Cognitive Therapy (Psychology)

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  • A psychotherapy approach that attempts to change disturbed behaviors or emotions through cognitive restructuring techniques that aim to change patterns of maladaptive thinking. It is assumed that cognitions, or the ways that people think and make sense of their environment, mediate between outside events and distressful emotions. According to this approach, individuals with symptoms of psychological disorders have a dysfunctional way of interpreting important life events, and therefore, the goal of therapy is to change these erroneous patterns of thinking. Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck are considered the most important pioneers of this approach to therapy. According to Ellis's (1997) rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) approach, mental distress is not caused by negative environmental events but by rigid and maladaptive ways of construing these events. ...

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