Cognitive Therapy for Psychosis: A Formulation-Based Approach

Cognitive Therapy for Psychosis: A Formulation-Based Approach

Cognitive Therapy for Psychosis: A Formulation-Based Approach

Cognitive Therapy for Psychosis: A Formulation-Based Approach


'Cognitive Therapy for Psychosis' provides clinicians with a comprehensive cognitive model that can be applied to all patients with schizophrenia and related disorders.


Since the early 1990s there has been a plethora of studies of cognitive approaches to emotional disorders. The studies have ranged from elucidation of the specific biases and interpretations to the underlying beliefs systems and to the examination of brain changes as a result of cognitive therapy. Elegant cognitive therapy strategies have been developed and applied successfully in clinical trials for the affective disorders, the anxiety spectrum, eating disorders and extending even to chronic pain and borderline personality disorder. The most innovative work since the early 1990s, however, has been the development of understanding and elaboration of cognitive therapy approaches to the treatment of schizophrenia. This work interestingly has been conducted predominantly in the United Kingdom.

The authors of this book constitute what is known in American football as “triple threats”: they all are clinicians, researchers and theoreticians. Thus, the interdisciplinary research occurs in the minds of the authors as well as in their interaction with each other. In this instance, the research, theory-building and clinical applications are a synthesis of individual and group effort.

It is often difficult to know which comes first: theory, therapy or research? Theory serves as a roadmap for the clinician and informs the researcher regarding the important areas for investigation. On the other hand, the clinical work provides the data that generate the formulation of the theory and the ideas for research. Finally, research not only validates (or invalidates) the clinical and theoretical propositions but also provides new guidelines for therapy and ideas for theory building. The authors have drawn on the blend of theory, research and practice in developing the corpus of knowledge, formulating the basic assumptions, and adapting and refining appropriate strategies for the treatment of this difficult, perplexing disorder. The result is a landmark in the evolution of cognitive therapy for psychoses.

It is of interest that despite the widespread popularity of these approaches in the United Kingdom and their official recognition by the UK National Health Service, the work has not yet crossed to the other side of the Atlantic. I expect that the work of the current authors in this volume should be a stimulus to their North American colleagues to adapt to their approaches to severe mental illness.

Aaron T. Beck

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