Cognitive Therapy in the Treatment of Depression
The cognitive model of depression originated in a series of studies of clinical depression conducted by Beck in the late 1950s. Although these studies arose from the desire to secure empirical evidence in support of psychoanalytic theories of depression, the psychoanalytic model proved difficult to confirm empirically. Rather, the data suggested an alternate formulation, namely, that the depressed patient was characterized by a particular kind of thinking: he tended to regard himself as a “loser.” The dreams he reported, his early memories, his responses to projective tests, and the material he generated in a clinical setting all tended to reflect certain stereotyped themes: he saw himself as a person who was continually deprived, frustrated, and thwarted, whose prospects were dim, and who had little chance of improving them. Beck also observed that depressed patients made certain logical errors—among them overgeneralization, arbitrary inference, and selective abstraction. Beck concluded that the negative thinking typical of the depressed patient—his negative bias in interpreting events—might underlie his depressed moods. It followed that correcting this thinking might then improve the mood and other symptoms of depression (Beck, 1967/1972).
KeywordsDepressed Patient Depressed Mood Cognitive Model Cognitive Therapy Automatic Thought
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Beck, A. T. Thinking and depression: 1. Idiosyncratic content and cognitive distortions. Archives of General Psychiatry, 1963, 8, 324–333.Google Scholar
- Beck, A. T. Depression: Clinical, experimental, and theoretical aspects. New York: Harper & Row, 1967. (Republished as Depression: Causes and treatment. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1972.)Google Scholar
- Beck, A. T. The phenomena of depression: A synthesis. In D. Offer & D. X. Freedman (Eds.), Modern psychiatry and clinical research: Essays in honor of Roy R. Grinker, Sr. New York: Basic Books, 1972.Google Scholar
- Beck, A. T. The development of depression: A cognitive model. In R. Friedman & M. M. Katz (Eds.), The psychology of depression: Contemporary theory and research. Washington, D. C.: Winston-Wiley, 1974.Google Scholar
- Beck, A. T. Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. New York: International Universities Press, 1976.Google Scholar
- DeMonbreun, B. G., & Craighead, W. E. Perception and recall of evaluative feedback by depressed and nondepressed persons. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 1982.Google Scholar
- Ellis, A. Reason and emotion in psychotherapy. New York: Lyle Stuart, 1962.Google Scholar
- Loeb, A., Beck, A. T., Diggory, J. C., & Tuthill, R. Expectancy level of aspiration, performance, and self-evaluation in depression. Proceedings of the 75th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, 1967, 2, 193–194.Google Scholar
- Nelson, R. E., & Craighead, W. E. Perception of reinforcement, self-reinforcement, and depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1982.Google Scholar
- Rizley, R. C. The perception of causality in depression: An attributional analysis of two cognitive theories of depression. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Yale University, 1976.Google Scholar