpful thinking patterns and slowly overcome them. Mainly social work deals with upliftment of a segment of individuals who find themselves helpless to get back to normal life (Richardson et al. 2018),  The reason behind this is continuous negative thought process which makes them believe that no good things can happen with them. Hence CBT does a complete assessment of the individual, intervenes through psychological methods and evaluates the development of the client within a certain amount of time. 

As observed by Blakey & Abramowitz (2018), some of the common interventions techniques used in cognitive theory include setting realistic goals, identifying situations which are scary, challenging negative thoughts and keeping track of feelings. These methods have been extremely successful as researchers have found that 50-75% of depressed patients have been living a normal life after 8-15 sessions of therapies done by practitioners of cognitive theory (Easton, Crane & Mandel, 2018). They also of cognitive behavioral theory often create symptom checklists to track panic attacks, angry outburst or issues of self-injuring behavior and keeps on changing it in the course of the therapy to understand if the behavior pattern is changing or not. Also the theory suggests about helping clients in thinking positively about life, make friends and perform specific tasks (like reading novels for a change) and discuss their feelings within the group or community that often eases the pain. 

 Individuals with negative thoughts suffer from withdrawal of new opportunities, like making new friends or joining a course. This leads to higher levels of depression which are cured by Cognitive Theory through forming groups and indulging people in group exercises. In the words of Richardson et al. (2018), the correct assessment and evaluation of a client and quality of the therapist are the two most important factors in determining the success of these methods. However, it has been found out that as the therapies are generally long-lasting hence the monitoring of the changing behavior patterns of the clients is easier, which leads to a successful human transformation compared to other methods. 

Advantage of CBT in social work 

Cognitive behavioral Theory is based on the idea that thoughts, emotions and behavior are always interrelated and affect each other. In case of social work, cognitive theory will help in challenging negativity and build a framework through which a patient can become matured in avoiding harmful behaviors. For example, drug addicts believe that their survival is at stake if not provided with drugs. Cognitive therapists commonly use a technique “all-or-nothing thinking” method where they make the drug addict write in paper, “I can do great things in life, without external help”, on a daily basis and observe reaction. It makes the person believe slowly that for leading life successfully drugs are not a compulsion and eventually gets de-addicted. Also compared to any other methods, cognitive therapists build extremely good relationships with the client; hence any problem arising after the session is also addressed quickly through phone or mail. The comfort zone created by the clinical psychologists helps the patients to gather confidence and rectify their thinking process to a broader positive outlook of life.

Wood et al. (2018), was of the opinion that cognitive theory is better than all other formats due to the skills an individual learns in the course of a therapy session. Controlling of thoughts and emotions specially remains for a long time even after the session is over. Also Linehan (2018), have suggested that the highly structured method suggested in cognitive theories increases the probability of getting success. CBT have been effective in treating mental health problems like bipolar disorder, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The American Psychiatric Association recently has also included cognitive behavioral therapies as evidence based treatments which indicate the developments these therapies have done in recent years. 

Comparing CBT with other theories

In treating mental disorders, there are several other theories apart from CBT. Among them Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Theory (ACT) are the two most commonly used therapies. In the viewpoint of Ramos, Erkanli & Koenig (2018), REBT is an advanced form of CBT which has been framed to deal with borderline personality disorder through an attempt to change behavior. However Jeon et al. (2018), have argued that changing behavior during therapies might not last long, compared to change of thinking pattern which is the goal of cognitive theory. 

Basically people who are struggling to deal with intense emotional reactions like post-traumatic stress disorder and panics are put through REBT. It relies heavily on mind reading techniques inspired by the Buddhist and Zen practices. Sewell, Wignall & Richards (2018), have severely criticized REBT theory as regulating emotions and justifying unfair treatments through preaches often damages the patient more towards depression, compared to cognitive therapists who always focus on solving the basic thoughts. This is the reason CBT has been hailed over all other forms of modern and traditional practices of therapies.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is another theory that helps individuals to accept difficult situations that may come in their life. It is a “mindfulness based Theory” which talks about greater human successes which can be achieved by overcoming negative ideas. Shekelle et al. (2018), have suggested that ACT is based on relational frame theory (RFT), which focuses on eliminating memories, thought and feelings of the past that haunt an individual, instead inculcate happy thoughts for a flexible and meaningful life. ACT also integrates acceptance strategies and mindfulness techniques for improving flexibility in philosophies of life. The method although has faced criticisms due to its experimental methods compared to planned workshops in case of CBT.

Wei et al (2018), stated that unlike Cognitive Behavioral Theory both ACT and REBT are modern techniques which have been utilized by health professionals for specific purposes. Hence compared to other theories cognitive behavioral therapies have been largely successful in addressing psychological disorders through training, counseling, medication and situation based solutions. This is largely the reason psychological associations have hailed this method for long term success. 


The utility of cognitive behavioral theory has been observed by scientists as the most important tool for mental health development. Sudden cognitive distortions create panic in the minds of people based on which their behavioral patterns change. The involvement of therapists in addressing these issues through discussion role-plays and situation based solutions. Ideally this method has helped people and society at large in addressing mental health issues in the long term. Currently researches are on for making this theory into a more comprehensive and fully fledged process for advanced therapeutical treatments. 

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