Cognitive, or cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, is a psychotherapeutic approach among the most well-known in the clinical action scene. The solid empirical bases and the enormous amount of evidence of efficacy differentiate it from any other approach.
The therapeutic setting has very appreciated characteristics for different reasons.
- The disposition vìs to Vìs (there are no positions that increase the regression)
- The clarifications and suggestions of the therapist (cognitive therapists talk a lot, explain, ask questions, provide answers)
- The validation of suffering and empathy
All of these make it a positive experience of self-knowledge, personal growth and change. The person is actively involved in the treatment. Trained to identify what prevents him/her from reaching his/her own personal purposes, and what feeds the problem. The reasoning styles and the disadaptive behaviors. Everything takes place within a collaborative climate and based on the concrete internal subjective experience in every facet. What happens when it happens, how it happens. What are the factors and variables in play, where do they come from, which experiences have originated the cognitive and behavioural characteristics of the individual.
What characterizes the cognitive-behavioral approach is the cooperative involvement of the patient in the process of remission from the symptoms. After a first moment of assessment of the problem, the client is instructed to identify his/her own negative automatic thoughts and disadaptive behaviors. These in fact affect the emotional reactions. Homeworks, or homework, are a central part of the job.
Through the out-of-session experimentation of alternative behaviors one can appreciate in first person the reduction of the psychological symptoms.
Everything focuses on questionning any biased or unreasonable belief.
Inside the critical situations the person tends to put in place, in a completely unconscious way, some defensive behaviors.
In the long term they prevent a full awareness of their own experience and contribute to the maintenance of problems.
The perception on the part of the client/patient is to recognize finally a sense in what is making him/her suffering. Not a trivial fact when you are passing throughout emotional discomfort.
During time, and once achieved the agreed objectives (management of anxiety and panic, increasing in mood etc…) the therapeutic work goes deeper into the history of life and childhood.
This is for cognitive and therapeutic purposes. Also to stabilize the results and prevent future relapses.
At the origin of the vulnerabilities of psychic order we find almost indiscriminately remote events in the history of development of the individual.