Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 509–526 | Cite as

Assessment of core cognitive processes in cognitive therapy

  • Jeremy D. Safran
  • T. Michael Vallis
  • Zindel V. Segal
  • Brian F. Shaw


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 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremy D. Safran
    • 1
  • T. Michael Vallis
    • 1
  • Zindel V. Segal
    • 1
  • Brian F. Shaw
    • 1
  1. 1.Cognitive Therapy UnitClarke Institute of Psychiatry and University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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