The cognitive approach to explaining depression

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  • The cognitive approach to explaining depression
  • AO1:
  • Beck's cognitive theory of depression:
  • Beck suggested that some people are more prong to depression because of faulty information processing i.e. thinking in a flawed way. When depressed people attend to the negative aspects of a situation and ignore positives, they also tend to blow small problems out of proportion and think in 'black and white' terms. 
  • Depressed people have negative self-schemas. A schema is a 'package' of information and ideas developed through experience. We use schemas to interpret the world, so if a person has a negative self-schema they interpret all information about themselves in a negative way. 
  • There are 3 elements to the negative triad:
  • Negative views of the world, e.g. 'the world is a cold, hard place.
  • Negative view of the future, e.g. 'there isn't much chance that the economy will get better'
  • Negative view of the self, e.g. thinking 'i am a failure' and this negatively impacts upon self-esteem. 
  • Ellis' ABC model:
  • A - activating event: Ellis suggested that depression arises from irrational thoughts, According to Ellis depression occurs when we experience negative events, e.g. failing an important test or ending a relationship. 
  • B - beliefs: Negative events trigger irrational beliefs, for example" Ellis called the belief that we must always succeed 'musterbation'. 'i cant stand this' is…


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