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Dr. Beck 's Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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Over the centuries many forms of psychotherapy have emerged to facilitate change and improve people’s quality of life. Every therapy aims to assist people who are experiencing mental health problems and some have proven more effective than others over time. In the 20th century the most prevalent form of psychotherapy was psychoanalysis. However, by the 1970’s many other forms of short-term psychotherapy began to dominate. Today there are estimated to be over 400 different types of psychotherapies (Rector, 2010). When these psychotherapies are compared, only a few stand out which have really proven effective. One of the most effective short-term therapies in our time has been Cognitive Therapy. Psychiatrist Dr. Aaron T. Beck pioneered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) back in the 1960’s amongst other ground breaking therapists such as Albert Ellis. Dr. Beck originally studied and practiced psychoanalysis and later discovered that CBT had more impact in treating some of the more common mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. This short-term psychotherapy focuses on current problems in the here and now aiming to change unhelpful or negative thinking and behaviours (Westbrook, Kennerley, & Kirk, 2011). One of the key components of short-term or time-limited therapy is to work collaboratively with clients in structured psychotherapy sessions to form a case conceptulaisation. This provides an outline of the client’s problems. Based on this conceptualisation, the
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