Cognitive Behavior Therapy ( Cbt )

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Whilst Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is currently the dominant form of psychotherapy, there has recently been an increase in interest in acceptance and mindfulness based approaches within the field of behaviour therapy. This has led to considerable debate over the relative efficacy of each therapy, whether they are more similar or distinct to one another, and the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. These three questions will be considered specifically with respect to the CBT developed by Alfred Beck, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) developed by Hayes and colleagues. Background to CBT and ACT According to CBT, psychopathology occurs as the result of the patient forming dysfunctional core beliefs. These core beliefs…show more content…
This is referred to as psychological flexibility. To promote psychological flexibility, ACT incorporates 6 core processes. The patient is first encouraged to increase their present moment awareness of both internal and external events. They are then taught to ‘defuse’ from these internal experiences such that they are experienced as mere mental events rather than as reflections of reality. When thoughts are defused from reality, patients are less inclined to control or eliminate them. Thus, the aim is to increase the patient’s acceptance for these internal events, and decrease their attempts at experiential avoidance. They also are taught that their true self is the observing self, rather than the thoughts and emotions it observes. Value clarification is then used to identify the patient’s values and formulate specific behavioural goals aimed at helping the patient live in accordance with these values. Lastly, patients are taught the concept of committed action towards their valued activities (Hayes et al., 2006) Comparative Efficacy A treatment may be said to demonstrate efficacy and classification as an empirically supported treatment if it demonstrates superior outcomes to an appropriate control group (e.g. wait list, placebo, treatment as usual) or equivalent outcomes to another empirically supported treatment in randomised controlled trials of sufficient size and quality (Kahl, Winter, &
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