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support for this approach. Although research does suggest that client-centered therapy
is usually more helpful to anxious clients than no treatment, the approach is only
sometimes superior to placebo therapy (Prochaska & Norcross, 2006, 2003). In addition, researchers have found, at best, only limited support for Rogers’s explanation of
generalized anxiety disorder and other forms of abnormal behavior. Nor have other
humanistic theories and treatment received much research support. ComFun6e_Ch04_C!.indd 99 •client-centered therapy•The human- istic therapy developed by Carl Rogers
in which clinicians try to help clients by
being accepting, empathizing accurately,
and conveying genuineness. 12/10/09 11:16:05 AM 100 ://CHAPTER 4 24%
worry less than
1 minute 38%
minutes The Cognitive Perspective
Followers of the cognitive model suggest that psychological problems are often caused by
dysfunctional ways of thinking. Given that excessive worry—a cognitive symptom—is
a key characteristic of generalized anxiety disorder (see Figure 4-2), it is not surprising
that cognitive theorists have had much to say about the causes of and treatments for this
particular disorder (Ritter et al., 2010; Holaway, Rodebaugh, & Heimberg, 2006). Maladaptive Assumptions Initially, cognitive theorists suggested that generalized
anxiety disorder is primarily caused by maladaptive assumptions, a notion that continues to
be influential. Albert Ellis, for example, proposed that many people are guided by irrational beliefs that lead them to act and react in inappropriate ways (Ellis, 2008, 2002, 1962).
Ellis called these basic irrational assumptions, and he claimed that people with generalized anxiety disorder often hold the following ones:
1–2 hours 9%
or more Figure 4-2 How long do your worries last? In one
survey, 62 percent of college students said
they spend less than 10 minutes at a time
worrying about something. In contrast,
20 percent worry for more than an hour.
(Adapted from Tallis et al., 1994.) table: 4 -3 Worrying about Worrying:
Items from the Metaworry
I am going crazy with worry.
My worrying will escalate and I’ll
cease to function.
I’m making myself ill with worry.
I’m abnormal for worrying.
My mind can’t take the worrying.
I’m losing out in life because of
My body can’t take the worrying.
Source: Wells, 2005. ComFun6e_Ch04_C!.indd 100 “It is a dire necessity for an adult human being to be loved or approved of by
virtually every significant other person in his community.”
“It is awful and catastrophic when things are not the way one would very much
like them to be.”
“If something is or may be dangerous or fearsome, one should be terribly concerned about it and should keep dwelling on the possibility of its occurring.”
“One should be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving in all possible
respects if one is to consider oneself worthwhile.”
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