General Characteristics Of Cognitive Therapy Therapeutic Relationship

The therapeutic relationship has long been recognized as an important aspect of CT (Beck et al., 1979;J. S. Beck, 1995). CT is not something that is done to patients; it is a treatment that is done with them. Thus, CT emphasizes the development of a good working alliance between therapist and patient, and a collaborative partnership as the ideal way of working together. There are several ways in which the CT therapist tries to develop this type of relationship. First, the therapist enters the treatment process with an attitude of empathy and respect. Cognitive therapists recognize that depressed patients often come to treatment with a sense of personal failure and a need for help. The therapist conveys concern and caring, and an optimism that derives from both a general conviction that CT for depression is effective and competence with the approach. At the same time, another common perspective in CT is that the patient is the expert on his/her own life. Thus, though the cognitive therapist has knowledge and expertise, the patient's opinions need to be understood and respected, because it is he/she who has to implement any therapy ideas in the context of his/her life.

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