CBT & Mindfulness

Theories and Models

Most researchers postulate ideas to inform or help test theories by using physical representations to help understand and explain their theory, perhaps to simplify it or just help think about it in more concrete terms.  The evidence base is more than just anecdotal comes from the experience of CBT Therapists using this model and underlying theories.

If the model works when used in therapy (which it does, very well, in this example above) it works in practice, and the results continue to be very good, so the integration of CBT and Mindfulness is beginning to be practiced more and more throughout the Western world.

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Founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) a forerunner of CBT

Albert Ellis

Albert Ellis [1913-2007] is best known for Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), which led to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Rather than focusing on early childhood experiences, psychoanalysis, dream interpretation, or a client’s relationship with family and parents, REBT aims to directly address problematic beliefs that lead to self-defeating behaviors.

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Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers [1902-1987] was an American psychologist and among the founders of the client-centered approach to psychology and Psychotherapy. Rogers is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy research.

The person-centered approach, his own unique approach to understanding personality and human relationships, found wide application in various domains such as psychotherapy and counseling (client-centered therapy), education(student-centered learning), organizations, and other group settings. Rogers was found to be the sixth most eminent psychologist of the 20th century and second, among clinicians, only to Sigmund Freud.

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Aaron Beck

Aaron Beck [1921-] is noted for his research in psychotherapy (particularly Cognitive Therapy and CBT), psychopathologysuicide, and psychometrics. He has made significant contribution to practice of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy).  During his work with depressed patients he found that they experienced streams of negative thoughts that seemed to pop up spontaneously. He termed these cognitions “automatic thoughts”, and discovered that their content fell into three categories: negative ideas about themselves, the world, and the future. He stated that such cognitions were interrelated as the cognitive triad. Limited time spent reflecting on automatic thoughts would lead patients to treat them as valid.

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Jon Kabat-Zinn – Guided Mindful Meditation

Jon Kabat-Zinn is an American professor emeritus of medicine and the creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kabat-Zinn was a student of Buddhist teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh and Zen Master Seung Sahn and a founding member of Cambridge Zen Center. His practice of yoga and studies with Buddhist teachers led him to integrate their teachings with scientific findings.

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The ‘Self Concept’

Self-concept, strictly defined, is the totality of our beliefs, preferences, opinions and attitudes organized in a systematic manner, towards our personal existence. Simply put, it is how we think of ourselves and how we should think, behave and act out our various life roles. The self is perhaps the most complex part of our psychology but is central to who we are and how we feel. Each of us have different personality, traits, abilities and preferences that sometimes we cannot understand what is really going on inside of us. While we may not be able to exactly explain why we think this way, or why do we behave in that manner without some external insights, the self-concept theory is a good place to focus in order to understand the importance of our perceptions towards our personal existence.

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Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud [1856-1939] came up with many fanciful ideas, most of which have been debunked now except the idea that we have a ‘subconscious’ part to our mind which operates unconsciously. The unconscious was first introduced in connection with the phenomenon of repression, to explain what happens to ideas that are repressed. Freud stated explicitly that the concept of the unconscious was based on the theory of repression. He postulated a cycle in which ideas are repressed, but remain in the mind, removed from consciousness yet operative, then reappear in consciousness under certain circumstances.  We now know that a lot more can go on in our minds unconsciously like muscle memory, retrieving forgotten information when you leave your struggle to remember and let it come back to you; experiencing ‘brain waves’ which of course don’t come out of thin air.  We also know that our subconscious works about 10 time faster that our conscious mind, which is why performing a complex physical task is better with a blank mind than thinking about every movement and physical nuance when driving a golf ball off a tee or slotting a penalty kick from 50 yards near the touch line, for example.

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Lev Vygotsky

Lev Vygotsky [1896-1934] proposed a theory of the development of “higher psychological functions” that saw human psychological development as emerging through interpersonal connections and actions with the social environment.  Working at the same time as Jean Piaget his work  in developmental psychology independently mirrored much of Piaget’s but had little impact initially in the West as he was based in Russia.  His work work in the 80’s became more prominent as Piaget’s popularity fell away.

The work of Lev Vygotsky (1934) has become the foundation of much research and theory in cognitive development over the past several decades, particularly of what has become known as Social Development Theory.
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