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DSST Fundamentals of counseling

An arbitrary inference is one made when a person

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An arbitrary inference is one made when a person feels helpless or worthless based on an arbitrary event, such as feeling like a failure because they washed the car on a day that it rained. This is one of the biased ways that individuals with depression think. The other biased ways of thinking are selective abstraction, overgeneralization, and magnification/minimization. Beck's cognitive therapy contends that people with emotional disturbances operate with schemas that are impossible to live with and focuses on having the patient analyze these schemas. Beck's cognitive therapy is based on engaging the patient in an examination of the schemas, which allows the patient to recognize that there is no evidence to support the schemas. Several studies have shown that Beck's cognitive therapy is effective at treating depression. Cognitive Theory is a system developed by Aaron Beck that emphasizes the role of thinking on one’s actions and behaviors. Cognitive therapy (CT) is characterized by its attention to details and the dissection of the role that thinking plays on the actions of an individual. While psychoanalysis is based on the idea that a person’s unconscious beliefs affect behavior, Beck concentrated on automatic thoughts and beliefs that lead to distress. Essential to the theory of Cognitive therapy is the idea of Automatic thoughts. Automatic thoughts are not unconscious but they occur spontaneously without effort or choice. These automatic thoughts are representative of the deep-seated beliefs we have and they contribute significantly to the way we react to various events or situations or people. In Cognitive Therapy, the way that a person views the world and his or her set of important beliefs about people, events, and the environment form cognitive schemas. These cognitive schemas can be either positive or negative and the effect they have depends on the situation. Example: A person believes that hard work gives a person value and purpose. This cognitive schema is positive for the time that the person is actually working. When that person is no longer working due to a lay-off, retirement, disability, etc… that same schema works negatively and creates feelings of depression and worthlessness. Cognitive schemas are formed early in life and are based on personal experience and interaction with others. In cognitive therapy the approach is collaborative whereby the counselor and client work together to change patterns of thinking that interfere with the client’s goals. Assessment methods often involve keeping logs and tracking feelings and behaviors in order to identify patterns. The counselor and client then work together to create a plan to change the thoughts that will change the patterns of behavior.
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