Serious Mental Health Problems in the Community: Policy, Practice, and Research

By Charlie Brooker; Julie Repper | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 9
Cognitive Behaviour
Therapy for Severe
Mental Illness

Strategies and Techniques

David G. Kingdon


KEY ISSUES

INTRODUCTION

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has been developing as a treatment for mental health problems over the past thirty to forty years. It has been commonly used for a wide range of mental health problems including depression and anxiety. More recently it has been developed for use in schizophrenia and personality disorder. Until relatively recently the emphasis has been on common but less severe disorders but there has been interest in using CBT with severe mental health problems since the early 1950s. Beck published a case study in 1952 (Beck, 1952) of the successful use of structured reasoning techniques and homework assignments with a patient who had paranoid psychosis, believing that the KGB were coming into his shop to check on him.

Unfortunately for those suffering from psychosis a change in job apparently led to Beck's attention being switched to research into depression. This chapter will review techniques used in severe mental illness and refer to relevant sources for further reading.

Cognitive behaviour therapy is based on a theory of the emotional disorders (Box 9.1). It is rooted in experimental and

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