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Cognitive Therapy

  Cognitive therapy has its origins in George Kelly\'s Personal Construct Psychology, the Rational-Emotive therapy of Albert Ellis and the Cognitive therapy of Aaron Beck. At least 17 other forms of cognitive therapy exist today. Cognitive therapists do not work with, or believe in, the idea of the unconscious. All mental activity, although not in awareness at any one time, is accessible directly, not part of some unconscious set of relations or drives. Cognitive therapy aims to assess and work with irrational patterns of thought that are confronted directly by asking the patient to report images and thoughts around irrational feelings and behaviours.

The core elements of a cognitive approach are the following: the alteration of the individual\'s maladaptive interpretations of their own life\'s events; the reconsideration of his or her way of interpreting their own environment; the development of coping patterns in order to change behaviour, environment and cognitions themselves; a commitment to monitoring of reactions and behaviour in order to increase comprehension. Cognitive therapy supports a methodological rigour and scientific approach using assessment, problem formulation, goal setting, regular monitoring and measurement of results.

Although there is no single model, Ellis\'s Rational-Emotive Therapy is used more widely in the US and Beck\'s Cognitive Therapy has a large number of practitioners in the UK. MJ

Further reading Aaron Beck, Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders.



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