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    The Use of Cognitive Therapy in Guidance in Second Level ....doc The Use of Cognitive Therapy in Guidance in Second Level ....doc Document Transcript

    • THE USE OF COGNITIVE THERAPY IN GUIDANCE IN SECOND LEVELSCHOOLSINTRODUCTIONThis supplement continues the NCGE series on counselling approaches that are usefulin guidance counselling. It begins with an introduction to Cognitive Therapy,discusses in brief both the theory and practice of the therapy, and demonstrates how itcan be applied to the school situation highlighting the advantages and disadvantagesof using this approach. Finally for guidance counsellors wishing to find out more aboutthis area details regarding training opportunities in Cognitive Therapy are provided.BRIEF HISTORY During times of stress distortions can occur inCognitive therapy is founded on a theory of an individual’s reasoning.personality that maintains how we think Psychological distress is experienced wheninfluences the way we feel and behave. The the individual views the situation to betheory of cognitive therapy maintains that threatening. At such times, interpretations ofwhile an individual is biologically predisposed events can be selective and rigid, andto illness, the environment and previous emotional reactions are intensified andlearning experiences are precipitating factors. exaggerated. Errors in reasoning can includeCognitive therapy evolved from two areas of over-generalisation whereby one particularpsychology: cognitive and behaviour therapy. rule or conclusion is generalised to other incidents that are not related, andCognitive therapy is based on a principal magnification where a situation is perceiveddescribed by the Greek philosopher Epictetus, as greater or lesser than it deserves.that it is not events that disturb us but rather Cognitive therapy holds that biases inour interpretation of the events. Both Aaron information processing are illustrative of mostBeck and Albert Ellis devised a system of disorders.therapy based on this assumption, thissupplement will be concentrating on the BRIEF DESCRIPTION OFtherapy of Aaron Beck. The other root of THERAPYcognitive therapy is behaviour therapy. The main goal of cognitive therapy is to correct distortions in reasoning so that clientsBehaviour therapy is based on the principle can live a better life. Distortions in thinkingthat behaviour is shaped by the response of are challenged in cognitive therapy by boththe environment to it. Behaviour therapy cognitive and behavioural methods. Initiallyfocuses on triggers in the environment that the focus is one of symptom relief but thecreate problem behaviours, and how final goal is to modify the core beliefs thatbehaviours are rewarded and maintained. are causing difficulties for the client. Cognitive therapy recognises the importanceBRIEF DESCRIPTION OF of the cognitive, behavioural and emotionalTHEORY domains but emphasises the primacy of theCognitive therapy views personality as a cognitive domain in bringing around change.reflection of the individual’s cognitiveorganisation and structure, which is The therapeutic relationship is one ofinfluenced by both our biology and the collaboration. The therapist elicits theenvironment. Basically, cognitive therapy sources of distress from the client and helpsholds that individuals form core beliefs based the client to clarify goals. Effective cognitiveon interpretations of his/her life’s experience. therapy requires the therapist to beNCGE 06/06 Section 1 1.4.31
    • compassionate and accountable. guidance counsellor. Many adolescentsCompassion is analogous to Carl Rogers experience problems with self-esteem,empathy. The therapist tries to view the depression and anxiety which are amenableworld form the client’s perspective in a to treatment with cognitive therapy.genuine way. The aim is to acknowledge the Students’ irrational beliefs can be challengedclient’s pain and to change his/her and the way they feel and behave can beperspective. changed utilising cognitive and behaviouralThe therapist also challenges (accountable) techniques in a ‘safe’ environment. Used inthe client to become aware and take control prevention, the cognitive and behaviouralof his/her behaviour. techniques can be utilised in a classroom setting. Students can be taught that the wayIn cognitive therapy the therapist acts as a they think influences the way they feel andguide and teacher. Clients are taught how behave and they can be taught how tocertain thoughts contribute to and maintain challenge and change their beliefs.the way they feel and behave. To maintainthe collaborative relationship, the therapist Students often hold inaccurate beliefs aboutelicits feedback from the client regarding the themselves and have unrealistic aspirations,therapeutic process. This ensures client identification of which would facilitate theparticipation and deals with any problems the guidance counsellor in helping the students.client may have about the process and the In educational and career counselling thetherapist-client relationship. Thus it cognitive approach is very useful in changingrecognises the occurrences of transference self-image, modifying perceptions and self-and counter transference in the therapeutic efficacy beliefs and in job search skills. Forprocess. instance the use of video feedback can help students change the way they approach aThe therapeutic process can be divided into situation and thus their behaviour. Thethree main sections: initial sessions, later behavioural interventions often utilised insessions and ending treatment. cognitive therapy can also be applied to the classroom setting.Initial sessions concentrate on building andmaintaining an alliance, setting an agenda, For instance using ‘mock interviews’ as a wayand exploring the elements of particular of developing students’ interview skills andproblems. Later sessions concentrate on teaching students relaxation techniquesways of thinking. The focus is on eliciting the which they then can apply to stressfulclient’s main beliefs and modifying them. situations such as in examinations. RoleThroughout the process the client is given play, behavioural rehearsal, modelling,activities to complete relevant to his/her feedback and reinforcement techniques candifficulties, for instance keeping a mood also be applied to a range of situations andjournal (depressed clients), and role playing be used for instance in helping adolescents toto enhance social skills. become more assertive, and in social skills training.The length of treatment depends on theclient’s difficulties. The typical length of DOES COGNITIVE THERAPYcognitive therapy is from twelve to fifteensessions. WORK? There has been extensive research into the effectiveness of cognitive therapy as aCOGNITIVE THERAPY IN therapeutic approach. Findings show thatEDUCATION cognitive therapy is quite effective. InCognitive therapy can be applied quite well to comparison studies it has been found thatthe school setting both in prevention and cognitive therapy is superior or at leastcure. The fact that it is a focused and brief equally effective to a number of differenttherapy makes it an attractive choice for the treatments for various problems that clientsNCGE 06/06 Section 1 1.4.32
    • encounter. Cognitive therapists have nowmoved from does it work to what is it thatworks about the therapy. TRAINING AND FURTHER INFORMATIONADVANTAGES AND TRAININGDISADVANTAGES OFCOGNITIVE THERAPY MSc/Diploma in Cognitive Psychotherapy Dept. of PsychiatryADVANTAGES Trinity College Dublin Dublin 2® Brief which is applicable to the school situation. Treatment can be from 6-12 Higher Diploma / MA in Behavioural and sessions. Cognitive Psychotherapy® Person centred. Dept. of Applied Psychology® Practical and active through client UCC homework Cork® Testable and teachable. FURTHER INFORMATIONCRITICISMS Anthony Bates Ph.D.® Relies on the head to solve the problems Senior Clinical Psychologist of the heart. Jonathan Swift Clinic® Oversimplification of psychological St. Jamess Hospital distress to illogical thoughts which can be Jamess Street modified. Dublin 8, Ireland® Presumes active client participation – appropriate for students who have been RELEVANT WEBSITES referred to the guidance counsellor.® Since it is directive in nature is there a http://www.beckinstitute.org danger that the guidance counsellor’s beliefs will be imposed onto the student http://www.academyofct.org as the guidance counsellor will already be regarded as an authority figure.® Some adolescents may not have reached the intellectual maturity required by this therapy.NCGE 06/06 Section 1 1.4.33
    • READING LISTAlford, B.A. & Beck, A.T. The IntegrativePower of Cognitive Therapy. New York:Guilford, 1997.Bates, Anthony. Cognitive-BehaviouralTherapy. In Psychotherapy in Ireland, 2nd ed.Edward Boyne. Dublin: The Columba Press,1993: pp148-182.Beck, J.S. Cognitive Therapy: Basics andBeyond. New York: Guilford, 1995.Beck, A.T. and Marjorie E. Weishaar,Cognitive Therapy. In CurrentPsychotherapies, 5th ed. Raymond Corsiniand Danny Wedding. Illinois: F.E. PeacockPublishers Inc., 1995: pp 229-261.Hagga, David A. and Davison Gerald C.Cognitive Change Methods. In HelpingPeople Change. A Textbook of Methods. 3rded. Frederick H. Kanfer and Arnold P.Goldstein. US: Pergamon Press, 1988:pp236-282.Rush, A. J., & Beck, A. T. Cognitive therapy.In Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry, 7thed. H.I. Kaplan & B.J. Sadock (Eds.).Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 2000.NCGE 06/06 Section 1 1.4.34