Mervin Smucker – Characteristics of cognitive therapy.

Cognitive therapy is based on a theory of psychopathology that links cognition with emotion, and which comprises a set of principles and therapeutic techniques that relate to hypothesis-testing and empirical evidence. There are a number distinctive characteristics that define the Beckian model of cognitive therapy:

  • short-term, time-limited
  • structured, directive, active
  • assumes a sound therapeutic relationship
  • relies on a collaborative effort between therapist and patient
  • based on a coherent cognitive model and rooted in an individualized cognitive conceptualization of each patient
  • problem-oriented, primary focus on here-and-now
  • uses the Socratic dialogue and the process of „guided discovery“ to teach patients to be „scientific“ in examining the validity of their cognitions
  • Educational Model, fosters self-help and skill practice outside therapy sessions (homework assignments)

Mervin Smucker (2013)

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Mervin Smucker – Basic principles of cognitive therapy.

The core, basic principles of cognitive therapy can be summed up at follows:

  • Cognitive influence mood and behavior
  • Perceptions and cognitions mediate the effect of situation on mood and behavior
  • Cognitions may include automatic thoughts, images, memories, beliefs, underlying assumptions, and core schemas
  • Different emotional disorders have distinctive cognitive themes; that is, specific groups of automatic thoughts and/or images
  • In disorders of mood and behaviour there are often underlying information processing biases or cognitive distortions
  • Underlying specific thoughts and beliefs are general assumptions or schemas often learned or developed in early childhood
  • Modification of cognitions leads to behavioural and mood changes.

Mervin Smucker (2013)

Mervin Smucker – The interaction of depression with the personality characteristics of and social dependence and autonomy.

All individuals are thought to have a relative stable personality structure that can predispose them to depression in response to a range of environmental stressors. A. T. Beck and colleagues have researched how the personality characteristics of autonomy and social dependence may interact with differential patterns of depressive etiology and manifestations. These personality characteristics reflect central value systems and are thought to be longstanding, stable characteristics developed at an early age. For the socially dependent individual acceptance, intimacy, support and guidance within the context of positive interchange with others is highly valued. An interruption of these „interpersonal ressources“ will be perceived as a major loss by such persons and likely contribute to the onset of a depressive reaction.  By contrast, the „autonomous“ individual is highly invested in independent functioning, mobility, choice, and achievement; the  interruption or blocking of these will be experienced as a major loss that could result in a depressive reaction.

Mervin Smucker (2013)