Cognitive Behavioral Approach to Stress

  • Kyung Bong Koh


The necessity for cognitive behavioral approach is emphasized because cognition (thought) is not only playing a central mediating role in coping with stressors but also cognitive distortions are associated with the onset and maintenance of psychopathology. The goal of cognitive behavioral approach is primarily to help the patient uncover his/her cognitive distortions but is ultimately to identify maladaptive assumptions and modify them. This approach is not to cure but rather to help the patient develop better coping strategies to deal with his life and work stress. Cognitive approach includes identifying automatic thoughts and underlying maladaptive assumptions, testing automatic thoughts and maladaptive assumptions, cognitive challenge, generating alternatives and reattribution, self-instruction, and application of new assumptions. In addition, there are a variety of behavioral techniques, such as scheduling activities, mastery and pleasure, graded task assignments, behavioral rehearsal, self-reliance training, role playing, and diversion techniques.


Cognitive behavioral approach Cognition Coping with stressors Cognitive distortions Psychopathology Maladaptive assumptions Automatic thoughts Behavioral techniques 


  1. 1.
    Beck AT, Rush AJ. Cognitive therapy. In: Kaplan HI, Sadock BJ, editors. Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins; 1989. p. 1541–50.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Koh KB. Stress perception of patients with psychosomatic disorders. J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc. 1988;27:514–23.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Holroyd KA, Appel MA, Andrasik F. A cognitive-behavioral approach to psychophysiological disorders. In: Meichenbaum D, Jaremko ME, editors. Stress reduction and prevention. New York: Plenum Press; 1983. p. 219–59.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Freeman A. Cognitive therapy: an overview. In: Freeman A, Greenwood V, editors. Cognitive therapy. New York: Human Science Press; 1987. p. 19–35.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Reiser MF. Mind, brain, body: toward a convergence of psychoanalysis and neurobiology. New York: Basic Books; 1984. p. 164–85.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Koh KB. Coping with job stress. New Med J. 1992;35:11–21.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cotton DHG. Stress management: an integrated approach to therapy. New York: Brunner; 1990. p. 189–213.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Beck AT. Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. New York: Times-Mirror; 1976.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lazarus RS, Folkman S. Stress, appraisal and coping. New York: Springer; 1984.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    D’Zurilla TJ, Goldfried MR. Problem solving and behavior modification. J Abnorm Psychol. 1971;78:107–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kaplan HI, Sadock BJ. Synopsis of psychiatry: behavioral sciences and clinical psychiatry. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2003. p. 956–60.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Koh KB. Stress and psychosomatic medicine. 2nd ed. Seoul: Ilchokak; 2011. p. 331–40.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rush AJ. Cognitive therapy. In: Karasu TB, editor. The psychiatric therapies. Washington, DC: Am Psychiatric Assoc; 1984. p. 397–414.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Forsterling F. Attributional aspects of cognitive behavior modification: a theoretical approach and suggestions for technique. Cogn Ther Res. 1980;4:27–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Forsterling F. Attributional conceptions in clinical psychology. Am Psychol. 1986;41:275–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Shelton JL, Levy RL. Behavioral assignments and treatment compliance. Champaign: Research Press; 1981.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Stern RS. Treatment of a case of obsessional neurosis using thought-stopping technique. Br J Psychiatry. 1970;117:441–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Goldberg RJ. Anxiety in the medically ill. In: Stoudemire A, Fogel BS, editors. Principles of medical psychiatry. Orlando: Grune & Stratton; 1987.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Holroyd KA, Andrasik F, Westbrook T. Cognitive control of tension headache. Cogn Ther Res. 1977;1:121–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lynn SJ, Freedman RR. Transfer and evaluation in biofeedback treatment. In: Goldstein AP, Kanfer F, editors. Maximizing treatment gains: transfer enhancement in psychotherapy. New York: Academic; 1979.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Taylor SE, Brown JD. Illusion and well-being: a social psychological perspective on mental health. Psychol Bull. 1988;103:193–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Beidel DC, Turner SM. A critique of the theoretical bases of cognitive-behavioral theories and therapies. Clin Psychol Rev. 1986;6:177–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kendall PC. Cognitive processes and procedures in behavior therapy. In: Franks CM, Wilson A, Kendall PC, et al., editors. Annual review of behavior therapy, vol. 10. New York: Guilford Press; 1984. p. 123–63.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Koh KB. Stress and psychosomatic medicine. Seoul: Ilchokak; 2011. p. 263–85.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyung Bong Koh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulKorea

Personalised recommendations