Cognitive behavioral therapy demonstrate how to counsel a student with self-planning problems

Cognitive behavioral therapy

It is a type of psychotherapy that helps the person to change unhelpful or unhealthy habits of thinking, feeling and behaving. Is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. It is commonly used to treat anxiety and depression,but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.

Cognitivebehavioral therapycombines basic therapies about how people learn(behaviorism) with the theory about how the people think about and interpret events in their lives (cognition). Unlike some of the other talking treatments, it focuses on the “here and now” problems and difficulties.

Whilst it is often useful to discuss the past and understand how our pasts have influenced our lives and how problems have arisen, CBT mostly focuses on looking for ways to improve your mental wellbeing. CBT says that, it’s not the event which causes our emotions, but how we interpret that event – what we think or what meaning we give that event or situation (

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of talking therapy which involves identifying and challenging unhelpful thoughts and helping people learn how to modify their thinking patterns and behaviors, to improve the way they feel. CBT explores the relationship between feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. As such, it arose from two very distinct schools of psychology: behaviorism and cognitive therapy. Its roots can be traced to these two models and their subsequent merging.


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been gaining in popularity in recent years, as more people become aware of its effectiveness in treating common disorders such as anxiety and depression. CBT is not a new therapy by any means and it has a practical structure which makes it easily measurable.

Behavioral Therapy Roots

Behavioral treatment for mental disorders has been around since the early 1900’s. Skinner, Pavlov, and Watson were all early proponents of behavioral treatments. Behaviorism is based on the idea that behaviors can be measured, trained, and even changed.

It says that it is our responses to environmental stimuli that shape our behaviors.
The first part of behavioral therapy came about in the 1940s in response to the emotional adjustments faced by the many WWII veterans returning from war.

This need for effective short-term therapy for depression and anxiety coincided with a buildup of behavioral research regarding how people learn to behave and react emotionally to life situations. This challenged the psychoanalytic therapy that was popular at the time and is considered as the “first part” of CBT.

Cognitive Therapy Roots

In the early 1900s, Austrian psychotherapist Alfred Adler’s notion of basic mistakes and their role in unpleasant emotions made him one of the earliest therapists to address cognition in psychotherapy. His work inspired American psychologist Albert Ellis to develop rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) in the 1950s.

This is now considered one of the earliest forms of cognitive psychotherapy. It is based on the idea that a person’s emotional distress arises from their thoughts about an event rather than the actual event itself.

Characteristics of cognitive behavioral therapy

  • It is brief and time limited
  • It is a collaborative effort between therapist and client
  • It is based on stoic philosophy
  • It uses Socratic method
  • It is structured and directive
  • It is based on educational model
  • It is based on cognitive model of emotional response. (

Planning (also called forethought) is the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve a desired goal. It involves the creation and maintenance of a plan, such as psychological aspects that require conceptual skills.

It is deciding in advance what is to be done, when,where, how and by whom it is to be done.Planning bridges the gap from where we are to where we want to go.It includes the selection of objectives,polices,procedures and programs from among alternatives.

Counseling is the specialized services of guidance that involve helping individuals to learn more about themselves and their present situations and also future solution. OR counseling the skilled and principled use of relationships that develop self-knowledge, emotional acceptance and lead to person growth.

It is more concerned with addressing and resolving specific problems such as decision making, coping with crises, working through feelings and improving relationship with others (Mutie et al, 2011).

How well does cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) work?

CBT has been shown in clinical trials to help ease symptoms of various health problems. For example, research studies have shown that a course of CBT is just as likely to be effective as medication in treating depression and certain anxiety disorders.

There may be long-term benefits of CBT, as the techniques to combat these problems can be used for the rest of your life to help to keep symptoms away. So, for example, depression or anxiety are less likely to return (recur) in the future.

There is good research evidence too, to show that CBT can help to improve symptoms of some physical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (www.effective

The therapy recognize the importance of both behavioral and cognitive approach to understand and help human beings, as it target both behavioral and cognitive problems by using a full integration of cognitive and behavioral strategies.

It provides flexibility in treatment of client, sharing of fundamental emphasizes on the importance of cognitive working and private events as a mediator of behavioral changes (


There are techniques designed to help client to know himself and his environment so that he may act more appropriate in future problems situation. It attempt to change the mental set and process of the client through enabling him to know more about things or skills that exposing him to new way of perceiving or interpreting an issue or event.

Planning enable one to utilize the best way of executing an action by eliminating costly mistake which often come as a result of trial and error, that is planning involve decision making. Hence counselor need to teach students processes involved in decision making.


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be as effective as medication in treating some mental health problems, but it may not be successful or suitable for everyone.

Some of the advantages of CBT include:

  • it may be helpful in cases where medication alone hasn’t worked
  • it can be completed in a relatively short period of time compared to other talking therapies the highly structured nature of CBT means it can be provided in different formats, including in groups, self-help books and computer programs
  • it teaches you useful and practical strategies that can be used in everyday life – even after the treatment has finished

Some of the disadvantages of CBT to consider include:

  • you need to commit yourself to the process to get the most from it – a therapist can help and advise you, but they need your co-operation attending regular CBT sessions and carrying out any extra work between sessions can take up a lot of your time
  • it may not be suitable for people with more complex mental health needs or learning difficulties as it requires structured sessions
  • it involves confronting your emotions and anxieties – you may experience initial periods where you’re anxious or emotionally uncomfortable
  • it focuses on the individual’s capacity to change themselves (their thoughts, feelings and behaviors) – which doesn’t address any wider problems in systems or families that often have a significant impact on an individual’s health and wellbeing

Some critics also argue that because CBT only addresses current problems and focuses on specific issues, it doesn’t address the possible underlying causes of mental health conditions, such as an unhappy childhood (

Techniques involved

Assessment – this may include filling out questionnaires to help the client describe his/her particular problem and pinpoint distressing symptoms (Develop a shared understanding of the problem).

Help the student to identify and define the problem in specific term as much as possible the client will be asked to complete forms from time to time so that the client and therapist can plot his/her progress and identify problems or symptoms that need extra attention

Personal education – a therapist provides written materials (such as brochures or books) to help a client learn more about his/her particular problem. The saying ‘knowledge is power’ is a cornerstone of CBT. A good understanding of your particular psychological problem will help you to dismiss unfounded fears, which will help to ease your anxiety and other negative feelings.

Goal setting – a therapist helps a client to draw up a list of goals he/she wish to achieve from therapy (for example, a therapist may want to overcome a client’shyness in social settings). A client and his/her therapist work out practical strategies to help fulfil these goals.

To help a client or student to generate information on his interest, talents, values, achievement, personality traits and environment information like employment opportunities, type of occupation and interview procedures.

This information examine the chance of student to achieve goals formulated, to set alternative choice which are more likely to be achieved.Formulation of appropriate goals or objectives the students wants to achieve.
Practice of strategies – a client practise new strategies with the therapist.

For example, may role-play difficult social situations or realistic self-talk (how you talk to yourself in your head) to replace unhealthy or negative self-talk. Involve students examining the immediate and long terms consequences of each alternative choice if implemented and chance of consequence happening. Also clarify task involved for each alternative achievement.

Homework – a client will be expected to actively participate in his/her own therapy – for example, the therapist may ask a client to keep a diary – and may be encouraged to use the practical strategies during the course of his/her daily life and report the results to the therapist.

Allow students to choose a number of alternatives which suits his personal best need and which are more likely to be attained. Let students implement the alternatives which has high probability of success, valuable to him and has less negative consequences.  (Achebe, 1988).


CBT not only helpful to student with self-planning problems but can also be helpful in positively changing the client’s beliefs, experiences, and feelings at the present moment, and other problems like Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Depression, OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Phobias, Irritable Bowel, Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue and Eating Disorders.

Cognitive behavioral therapy demonstrate how to counsel a student with self-planning problems
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