Article

Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 509-526

Assessment of core cognitive processes in cognitive therapy

  • Jeremy D. SafranAffiliated withCognitive Therapy Unit, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry and University of Toronto
  • , T. Michael VallisAffiliated withCognitive Therapy Unit, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry and University of Toronto
  • , Zindel V. SegalAffiliated withCognitive Therapy Unit, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry and University of Toronto
  • , Brian F. ShawAffiliated withCognitive Therapy Unit, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry and University of Toronto

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Abstract

In the practice of cognitive therapy therapists are often faced with the task of selecting a specific cognitive target for intervention. This paper outlines a theoretical rationale that will facilitate selection of targets most likely to lead to meaningful clinical change. Specific technical guidelines, designed to facilitate the therapist's efforts to identify such targets, are proposed. These guidelines derive from a proposed hierarchical model of cognitive structure, which stipulates that cognitive processes vary in terms of how central and peripheral they are with respect to overall cognitive organization.

Key words

cognitive therapy cognitive assessment cognitive processes in therapy self-reference dysfunctional attitudes automatic thoughts