Assignment 5.1 – Therapy discussion

** Please note:  This blog post was written in whole or in part as an assignment for a class that I was taking.  If you decide to use some of my work in your own assignments, please give credit where credit is due and cite your source!  Thanks :) **

This assignment is actually a discussion post, but I thought the reading and the resulting questions and response to be interesting, so I thought I’d post it…

This object was to choose a type of therapy as related in our textbook (psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive, behavior, and group) and write a bit about it, explaining when that type of therapy is most effective.

I felt that this was somewhat of a tricky assignment, since these therapies are often times only effective in certain situations, or with certain types of problems, or  in some cases only really effective with certain types of people or personalities!

The type of therapy that I find the most interesting is one that I feel can only be effective with certain types of people or personalities, and that is cognitive therapy.   Cognitive therapy focuses on helping the person recognize their own thoughts and ideas and using them to solve problems instead of blowing them out of proportion, turning negative thoughts into positive ones, and by changing beliefs and attitudes that create problems so that problems that may not even exist don’t take hold and cause more problems.

With cognitive therapy, the therapist will help the client to sort through their own feelings to pick out the ones that are irrational and don’t make sense, so that the client can make sense of them.  Aaron Beck stated that most clients have specific ways of thinking that contribute to their problems, including overgeneralizing based on little, blowing events out of proportion, and refusing to see the world except in black and white.  Albert Ellis also noted that it is not always just something specific causing this way of thinking, but it’s the beliefs about the thought that need to be changed.

As I mentioned, though, I do not think that this type of therapy will be effective for all.  Certainly no one therapy will be effective for all types of disorders and problems, but this type of therapy would require the person be cognizant of their own thoughts and feelings, or at least have the capacity to be able to be.  The client would need to be able realize and interpret their own thoughts and also be able to determine which thoughts are detrimental or impairing to  their health and well-being.

Some examples of this use in which this type of therapy would be helpful would be breaking bad habits, such as smoking or excessive drinking, so long as the patient is able to realize the problem and provide sound reasoning and advice to themselves.  It would also be effective in overcoming phobias.  While these types of problems are frequently treated with behavioral therapy and conditioning, I think that they could be effectively treated with cognitive therapy as well.  Mostly, I think that cognitive therapy would be useful in treating behaviors that are more like bad personality traits, such as anger, shyness, or self-righteousness.

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