According to Beck’s cognitive therapy, psychological problems are caused by distorted patterns of thinking, which lead to negative emotions and behaviors. These patterns are the result of cognitive distortions, such as overgeneralizing, catastrophizing, and personalizing. Cognitive therapy helps people identify and change these distorted patterns of thinking in order to reduce their psychological distress.
Beck’s cognitive triad
Beck’s cognitive triadalso known as negative triad, is a cognitive-therapeutic view of the three key elements of a person’s belief system in depression. It was proposed by Aaron Beck in 1967. The triad forms part of his cognitive theory of depression and the concept is used as part of TCCparticularly in “Treating Negative Automatic Thoughts“(TNAT) approach.
The triad involves “automatic, spontaneous, and seemingly uncontrollable negative thoughts” about:
Examples of this negative thinking include:
- The self – “I am useless and ugly” or “I wish I were different”
- The world – “Nobody values me” or “People ignore me all the time”
- The future – “I’m desperate because things will never change” or “Things can only get worse!”
Beck’s cognitive model of depression
from a cognitive perspective, depressive disorders are characterized by dysfunctional negative views of themselves, their life experience (and the world in general) and their future – the cognitive triad.
People with depression often see themselves as unlovable, helpless, doomed, or disabled. They tend to attribute their unpleasant experiences to their supposed physical, mental and/or moral deficits. They tend to feel overly guilty, believing them to be worthless, blameworthy, and rejected by themselves and others. They can have a very hard time seeing themselves as people who could succeed, be accepted or feel good about themselves, and this can lead to withdrawal and isolation, which further worsens their mood.
Examples of some of the cognitive biases used by depressed individuals, according to cognitive theories including Beck’s cognitive model. People with depression can be taught to identify and change these biases as part of Cognitive behavioral therapy.
Beck proposes that those with depression develop cognitive distortionsa type of cognitive bias sometimes also referred to as faulty or unhelpful thinking patterns. Beck has referred to some of these biases as “automatic thoughts,” suggesting that they are not fully under control. conscious to control. People with depression tend to be quick to dismiss their positive attributes and dismiss their accomplishments as minor or meaningless. They may also misinterpret the care, goodwill, and concern of others as being based on feather or likely to be easily lost if these others knew the “real person” and this feeds more feelings of fault. The main cognitive distortions according to Beck are summarized below:
- arbitrary inference – drawing conclusions from insufficient or non-existent evidence.
- selective abstraction – drawing conclusions based on just one of the many elements of a situation.
- overgeneralization – draw comprehensive conclusions based on a single event.
- Enlargement – exaggerate the significance of an undesirable event.
- minimization – underestimate the significance of a positive event.
- Personalization – attributing negative feelings of others to oneself.
Depressed people see their lives as devoid of pleasure or reward, presenting insurmountable obstacles to achieving your important goals. This usually manifests itself as a lack of motivation and it leads the depressed person to feel even more withdrawn and isolated, as he may be seen as lazy by others. Everything looks and feels “too hard to manage” and other people are seen as punitive (or potentially punitive). They believe that their problems will continue indefinitely and that the future will only bring more hardship, deprivation and frustration. “Will paralysis” results from the experience of depressed patients pessimism and hopelessness. Expecting their efforts to end in failure, they are reluctant to commit to growth-oriented goals, and their activity level drops. Believing that they cannot affect the outcome of various situations, they experience a desire to avoid such situations.
Suicidal cravings are seen as an extreme expression of the desire to get away from problems that seem uncontrollable, endless and unbearable.
Beck also believed that a depressed person, often from childhood experiences, retains a negative feeling. self-schema. This schema can stem from negative early experiences such as criticism, abuse, or bullying. Beck suggests that people with negative self-schemas tend to interpret information presented to them in a negative way, leading to the cognitive distortions described above. The pessimistic explanatory stylethat describes the way in which the depressed person or neurotic people react negatively to certain events is an example of the effect of these schemas on self image. This explanatory style involves blaming yourself for negative events beyond your control or the behavior of others (personalization), believing that such events will continue forever and letting those events significantly affect their emotional well-being.
Measuring aspects of the triad
Several instruments have been developed to try to measure negative cognition in the three areas of the triad. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a well-known questionnaire for scoring depression based on all three aspects of the triad. Other examples include the Beck Hopelessness Scale to measure thoughts about the future and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale to measure views of yourself. The Cognitive Triad Inventory (CTI) was developed by Beckham and others try to systematically measure the three aspects of Beck’s triad. The CTI aims to quantify the relationship between “therapist behavior in a single treatment session with changes in the cognitive triad” and “patterns of changes in the triad with changes in general depressed mood“. This inventory has already been adapted for use with children and adolescents in the CTI-C, developed by Kaslow and others
- pessimistic explanatory style
- cognitive therapy
- cognitive behavioral therapy
- cognitive bias
- automatic negative thoughts
- attentional bias
Source: Beck’s cognitive triad
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