Cognitive Therapy for Depression – The Facts

Depression is a mood condition in which the person experiences extreme melancholy. While there are various ways to address depression, one of the most common therapies for this disorder is cognitive therapy.

Cognitive therapy is a form of psychotherapy which was developed by Aaron Beck, an American psychiatrist, in the 1960’s.

The foundation of cognitive therapy

Cognitive therapy seeks to identify dysfunctional thoughts, behavior and responses in order to assist the patient in overcoming issues and situations in life. Once these characteristics are identified, the psychotherapist seeks to help the patient in developing mew thoughts, behaviors and emotional responses that will correct the way the patient addresses a situation.

This treatment procedure by Aaron Beck seeks to encourage the patient to look into oneself and to realize one’s own defective behavior and actions. Cognitive therapy includes specific procedures in order to challenge the patient’s existing beliefs. This leads to the patient taking action in order to correct one’s belief and response systems.

A short history on cognitive therapy for depression

Aaron Beck developed cognitive therapy after being disappointed with the psychodynamic approaches being used during his time. He found out that cognition (the process by which clients see, understand and give meaning to their lives) is the foundation for the treatment of depression and anxiety.

This approach was included in Beck’s 1967 book Depression: Causes and Treatment. Its application in the treatment of anxiety and other mood disorders were also tackled in his 1976 book Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders.

The cognitive factors that affect depression

Depression is influenced by the following factors:

* Self evaluation and identification of one’s shortcomings

When a person realizes that he or she lacks some skills or characteristics that most people possess, he or she might experience low self worth.

* Evaluation of one’s experiences and catastrophizing

After one failure, a person who is prone to depression is likely to believe that he or she will fail in his or he next endeavors.

* Irrational thoughts or beliefs

One of the examples of irrational thoughts is when a person thinks that everyone is watching what he or she does and is expecting that he or she will fail. Another irrational belief is that only he or she commits mistakes and that everyone else can do their tasks perfectly.

Cognitive therapy for depression

Beck’s theory states that people with depression acquired a negative schema during their early years. Aside from the negative schema, these people also have a negative bias, which they tend to think that “they can never do a good job. ”

Through the use of guided questioning by the psychotherapist, the patient is encouraged to discover one’s negative thinking and to formulate new thoughts and behavior to correct them.

Children experiencing depression require different courses of therapy aside from those used for adults. Children must be made to feel that they are not undergoing treatment. Comfort is one of the main considerations on treatments involving kids.

M Cuerdo is a freelance writer on various topics. To learn more about her, visit A Simplicated Life.