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Cognitive Restructuring

Description of the Strategy

Cognitive restructuring is a broad term encompassing a variety of procedures designed to eliminate maladaptive thinking patterns and increase the frequency of constructive thoughts and beliefs. The roots of cognitive restructuring may be traced to cognitive psychology. Cognitive theorists proposed that most learning in humans is cognitively mediated (i.e., thoughts influence perceptions and behavior). A major tenet of cognitive therapy is that through the modification of clients' thought processes, their belief systems will be altered, and this ultimately will result in changes in overt behavior and emotional processing.

The work of Albert Ellis was quite influential with respect to the development and proliferation of cognitive and cognitive-behavioral therapies. Ellis termed his approach “rational emotive therapy (RET).” According to Ellis, ...

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