Running head: RESEARCH THEORY
Theories and Theorists
Working as a clinical therapist for four years in the field with the seriously and persistently mentally ill has been an eye opener. Understanding the symptoms of psychotic disorders, mood disorder, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders are important, as well as, understanding how to treat the disorders. Every clinical therapist is introduced to several theories of therapy, but as they grow each therapist is drawn to a specific theory. Working with the seriously and persistently mentally ill; cognitive behavior therapy and dialectical behavior therapy have worked well with this therapist.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Cognitive Behavior Therapy was created by Dr. Aaron Beck in the 1960s. He was a psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania and was studying as well as practicing psychoanalysis. Dr. Beck designed and carried out several experiments to test psychoanalytic concepts of depression believing his research would validate his research; however, he found the exact opposite. Dr. Aaron Beck began to look for other ways to help clients with depression. He did find that depressed clients do have a stream of negative thoughts that come and go spontaneously, which he called cognitions or automatic thoughts. Dr. Beck found that the client’s automatic thoughts fell into three categories (Beck Institute, nd):
• Negative ideas about themselves
• Negative ideas about the world
• Negative ideas about the future (Beck Institute, nd)
Once Dr. Beck discusses these automatic thoughts he started helping his clients identify and evaluate the automatic thoughts. He discovered when he helped them identify and evaluate his thoughts they were able to think more realistically. As a result, they began to feel better emotionally and were able to behave more functionally. Dr. Beck called this approach cognitive behavior therapy.
Cognitive behavior therapy (also called the ABC...