The Human Element in CBT

In this video from a recent Beck Institute Workshop, Dr. Aaron Beck discusses the importance of the therapeutic alliance in CBT. Today, such skills as empathy, warmth, and understanding are emphasized in all of the psychotherapies and associated with successful outcomes. Dr. Beck explains that “knowing the patient’s story” is key to establishing a “human element.” CBT therapists are trained to utilize CBT techniques, not robotically, but within the context of the client’s individual conceptualization and personal “story.”

Beck Institute hosts a number of workshops on a wide variety of topics throughout the year. For more information visit our website.

CBT Reduces Menopausal Symptoms Following Breast Cancer Treatment

According to a recent study published in The Lancet, CBT can help reduce menopausal symptoms among women following breast cancer treatment. Menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats are fairly prevalent among female breast cancer patients (65-85%) following treatment.  In the current study, researchers sought to determine whether CBT can help breast cancer patients effectively manage menopausal symptoms. Participants included 96 women recruited from breast clinics in London, UK. They were randomly assigned to received either group CBT (90-minute weekly sessions for 6 weeks) or usual care. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 9 weeks, and 26 weeks following intervention. At the 9 week follow up, CBT significantly reduced menopausal symptoms, improved mood, sleep, and quality of life among group CBT participants. These results were maintained at 26 weeks. These findings suggest that incorporating CBT into breast cancer programs may be beneficial to breast cancer survivors with problematic menopausal symptoms.

Mann, E., Smith, M. J., Hellier, J., Balabanovic, J. A., Hamed, H., Grunfeld, E. A., & Hunter, M. S. (2012). Cognitive behavioural treatment for women who have menopausal symptoms after breast cancer treatment (MENOS 1): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet Oncology, 13, 3, 309-318.