ABCD model of therapy

Q. Explain how one’s cognitive make up influences his mental health and happiness. If cognition is not in normal shape, how could it be modified using Ellis’model of rational emotive therapy. 15 Marks

7 thoughts on “ABCD model of therapy”

  1. COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGISTS belive that Cognitive makeup of a person is said to be in normal shape when
    1)he is able to think rational and logical.
    2)he can control his emotions and behaviour with realistic and critical explaination.
    3)dont do unnecessary over generalsation.
    4)real and ideal selves are same.
    5)he will be flexible in his approach.
    These qualities allow person to be more mentally strong ,can control their emotions better ,and will make them feel happy.

    ROGER’S THEORY says that the more person’s real and ideal selves match,more will be the happiness.
    People with strong cognitive makeup takes good and APPROPIATE DECISION.
    As cognitive psychologists says logical person could SOLVE life’s PROBLEM in more realistic and rationally way.
    RESEARCHES also says when we feel happy,our body produces more happy harmone which is OXYTONIN.
    OXYTONIN not only make us feel happy,it also impact our productivity ,sleep pattern and satisfaction level.

    What if our cognitive makeup is not in shape ?
    We will be always confuse and will not be able to take quick decisions,will not be able to handle our emotions properly,
    BIOLOGICAL STUDIES shows that it can make us anxious and further it can turn into MENTAL ILLNESS like panic attacks ,bipolar thinking ,depression and many more.

    So,the question is how we can tackle with this problem ?
    Although there are several ways,but here we will talk about ELLI’S MODEL of rational emotive behavioral therapy:
    •In this ,therapist try to take a very directive role.
    •They challenge the client’s irrational beliefs with more rational,helpful statements.

    Eg:
    Client:Everyone should love and approve of me .
    Therapist:Is it necessary that we will get love and affection of every single person?

    So,in this therapist is challenging client’s irrational thought and make him feel that life can be good without being ‘perfect’.

    They also focus that client should rethink on ‘my way or nothing’ statements so that he could think more rationally.

  2. Human cognition is thinking, understand and interpreting ourselves and our environment. It is subjective in nature ie. how a one person understand itself and environment is not same as other. Cognition contains various process like thinking, learning, reasoning, beliefs,language etc. These various factors determine how a human perceives the things. For eg a person who repeatedly failed in exam might see his/herself in negative light and forms a view of not being good enough, can’t take an exam ever in their life. This might bring the person at verge of being depressed and form irrational beliefs. Such thinking act as an stressor for a person which creates lot of stress and can cause mental disorder like depression. other person might take it as a challenge and hold positive attitude. Positive attitude will maintain positive thoughts which is good for general health and happiness.

    Ellis strongly believed that problem didn’t lie in the event but in interpretation of the event. He believed people should think, understand and dispute their irrational beliefs. Ellis described four steps to break the cycle of irrational thinking. He gave ABCD therapy approach. A stands for activating agent(trigger), B for beliefs, C for consequences, D for dispute. The therapy starts with disturbing thoughts and emotion ie C caused by A(event). For eg an employee who worked hard whole year was expecting pay raise suddenly feels depressed (C)on realising that it might get laid off due to financial crisis (A). Ellis use the technique to make people realise that C is not caused by A but by B. Here irrational beliefs are too high expectations and certainty of getting higher pay. D is disputing these beliefs, challenging one’s unhelpful belief system. Here, the person would made to challenge its beliefs of entitlement to raise, why it is so disastrous and can’t cope if it doesn’t happen. By challenging person get enlightened about its own thought process and works on rational line under light of reasoning and empirical evidences.

  3. Mental health and happiness are not purely influenced by external factors such as supportive family, money, job etc., Internal factor such as cognitive framework also plays a crucial role as can be seen below.
    1. Belief system : Rational beliefs contribute to healthy thinking, healthy practises and thus mental well being. Irrational beliefs lead to mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse etc., eg: I have no control over anything.
    2. Lack of information and knowledge causes distress and affects mental health. Eg: knowledge about a disease can lead to early medical intervention preventing depression at later stage,
    3. Role of memory : A depressed mind retrieves negative memories and a happy mind retrieves positive memories thus affecting mental health(state dependent retrieval)
    4. Perception : Presence of same stressor can cause distress in one person whereas not in other because of the difference in perception(mischel’s cognitive affective personality system).
    5. Attentional issues lead to disorders such as schizophrenia whereas Mindfulness training(yoga) boosts mental health.
    6. Thought pattern : primitive thinking and negative cognitive triad in one’s cognitive schema causes depression(Beck) whereas realistic, positive thinking contributes to mental health and well being.
    7. Reasoning: Logical reasoning contribute to healthy mind whereas illogical reasoning causes distress.
    Ellis proposed the ABCD model to resolve cognitive issues underlying psychological disorders.
    Approach :
    Irrational beliefs in one’s cognitive framework is the root cause of mental disorders. Thus, rationalising the beliefs will eliminate the disorder.
    The model :
    Antecedent event(A) -> Irrational beliefs(B) -> Consequences(C)->Dispute the beliefs(D)
    A is the triggering event. Eg: rejection of love proposal, failure in an exam
    B is the “should” and “must” thoughts eg: I should be loved by all. I must never fail.
    C is the negative emotion/behavior causing distress eg: sadness, anger.
    D is the method adopted by therapist to create insight to the client on his/her irrational beliefs.
    Cognitive modification Procedure :
    ABC analysis : The client is initially unaware of the underlying irrational beliefs. He presumes the cause of mental health issue to be because of the triggering event. (A->C). The therapist notes down A and C and tries to find out the irrational belief through questionnaires and interview.
    Non directive questioning disputing the beliefs : the therapist questions the beliefs as in “why should you be loved by all?” “Why is it so terrible to fail”. These questions helps the client get a deeper understanding that the beliefs are unrealistic and gradually modifies it to rational realistic beliefs, thus fixing the root cause.
    Thus, Ellis RET modifies faulty cognition through rationalisation.

  4. Human cognition refers to the knowledge and understanding of oneself and the environment around one. Cognitive makeup of a person includes his ability to think, process, analyse and understand information as well as his beliefs and values. The influence it has on his mental health and happiness is of immense importance in dealing with psychological disorders. A person’s cognitive makeup will determine how he analyses any information presented to him, whether he focuses on the negative aspect more or the positive as well as the nature of his belief system, i.e. if he holds rational beliefs about himself and the society or not.
    E.g: If a person believes he is entitled to be appraised positively by his peers, teachers and parents in everything he does, any dissonance to this belief may lead to a disorder affecting his mental health.
    Cognitive behavior therapy focuses on teaching people effective ways of interpreting their experiences so that such emotional reactions, as depression and anxiety, can be controlled. Albert Ellis proposed the rational emotive therapy as a way to modify the irrational beliefs by challenging it with more rational statements. Studies have shown that it is an innate tendency of humans to focus on the negative aspects of an experience rather than positive. Sometimes people maximise the negativity and overgeneralise it leading to feeling of unhappiness and unworthiness. Ellis’ psychotherapy technique challenged the belief system of the patients.
    Eg: A person believes he is unworthy because he disappoints everyone in his life
    Procedure of modification: Ellis broke down the problem into ABCD components wherein
    A: Antecedent event (Disappointing everyone)
    B: Irrational Belief (I need to please everyone)
    C: Consequence (Feeling of unworthiness)
    D: Dispute (Challenging the belief by rationalisation)
    The patient expresses his emotion of unworthiness (C) and states that this is because of the event (A). The therapist through gradual conversation tries to identify the irrational belief that is the root cause of this disorder. When he identifies the irrationality, the therapist may gradually challenge the current belief by asking the patient why he thinks it is important to please everyone and whether it is possible to do so? Does his worth depend on how many people he pleases or on whether he is content and happy in his life? This will lead to the patient gaining insight into the problem and the therapist helps modify the irrational belief to an alternative, more rational belief.

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