Cognitive Therapies: therapies based on the assumption that psychological problems are due to maladaptive patterns of thinking. That most people blame their unhappiness and problems on external events and situations, but the real cause of unhappiness is the way the person thinks about the (external) events, not the events themselves. (Hockenbury, 561)

The purpose of this therapy is to change ‘maladaptive’ thought patterns and irrational beliefs. Such irrational beliefs include: ‘I must always be right,’  ‘I must always succeed,’  ‘I must always please everyone around me,’ and ‘everyone must like me.’ (Bamford, 11/1/10) By giving people “insight” into their faulty thought patterns, they are able to change the way they think and thus eliminate their problems. (Cardwell, 51) Therapy suggests that ("behavioral disorders") originate from irrational and self-destructive thinking styles. From the perspective of cognitive therapies, people do know what motivates them -- irrational beliefs and faulty thinking styles. (Bamford, 11/8/10) The therapist attempts to make the client aware of their distorted and irrational thinking, and shows them how to substitute more construction patterns of thinking and behaving. (Cardwell, 51) Editor’s Note - commonly used for the treatment of “depression” and “anxiety disorders.” Developed by Aaron Beck. Also referred to as ‘insight therapies.’


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): an approach to the treatment of disorders which combines cognitive and behavioral techniques. For example, in the treatment of “anxiety disorders,” therapists might use ‘habituation training.’ In this technique, clients might be asked to call their obsessive thoughts to mind for a prolonged period. With exposure to the threatening thoughts, they gradually lose their ability to cause anxiety. (Cardwell, 48) Based on the assumption that thoughts, moods, and behaviors are interrelated. (Hockenbury, 567)

Cognitive Reframing: seeing things differently. One of the post potent antidotes to "depression." (For example), stepping back and thinking about the ways the (terminated) relationship wasn't so great, and ways you and your partner were mismatched. (For example), cancer patients were in better moods if they were able to bring to mind another patient who was in even worse shape. Such 'downward comparisons' are surprisingly cheering. (Goleman2, 74)

Rational-Emotive Therapy (RET): based on the idea that people’s emotional and behavior disorders develop because of their irrational beliefs. The therapist confronts the client about these irrational beliefs as they appear in therapy, and directs them into more effective styles of thinking and acting. (Cardwell, 51) Emphasizes the “cognitive” component of "stress," suggesting that individuals often experience irrational and self-defeating thought patterns. Therapy proposes that one can improve mental health, and moderate stress by restructuring those irrational thought processes. (Bamford, 10/28/10) Assumption is that it is not external events that make (a person) miserable, it is (the person’s) interpretation of those events. Identifying the core irrational beliefs that underlie personal distress is the first step in RET. The second step is for the therapist to vigorously dispute and challenge the irrational beliefs. According to Albert Ellis, blunt, harsh language is sometimes needed to push people into helping themselves. Shown to be generally effective in the treatment of depression, social phobia, and certain anxiety disorders. Also useful in helping people overcome self-defeating behaviors, such as an excessive need for approval, extreme shyness, and chronic procrastination. (Hockenbury, 562) Editor's note - developed by Albert Ellis.