Cognitive Behavioural School of Therapy
The Cognitive Behavioural School of Therapy can trace its roots back to the 1950’s and in particular an American psychologist named Albert Ellis who developed a therapy named REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy), he believed it was possible to ‘think yourself out of life’s difficulties’.
Ellis a keen student of philosophy developed his ideas from the teachings of the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus a Greek slave who lived (AD 55-135).
Stoicism is a philosophical belief that much of our worry is derived from external events of which we have little control; however we are able to take responsibility for ourselves through exercising self discipline and examining our motivations in life.
The philosophy of Epictetus and Stoicism can be summed up in this quote written by Epictetus himself;
‘Men are disturbed not by what happens to them, but their opinion of the things that happen.’
In other words we have the ability to think ourselves out of worry.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT was developed by an American Psychiatrist Aaron T Beck who came to prominence in the 1960’s.
Building on the idea of REBT, Beck developed the idea that the therapist as well as disputing a clients irrational thinking, could ‘educate’ them out of distress.
He developed a series of educational programs, which asked the client to check their thinking against reality. Perhaps the biggest difference between REBT and CBT is the use of worksheets and self assessments, in which the client with the help of a therapist slowly replaces negative thinking with more positive ideas of how they experience the world and themselves.