CBT is based upon the assumptions of the cognitive model of abnormality which states that abnormally stems from incorrect thoughts and beliefs.
The main type of CBT is Rational-Emotional Therapy (RET). This therapy was developed by Albert Ellis; he believed that by correcting irrational thoughts you can remove the abnormality. It has recently been renamed Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT).
RET helps the patient understand that his thought processes are irrational, and the consequences of these faulty thought processes.
It then helps them to recognise any “self-defeating” (thoughts that are irrationally negative towards yourself).
Over time the patient will then learn to move from irrational to rational thoughts.
+ Effectiveness – RET has done well in outcome studies (tests that designed to measure effectiveness of treatments). Engels et al (1993) said that RET is an effective treatment for a number of different disorders, which include OCD and social phobia.
+ Useful for a wider population – RET isn’t just useful for people who have “clinical” problems (abnormalities such as long-term anxiety or severe phobias) but it is also appropriate for people who suffer from small “non-clinical” problems such as exam stress or lack of assertiveness
– Irrational environments; not just thoughts – RET fails to deal with problems outside of irrational thoughts, such as irrational environments (bullying etc.). Because of this the irrational environment will continue to produce irrational thoughts, even if RET is attempting to rationalise these thoughts.
– Not suitable for everyone – RET does not always work. Ellis said that this is because the people undergoing it do not follow the procedure, either because they don’t want to be given such blunt advice by therapists or they struggle to but their revised beliefs into action
– Ethical Issue of Religion – Some therapist might regard a certain religious belief as being an irrational thought, however to the patient this is a vital belief, so being told it is “irrational” could be highly upsetting.