Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in a Nutshell, Second Edition is a concise introduction to one of the most widely-practiced approaches to counselling and psychotherapy.

Leading authors, Michael Neenan and Windy Dryden, explain the model and the core techniques used during the therapeutic process to:

elicit and examine negative automatic thoughts; uncover and explore underlying assumptions, rules and core beliefs (schemas); and; maintain gains from therapy.

For newcomers to the subject, this revised and updated edition of Cognitive Therapy in a Nutshell provides the ideal place to start and a springboard to further study.



The therapy session is usually a poor arena for assessing change because of its remove from the client's everyday experience. Assignments carried out between sessions (homework) allow clients to test and modify their maladaptive thoughts and beliefs in real-life situations. Homework – or whatever term clients wish to use – helps them to learn the skills of cognitive therapy and develop confidence and competence in becoming their own therapist which, in turn, reduces the chances of a relapse (the return of the original problem). Also, without homework assignments clients may become ‘emotionally constipated’ (waiting ‘to tell it all’ at the next session) instead of dealing with the ‘it’ (difficulties) as they arise between sessions. As Persons (1989: 142) observes:

Situations that arouse powerful affect [emotion] ...

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