Cognitive Therapy in Clinical Practice: An Illustrative Casebook

Cognitive Therapy in Clinical Practice: An Illustrative Casebook

Cognitive Therapy in Clinical Practice: An Illustrative Casebook

Cognitive Therapy in Clinical Practice: An Illustrative Casebook

Synopsis

This volume contains examples of how cognitive therapists working in varied settings with groups of adult clients have applied the cognitive model in their domain. Cognitive therapy has much broader application than the traditional area of depression; contributors illustrate the way they work by using extended case material, readers will hear the voices of the clients and empathise with both client and therapist as they seek to build a collaborative relationship. Areas discussed range from drug abuse and eating disorders to obsessive behaviour. Any therapist, however experienced, will learn from `listening in' on the cases presented and students will find it essential reading.

Excerpt

The success in cognitive therapy in treating a range of depressive disorders and in reducing the risk of relapse (Blackburn et al. 1987; Simons et al. 1986) has encouraged its application to clinical problems other than depression. This wider application is consistent with the cognitive model which, from the outset, was not intended to be confined to depression, but was applied to other behavioural and emotional disorders (Beck 1976; Beck et al. 1985). In many situations, people are subject to external events or bodily symptoms in which differences in cognitive interpretations lead to different patterns and intensity of affect and behaviour.

The extension of any therapeutic practice to a new problem area has to be taken in stages. Success in treating single cases is an essential first step. It allows us to say that a therapeutic strategy can sometimes work with this problem area. The addition of more single cases (a clinical series) will, if they also respond well, add plausibility to the claim that initial successes were not merely chance results. This is how all new therapy applications have had to start.

The efficacy of a therapy for a certain client group will ultimately be judged by a full outcome study in which a large number of similarly diagnosed patients are randomly assigned to groups, carefully assessed, and compared to patients in control conditions. But outcome studies are very expensive in time and money and cannot therefore be justified until there is a good prima facie case that a treatment will work.

The different problem areas discussed in the chapters in this book all broadly come into this initial stage, where the plausibility of applying cognitive therapy to new client groups is examined. We believe strongly that the cognitive model is relevant to these disorders and we need to listen carefully to experienced cognitive therapists to learn which aspects of cognitive therapy they have found most helpful.

The result is a volume containing examples of how cognitive therapists working in different settings with different groups of adult clients have applied the cognitive model in their domain. We have encouraged the authors to illustrate the way they work by using extended case material . . .

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