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For ease of remembering, these steps are identified by the first letters of the alphabet: A, B, C, D, and E.In Ellis' scheme the "A" stands for Activating experiences, such as interpersonal relationship problems, work stresses or dissatisfaction, memories of early childhood traumas, and other situations that a person views as immediate sources of unhappiness.
*** Interested in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), self-help tips, and improving personal health? Meta‐analysis of homework effects in cognitive and behavioral therapy: A replication and extension. Quantity and quality of homework compliance: a meta-analysis of relations with outcome in cognitive behavior therapy.
Connect with me on Twitter (@joelminden) or Facebook. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 17(2), 144-156.
During therapy sessions, cognitive therapists will teach patients how to Dispute (e.g., the "D" step) the irrational beliefs, so that they may develop positive psychological Effects (the "E" step) of rational beliefs.
Though the above ABCDE scheme is due to Ellis, a therapist working according to Aaron Beck's version of CBT would teach essentially the same procedure.Developed collaboratively during therapy sessions, homework assignments may be used by clients to rehearse new skills, practice coping strategies, and restructure destructive beliefs.Although some clients believe that the effectiveness of psychotherapy depends on the quality of in-session work, consistent homework during the rest of the week may be even more important.CBT therapists determine whether patients' behaviors are problematic or if they appear to have skill or coping deficits.Therapists then recommend alternative behaviors as appropriate, and educate patients in missing skill sets.Research on homework in therapy has revealed some meaningful results that can be understood collectively through a procedure called meta-analysis.A meta-analysis is a statistical summary of a body of research.Examples of disputing questions include: After multiple sessions of CBT training, patients learn to monitor their own thoughts and perform the disputing process on their own outside of therapy sessions.To continue with our example, the cognitive therapist would take an automatic thought generated by our depressed person such as "everyone hates me", and help her to examine the basis of that thought.Cognitive behavioral therapists teach their patients to identify debate and then correct their irrational ideas.The disputing process involves teaching patients to systematically ask and answer a set of questions designed to draw out whether particular ideas have any basis.