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Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

is an approach which teaches clients and therapists how to alter the way difficult private experiences function mentally rather than trying to eliminate them from occurring at all. Based on Relational Frame Theory, ACT illustrates the constraining nature of language and how it can ensnare and restrict one’s awareness of choice in any given situation.


Behaviour Therapy (BT)

The earliest of the behavioural and cognitive therapies is an approach derived from the application of the theories of behaviour, specifically classical and operant conditioning. Recently it has been claimed that the behavioural components are the effective mechanisms in the cognitive behavioural treatments for depression (Jacobsen et al 2001).


Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT)

Developed by Paul Gilbert, CFT follows a behavioural approach and is based in the evolutionary and bio-psychosocial models of psychological distress. The therapy targets self-criticism and shame, employing compassionate mind training, as it is recognised that positive emotions will not necessarily be activated by only reducing the negative ones.


Cognitive Therapy (CT)

Based on A.T. Beck’s (1967) theory that one’s affect and behaviour are determined by the way in which one applies structure to the world. This structure is based on interpretations and assumptions developed from personal experience which often conflicts with a sense of external reality.


Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

is an innovative method of treatment that has been developed specifically to treat patients diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder in a way which is optimistic and which preserves the morale of the therapist. It integrates proven techniques from cognitive and behavioural therapies within a philosophical and theoretical framework for understanding borderline pathology.


Mindfulness based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

is based on the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) developed by Jon Kabat Zinn in 1979 for patients with chronic pain, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders, as well as for psychological problems such as anxiety and panic. Mindfulness- based Cognitive Therapy grew from this work. Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale adapted the MBSR program so it could be used especially for people who had suffered repeated bouts of depression in their lives.


Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)

Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy was developed by Dr Albert Ellis in 1955. As such, it was the first form of cognitive behavioural therapy to be developed. It stemmed from Dr Ellis’s keen interest in philosophy, including the ancient Stoic philosophers, and his recognition of the limited application of more traditional forms of psychotherapy.


Stress Inoculation Training (SIT)

is a three stage procedure carried out with the help of a therapist. Developed by Meichenbaum in the 1960s, it is a form of cognitive restructuring as it is a method of changing an individual’s thinking patterns about themselves and their lives. It is based on the assumption that people experience stress because they interpret events or situations catastrophically and think in a predominantly negative style.