There are many different teachings in psychology. Oftentimes it is difficult to separate them, because every psychologist or psychotherapist knows the basic technologies of nearly every type of psychology. The cognitive behavioral therapy only developed in the late 20th century. Just like most types of therapy, it has not been around for all that long yet. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapy which works with our cognition at the hand of our behavior and the questioning thereof. In this article we will explain more about what cognitive behavioral therapy entails exactly, and how it can help you.
Cognitive behavioral therapy developed in the sixties or seventies of the past century. It was an adverse reaction to the psychoanalysis by Freud and the client focused therapy by Roger. Currently, cognitive behavioral therapy is popular, but this has not always been like this. In the past, cognitive behavioral therapy found it to be very difficult to grow. In that time it was namely mainly used by psychologists, while psychiatrists still kept hold of the psychoanalysis by Freud. In the sixties, psychiatrists had a much larger influence than psychologists did, meaning this type of therapy stayed in the background for years.
The cognitive behavioral therapy has no real founder. There are different psychologists who have contributed to the development of this therapy type, but none of them has founded it like Freud did psychoanalysis. When we consider the most important behavioral therapists, we think of Skinner, Beck,… The first behavioral therapists assumed that humans were born as a blank page. They had no prior history and no personal traits. They were empty of interpretation and ready to be formed by their upbringing. They said that people learned from the consequences of behavior. This is also called conditioning. The most excessive type of conditioning is operant conditioning, where good behavior is rewarded and poor behavior is punished. This way, people learn what is good and what is not.
When people have negative thoughts, this can be treated by questioning these thoughts. Negative thoughts often occur in many different disorders. Examples are stress, depression, anxiety,… Behavioral therapists then start to ask people which types of situations they would like to test or change. Then they usually ask a few questions to bring up the negative thoughts. People will in that case describe how they think that the situation will go. So people with depression, stress, anxiety,… will often think that the situation will go negatively, but behavioral therapists help them to see the situation in a positive light. Then, they may go through the situation and then consider the actual outcome of the situation with the behavioral therapist. Oftentimes, people then realize that the situation was not as bad or negative as they had originally thought.
This way, people are ‘rewarded’ for their behavior and they often have the tendency to show off their new, learned behavior more often. This is a simplistic way to present one of the basic techniques of the cognitive behavioral therapy, but it shortly gives you an image of the techniques which behavioral therapists can use to help you with stress, anxiety, depression,…
Our online self-help program was also inspired by certain techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy. It will therefore also help you to do more of the habits which you desire, and less of the habits which you want to get rid of. The online program can help you in dealing with stress, depression, and anxiety.
You can also fill out our free depression test, to decide your depression level. After filling out the test, you will get your personal scores right away.