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What is the cognitive behavioural technique in the management of stress?

Q: Plesae provide details of cognitive behavioural techniques in the management of stress.

A:Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a psychological treatment which combines cognitive therapy (which can modify or eliminate unwanted thoughts and beliefs) and behavioural therapy (which aims to help the individual change their behaviour in response to those thoughts). CBT techniques involve the exploration of thinking patterns and their effects on behaviour. Individuals are led towards a greater level of awareness of the effect that their thoughts and beliefs have on their behaviour, experiences and emotions. Once they have reached this level of awareness then change is possible. It provides a systematic approach to observing behaviour and understanding the impact of the environment and learning upon behaviour. As humans have some conscious control over thoughts; it is therefore important to consider how we cognitively interpret our world if full understanding of behaviour is to be reached. Cognitive techniques (such as challenging negative automatic thoughts) and behavioural techniques (such as graded exposure, relaxation techniques, desensitization, and breathing exercises) are used. Some specific techniques used in CBT include: - Challenging irrational beliefs - Relaxation education and training - Self monitoring - Journal - Cognitive rehearsal - Thought stopping - Conditioning - Communication skills training - Assertiveness skills training - Social skills training - Bibliotherapy - Modeling - Systematic desensitisation - Validity testing - Homework assignments The techniques are applied in stages: The first stage of the process is to identify a target problem. If there are more than one problems to work on, focus is on one problem at a time. The second stage explores when, where and how often the problem occurrs. This also entails finding out about the environment in which the problem occurrs including the antecedents and outcomes of the problem. The third stage involves explaining the central principle of CBT to the person so that s(he) develops an understanding of how thinking patterns mediate the impact of external factors. The fourth stage explores the thinking patterns in relation to the target problem; beginning with the negative automatic thoughts and then working to uncover the underlying dysfunctional assumption which produced these thoughts. The final stage aims to help the individual to recognise how he or she can develop control over the situation by challenging the dysfunctional assumptions.


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