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3. Schizophrenia - Psychological Therapies > Cognitive Behaviour Therapy > Flashcards

Flashcards in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Deck (10)
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What is cognitive behaviour therapy?

A method for treating mental disorder based on both cognitive and behavioural techniques. The basic assumption of CBT is that people have distorted beliefs which influence their feelings and behaviours in negative ways. CBT aims to identity these irrational beliefs and change them. It helps people with schizophrenia establish links between their thoughts and symptoms, understanding where their symptoms come from can help to reduce anxiety.


What are the 4 stages of CBT?

1. Identification of belief
2. Challenge belief
3. Developing alternative explanations
4. The behavioural component


What happens in the first stage of CBT, identification of belief?

The first stage is to identify the irrational belief


What happens in the second stage of CBT, challenge belief?

To challenge the belief by looking at the evidence the patient is using to support them
• They are encouraged to think back to when their beliefs first started to try and help them gain a better understanding of how the symptoms might have developed.
• They are questioned to help them understand their illogical deductions


What happens in the third stage of CBT, developing alternative explanations?

The therapist lets the patient develop their own alternative explanations for their previously unhealthy assumptions, ideally by looking for alternative explanations and coping strategies that are already present in the patients mind.


What happens in the fourth stage of CBT, the behavioural component?

Patients may also be set behavioural assignments to improve their general level of functioning.



Is there any evidence for the effectiveness of CBT?

The NICE review of treatment for schizophrenia found consistent evidence that CBT was effective in reducing symptom severity and rehospitalisation up to 18 months following the end of treatment when compared with antipsychotic medication alone.

This suggests there are advantages of CBT over drug treatment.

However, most studies were carried out on patients receiving drugs as well as CBT. It is difficult, therefore, to assess the effectiveness of CBT independent of antipsychotic medication.



Is CBT an active or a passive treatment?

A strength is that CBT is an active treatment as the patient plays an active role in their recovery. They are encouraged to develop their own solutions to their current thoughts and behaviours and to develop coping strategies to help them manage their condition in the future.

This is a strength over drug treatment as the the patient is given control over their own condition and is more likely to be able to help themselves, whereas with drug treatment the patient passively takes the drug and waits for the effect.



Are there any ethical issues associated with CBT?

A strength of CBT is that there are none of the side effects of drugs and therefore it is particularly useful to patients who can't take the medication.

However, CBT involved challenging a person's paranoia and this interferes with a person's freedom of thought. Some have also argued that the researcher may be somehow harming the patient in deciding what thoughts are unacceptable and then changing them.

Ethical issues such as this are a weakness of psychological treatments such as CBT.


Evaluation of CBT

Does CBT cure schizophrenia?

A weakness is the psychological treatments such as CBT do not actually cure schizophrenia.

CBT helps make the patient's life more manageable in making sense of and sometimes challenging their symptoms.

Trower et al reported that CBT did not actually reduce hallucinations but made them seem less of a threat by persuading sufferers that they 'outranked' the voices in their heads. This suggests that rather than treating the symptoms of schizophrenia, CBT teaches patient coping strategies for dealing with them.

Whilst CBT may improve the quality of life for patients, the failure to cure schizophrenia is a weakness.