Beck's Cognitive Therapy
By Frank Wills
Routledge – 2009 – 192 pages
Series: CBT Distinctive Features
Beck's Cognitive Therapy: Distinctive Features explores the key contributions made by Aaron T. Beck to the development of cognitive behaviour therapy.
This book provides a concise account of Beck's work against a background of his personal and professional history. The author, Frank Wills, considers the theory and practice of Beck's cognitive therapy by firstly examining his contribution to the understanding of psychopathology, and going on to explore Beck's suggestions about the best methods of treatment. Throughout the book a commentary of how Beck's thinking differs from other approaches to CBT is provided, as well as a summary of the similarities and differences between Beck’s methods and other forms of treatment including psychoanalysis and humanistic therapy.
Beck's Cognitive Therapy will be ideal reading for both newcomers to the field and experienced practitioners wanting a succinct guide.
"This is a great easy read of Beck's personal history through his substantial contribution to cognitive therapy as we know it today… A major impact of this book will be for those who believe CBT is too scripted, too directive and too 'one size fits all' as the author impresses on us the need for individualised perceptive use of methods for each specific client and disorder." - Norman Beecher, Addiction Today, July-August 2010
"Frank Wills provides a practical synopsis that is basic enough for the novice but detailed enough to provide an excellent review for the more seasoned clinician…A succinct accounting of Beck's distinct contributions to the field of psychotherapy against a background of his career." -Barbara Cubic, Ph.D, in PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 54, Release 41.
Introduction. Part I: Theory. Prelude: Beck and His group. Cognitive Therapy is Organised Around a Formulation. Different Problem Areas in Cognitive Therapy are Marked Out by Specific Cognitive Themes. Cognitive Therapy Varies According to the Areas to Which it is Applied. Cognitive Functioning is Organised Around the Existence of Deep Schemas. It is Helpful to Understand the Evolutionary Underpinnings of Psychological Problems. Beck has Described a Variety of Levels and Types of Cognition. Cognitive Distortions Play a Key Role in Emotional Problems But Are Not necessarily ‘Irrational.’ Images Also Contain Key Elements of Cognition Distortions. Cognition, Emotion and Behaviour Interact with Mutual and Reciprocal Influence on Each Other. Safety Behaviours, Including Avoidance, Reassurance Seeking and Hyper-vigilance, Play a Crucial Role in Maintaining Anxiety. Strategies that Address Negative Attention Bias Strengthen the Cognitive Therapy Model. Meta-Cognition – The Way People Think About Thinking – Also Influences the Way They Feel and Behave. Promoting Mindfulness of and Mindful Attention to Negative Thoughts is Likely to Form a Major Part of Cognitive Therapy in Future. Beckian Epistemology has a Clear Process for Developing Appropriate Therapeutic Knowledge for Cognitive Therapists to Follow. Protocol Development and the Specification of Skills Have Proved Important Factors in Linking CBT Theory and Practice. Conclusion to Part 1. Part II: Practice. Beck’s Cognitive Therapy – A Principled Model: 15 Points About the Practice Model. Cognitive Therapists use Formulation to Focus Therapeutic Work. Cognitive Therapists, Like Other Therapists, Use Formulation to Tackle Interpersonal and Alliance Issues. Cognitive Therapy Requires a Sound Therapeutic Relationship. Cognitive Therapists Stress the Importance of Collaboration in the Therapeutic Relationship. Cognitive Therapy is Brief and Time-limited. Cognitive Therapy is Structured and Directional. Cognitive Therapy is Problem- and Goal-oriented. Cognitive Therapy Initially Emphasises the Present Time Focus. Cognitive Therapy Uses an Educational Model. Homework is a Central Feature of Cognitive Therapy. Cognitive Therapists Teach Clients to Evaluate and Modify their Thoughts. Cognitive Therapy Uses Various Methods to Change Cognitive Content. Cognitive Therapy Uses a Variety of Methods to Change Cognitive Processes. Cognitive Therapy Uses a Variety of Methods to Promote Behavioural Change. Cognitive Therapists Have Developed the Measurement of Therapist Competence. Summary and Review of Part 2. Conclusion.
Frank Wills is an independent cognitive psychotherapist, supervisor, and trainer in Bristol, and a tutor at the University of Wales, Newport.