Join us in celebrating our 25th anniversary

The Effects of Therapist Competence in Assigning Homework in Cognitive Therapy With Cluster C Personality Disorders

This study examined the effects of therapist competence in assigning homework on the outcome of CT (cognitive therapy) in patients with Cluster C personality disorders. 25 participants underwent 40 weekly, 50 minute, CT sessions that followed the Beck and Freeman treatment manual for personality disorders. The six treating therapists employed three primary techniques: guided imagery, homework assignments that led the patients to try new adaptive responses, and cognitive, behavioral, and emotion-focused techniques to develop new, more adaptive beliefs to replace the pathological beliefs.

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Note taking in Session

Recently, there’s been an interesting discussion on the Academy of Cognitive Therapy listserv about the therapy notes patients take home with them to review. Here’s how I make sure a patient is able to remember important ideas we discussed in treatment, specifically the changes a patient makes in his thinking:

Generally, when I ascertain that the patient has modified his thinking during a session (e.g., following Socratic questioning,, behavioral experiments, roleplaying, etc.), I’ll ask the patient for a summary. I might say:

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What Cognitive Therapy does to your brain…

Cognitive Therapy is well known for being effective for depression (it's twice as effective as medication in preventing relapse) and it's also been shown to work for many other disorders -- but why? How does it work? A major clue to how Cognitive Therapy affects the brain came out in this study two years ago -- researchers were interested in seeing how Cognitive Behavior Therapy affected the brains of depressed people as compared to medication. They hypothesized…
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Another CT Myth… Put on those Rose-Colored Glasses

Here's another one of the most common misunderstandings about Cognitive Therapy:  Myth: Cognitive Therapy simply teaches people to put on "rose-colored glasses" and see everything in a positive light, even if a situation really is negative. Fact: Cognitive Therapy does not try to teach people to view things more positively. What Cognitive Therapy does is teach people to view things more realistically. When someone has a psychiatric disorder, he or she often sees situations in a distorted manner (for an explanation of…
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Judith S. Beck Writes In: Self Disclosure in Cognitive Therapy

I've recently been thinking about Self Disclosure in CT. In traditional psychoanalysis, analysts deliberately refrain from revealing anything about themselves. There is no such prohibition in Cognitive Therapy and I find that I do a lot of self-disclosure to patients whom I think will benefit from it. For patients with perfectionistic standards, I might reveal the standard I apply to myself and have taught my children: To try to do…
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Judith S. Beck Writes In: More on CT for New Year’s Resolutions

I enjoyed being interviewed for an NPR radio story on the Cognitive Therapy approach to New Year's resolutions. When I've been interviewed for radio shows in the past, I've almost always talked to the interviewer by phone from my office. But this time the reporter, Joanne Silberner, asked me to go to the local NPR affiliate (WHYY) in Philadelphia, so I got to wear headphones and speak into a big…
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