Depression (Cognitive Approach)

  • Created by: bintahall
  • Created on: 08-05-19 11:47

The Cognitive Approach to Explaining Depression

Ellis' ABC Model: Mental disorders are caused by irrational beliefs 

Activating Event

Belief (rational or irrational)

Consequence (healthy or unhealthy)

Mustabatory Thinking: Thinking ceratain ideas/assumptions must be true in order for you to be happy. 3 most important:

1. I must be accepted by people I find important

2. I must do well or I'm worthless

3. World must give me happiness or I'll die

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Beck's Negative Triad

Negative Schema: Depressed people acquire a negative schema during childhood due to parental rejection, critisms by teachers. These are activated when the person is in a new situation the copies the original conditions where these schemas were learned. They lead to systematic cognitive biases inthinking.

The Negative Triad:

1. Negative view of self

2. Negative view of the world

3. Negative view of the future

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Support for the role of irrational thinking: Found that depressed participants made more errors in logic when asked to interpret written material than non-depressed participants. Found that depressed participants that were given negative statements became more depressed = negative thinking leads to depression. However, doesn't mean that negative thoughts cause depression - may be other way around 

Blames the client rather than situational factors: Cognitive approach suggests the client is responsible - gives the client power to change they way things are. However - can lead client or therapist to overlook situational factors ie. family/life events

Practical Applications in therapy: Can be applied to CBT 

Irrational beliefs may be realistic: Beliefs may seem irrational - give more accurate estimates of the likelihood of disaster than 'normal' controls. Sadder but Wiser Effect

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The Cognitive Approach to Treating Depression

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

Challenging Irrational Thoughts: Ellis extended his ABC model to ABCDEF

Disputing irrational thoughts and beliefs

Effects of disputing/effective attitude to life

Feelings (new) that are produced

It is the beliefs that lead to self-defeating consequences: Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT) focuses on challenging/disputing irrational thoughts + replacing them with effective rational beliefs:

1. Logical disputing - does the belief make sense?

2. Empirical disputing - self-defeating beliefs may not be consistent with reality. Wheres the proof that the belief is accurate?

3. Pragmatic disputing - emphasises the lack of usefulness of self-defeating beliefs

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The Cognitive Approach to Treating Depression (con

Homework: Clients asked to complete assignments ie. doing something they feared. It is used to test irrational beliefs against reality and putting new rational beliefs into practice

Behavioural Activation: CBT focuses on encouraging depressed clients to become more active. This is based on the idea that being active leads to rewards that act as an antidote to depression

Unconditional Postive Regard: Ellis = therapy is more successful when convincing client of their value as a human. If client feels worthless they are less willing to consider changing their beliefs

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Research support: Ellis claimed a 90% success rate for REBT. However, not always effective - suggests it was because some clients didn't put their revised beliefs into action 

Individual differences: CBT = less suitable for people who have high levels of irrational beliefs that are resistant to change and in situations where high levels of stress from the individual reflect stressors in the persons life which therapy can't resolve

Support for behavioural activation: 156 adults diagnosed with depression randomly assigned to 4mth course of aerobic exercise, drug treatment or both. All had significant improvements. 6mths after - exercise group had lower relapse rates than medication group

The Dodo Bird Effect: Suggests that all therapies produce equivilant outcomes 

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Depressed mood (Emotion)

Energy (lack of) (Behaviour)

Pleasure (lack of) Emotion)

Reduced self-worth (Emotion)

Eating (change in appetite) (Behaviour)

Sleeping (change in sleep) (Behaviour)

Sadness (Emotion)

Inability to concentration (Cognitive)

Occasional sucidal thoughts (Cognitive)

Negative thoughts (Cognitive)

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