Cognitive approach

  • Created by: parris
  • Created on: 02-06-14 12:14

Basic assumptions: 

- We think by sorting our thoughts into schemas's (categories) 

- What people think and what we believe deteremine how we behave. 

-Emotional problems are result of negative and distorted thinking that arise out of dysfunctional beliefs. 

- The cognitive behavioural approach was designed by psychologists Albert Ellis and Aaron Black. 

Rational thinking and distorted thinking: 

- Usually what people think and what they believe are rational , however sometimes thinking can be distorted. 

- Distorted thinking can lead to social , emotional and behavioural difficulties. 

Rational thinking (thinking is based on good evidence , conclusions are logicial) 

Distorted thinking: (Thinking based on limited evidence or none , conclusions irrational and not supported by evidence) 

Informational processing: 

- We make mistakes in our thinking due to way we process information. 

- E.g. our attention is selective , for instance there is a lot going on around us that we are not aware of. However sometimes we only focus on the things that are important to us such as things we expect to or want to see. 


- Automatic thoughts are described as schemas (way we bring together and organise information about ourselves , others & things around us) 

- We sort out thinking into ready made catergories e.g. the bad things and the good things

Distorted thinking: 

- Words like should , ought to , need to can cause irrational and distorted thinking.

- E.g. 'he should ring me' , 'i need to lose weight' , 'I must do that revision'.. 

- Overall some of the strong statements that we make are not supported by good evidence therefore they can cause disrorted thinking and lead to problems like depression or low self esteem. 

Examples of distorted thinking: 


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