CBT’s History: Beginning From 18th Century


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a general class of psychotherapy and many approaches are in this classification. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, CBT, is a broad term for any therapeutic approach which includes the cognitive and behavioral aspects of therapy. Many different therapeutic approaches are found to be successful with certain mental disorders, but evidence has shown that there is specific benefit obtained from these types of therapies for other areas. CBT can be helpful to those who have dysfunctions in cognition, mood or behaviors.

These approaches include:

  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy,
  • Cognitive Therapy,
  • Rational Behavior Therapy,
  • Rational Living Therapy,
  • Schema Focused Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy

What Is CBT’s Goal?

The goal of therapy of any kind is to teach skills which can become long-term coping mechanisms. These skills may be very specific when appropriate to the individual, such as when helping someone with obsessive compulsive disorder learn about their own mental processes and how they work. On the other hand, the skills might not necessarily be specifically tailored for an individual in which case, general approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy might be more applicable because there are often common threads between clients who suffer from different disorders. It’s important to remember that CBT is grounded in evidence-based practice and should only be used when it provides a significant therapeutic benefit

Albert Ellis: The First Independent CBT Approach

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Albert Ellis

The first independent cognitive behavioral approach was the Rational emotive therapy (RET). Albert Ellis an American psychologist developed this theraphy in the mid-50s. Ellis developed this approach as a reaction to the disliked (ineffective and non-directive) nature of psychoanalysis. The philosophical origins of RDT range from the Stoic school to Epictetus and Markus Aurelius. In Epicetus Enchiridion, “ Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things ”. The most influential contemporary psychotherapist in the development of RDTis Alfred Adler, the developer of Individual Psychology.

In the sixties, Aaron Beck, a Doctor of Medicine, developed an approach called Cognitive Therapy. This therapy approach has become known for its proven effectiveness in the treatment of depression in many studies. This approach for the treatment of depression is also useful in the treatment of many mental disorders in a short time. A cognitive approach was developed for each mental disorder and hundreds of researches were conducted in the field of theory and effectiveness. David Burns, one of Beck’s co-workers, also wrote a self-help book; Feeling good. It’s about cognitive behavioral approaches and techniques, and contributed to the spread of this approach.,

John Broadus Watson is an American psychologist who created the first psychology experiment in 1913. He was a pioneer of behaviorism, as well as one which believes that humans are shaped by their environment and upbringing. This theory has been revised many times over the years and has now led to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is currently used for treatment and therapy of mental disorders and behaviours.

John Broadus Watson is known for the “psychology of behaviorism”. He was one of America’s most influential psychologists in his lifetime. The founder of American psychology, he developed at length the idea that behavior can be studied scientifically without recourse to speculation about hypothetical events inside the mind–for example, mental images, thoughts or feelings.

His innovative techniques in behavior therapy broke new ground in starting with observable behaviors and tracking these back to their emotional roots; in short, it shows how you’re feeling! This provides a greater opportunity for changing old patterns of thinking and behaving. His approach has helped millions better understand themselves and take control over actions that are affecting their daily lives – what you think determines what you do!

Last Updated on September 25, 2021 by Patric Johnson

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Currently studying psychology and researching cognitive behavioral therapy. Also have studied comprative literature,interested in gender studies,.

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