Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term, problem-centered therapy that is used to address psychopathology within the individual (Beck, 1995). This model of therapy is used to address issues of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, relational problems, and drug abuse, and can be utilized when working with individuals, as well as within group and family modalities. The core aspects of this therapy include collaboration and participation by the client, a strong alliance between therapist and client, and an initial focus on current problems and functioning (Beck, 1995). The theory of CBT emphasizes the relationship between the individual’s thoughts feelings and behaviors, which is seen as being the underlying cause of
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In this discussion, depression is conceptualized in terms of the cognitive triad, which describes three components of negative thinking of the depressed individual: the individual’s negative view of self, their negative view of the others and the world, and their negative view of the future (Beck, Rush, Shaw, & Emery, 1979). The cognitive triad is maintained via the remaining components of Beck’s cognitive model of depression, the individual’s schemas, or core beliefs, and the utilization of faulty thinking, or cognitive errors (Beck, Rush, Shaw, & Emery, 1979).
Cognitive theory asserts that our automatic thoughts are rooted in our core belief system or cognitive schemas. Core beliefs begin to be developed early in life and are based on experiences that the individual has throughout their life. Because these beliefs are so grounded in how the individual views their life, others, and the world, and begin to be cultivated so early in development, they become a fundamental aspect of the individual, who considers them to be absolute truths (Beck, 1995). Core beliefs are deeply rooted in an individual, so much so that the individual may be unaware of the belief and how it influences their thoughts about themselves and the world. Each belief can have varying levels of presence within an individual’s