Depression : Aaron Beck's Theory Of Depression

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One psychological disorder commonly treated with cognitive therapy is depression. Beck
(1979) describes depression as a disorder that seems to defy all rational explanations. An individual with depression displays symptoms that demonstrate the opposite of what humans are designed to do; depressed patients’ social desires vanish and physical needs shrink (the patient no longer desires food or sex). At its worst point, depression causes “the desire to live” to be
“switched off and replaced with the wish to die” (Beck, 1979). Beck believes that depression results from a loss, after which the individual begins to assess his or her experiences in a negative way and expects the present struggles to continue forever. The theme of loss is the
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The therapist encourages the patient to employ problem-solving techniques to correct his or her irrational thought processes.
(Beck, 1979).
Cognitive therapy aims to correct the pattern of thought processes that occur when an individual experiences an event. Clients with depression often automatically process information without taking in all available information. This therapy aims to alter the cognition process, teaching individuals to process information more mindfully, pausing to evaluate their cognitions as they interpret the information. The two step theory of cognition includes the two steps, an event (1) and the feelings in response to the event (2). The three-step model of cognition adds the step of cognition between the event and the feelings. The step of cognition is the interpretation of the event that then results in feelings in response to this interpretation. Rather than letting an event influence one’s mood, cognitive therapists aim to teach clients to interpret the event and allow one’s mood to be affected by his or her interpretations, rather than the event itself. In other words, events do not cause us to have sad feelings, our interpretations of those events are the cause of our sad feelings (Pomerantz, 2017).

Ellis designed what he called the ABCDE model, a model used to understand the impact of thoughts on feelings. This model is more in depth than Beck’s three-step model of
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