The Cognitive Approach to Treating Depression


There are two types of cognitive therapy: CBT and REBT.

CBT: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

  • Most commonly used for psychological disorders e.g. depression, OCD, anxiety disorders, phobias, stress and PTSD.
  • Method involves both behavioural and cognitive techniques.
  • Aim is to make the client aware of the interactions between thoughtd, emotions and actions.
  • Client meets with the therapist between 5-20 weekly or fortnightly sessions, lasts 30-60mins.
  • Some therapists work with techniques influence by Beck and other work with techniques influenced by Ellis. Most work with techniques influenced by both.

How is CBT done?

1) Client is assessed using Becks depression inventory.

2) Therapist will establish a baseline or starting point to help monitor improvement.

3) To feel better you must think positively. Therapist would use a process of reality testing. Therapist would challenge this thought and get the client to list all the ways they are not useless. Theybare set homework where they keep a diary of negative thoughts and then challenge them with positive ones.

4) Therapist then works with the client to challenge irrational beliefs and replace negative belief with balanced optimistic ones.

Ellis' Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)

  • Ellis argued that irrational thoughts are the main cause of all types of


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