Psychological Treatment Cognitive Therapy Techniques Cognitive therapists try to change their clients’ ways of thinking. In therapy, clients learn to identify automatic negative thoughts and the assumptions they make about the world. Automatic thoughts are self-defeating judgments that people make about themselves. Clients learn to see these judgments as unrealistic and to consider other interpretations for events they encounter. Rational-Emotive Therapy Rational-emotive therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy started by the psychologist Albert Ellis . In this therapy, the therapist directly challenges the client’s irrational beliefs. Ellis’s therapy hinges on the idea that people’s feelings are influenced not by negative events but by their catastrophic thoughts and beliefs about these events. Ellis points out that catastrophic thinking is based on irrational assumptions about what one must do or be. His therapy aims to identify catastrophic thinking and change the irrational assumptions that underlie it.
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