Aaron Beck's Psychodynamic Case Study

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Today Aaron Beck holds the title of father of cognitive behavioural therapy, which is a common therapeutic approach to multiple mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. Beck was born on the 18th of July 1921 in Rhode Island. Ironically, Becks own mother, Elizabeth, suffered from depression after the death of her daughter in the 1919 influenza epidemic. Beck majored in English and political science in Brown University; he then went on to study medicine in Yale with the ambition of becoming a neurologist. However he became interested in psychiatry as he wasn’t accepting of the method of psychoanalysis he witnessed being used in hospitals at the time. In response to this he spent the next several years of his life…show more content…
It is a hands on approach to dealing with problems which affect people’s day to day lives; it focuses on the here and now, tackling current difficulties and unhelpful thinking patterns, as opposed to the deep seated historical causes focused on by psychoanalysis. (Shirlaw, I and Lantin, B, 2006). Therefore CBT addresses the interaction between these thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It is aimed at changing the ways we think and do things which cause us psychological distress. ‘’Our behaviour may then change as a result of thinking differently. Behavioural techniques are used to change what we do. This may result in thinking differently about a situation or difficulty.’’ (Helsop, K, 2008).
A key component of CBT is the relationship between the patient and the healthcare provider. The patient and healthcare provider must work together to identify problematic thoughts and behaviours of the patient and then agree to set goals on how to combat these thoughts and behaviours. This is a partnership between patient and healthcare provider as opposed to the healthcare provider simply telling the patient what to
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CBT is an effective therapy which stretches beyond mental health problems , but is used to manage physical ones too such as IBS, cancer and chronic pain, as Beck himself states CBT; ‘’Has provided important clues to the treatment of a large number of other disorders’’, ‘’Outcome trials have demonstrated efficacy in a number of common disorders’’ (Beck, A.T, 1993) . Proving that this is a diverse therapy which is multifaceted in its approach and also practical, in that it imparts the skills in a patient to recognise what is unhelpful in their thought process or behaviour, and to then overcome these unhelpful thoughts and
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