Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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Background Developed in the mid 1960s by Aaron Beck, the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) model theorizes that the interpretation of both external and internal events is biased, and can tap unhealthy underlying beliefs that potentially lead to emotional distress (Beck, 2005). Over the years CBT has accumulated an impressive track record in the treatment of a variety of mood disorders. In 1985, a review of 220 studies using CBT in the treatment of depression concluded that 91% supported the model (Beck, 2005). Large-scale literature meta-analyses on CBT in the treatment of anxiety disorders have also shown CBT to be highly effective in this population, particularly with posttraumatic stress disorder (Beck, 2005). Additionally, since the late 1990s evidence has accumulated showing CBT to be an effective treatment approach in substance use disorders, including alcohol dependence, marijuana dependence, and cocaine dependence (Carroll, 2004). No wonder CBT has been characterized as “the fastest growing and most heavily researched orientation on the contemporary scene” (Prochaska & Norcross, 2003, p. 369). The combination of mental and substance use disorders, i.e., co-occurring disorders, is routinely missed in the psychiatric population (Mueser, 2003), and poorly treated (Carroll, 2004). Since CBT has firmly established itself as an effective treatment for both emotional and substance abuse disorders, it is a logical next step to examine its ability to treat individuals with
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