Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Psychologist Research Findings | GroundWork Counseling, Orlando
At GroundWork Counseling in Orlando, many of our clients seek treatment for depression. Depression can affect women, men, children and teens and can have a negative effect on the functioning of the entire family. Whereas everyone can feel depressed, low, and irritable or become easily upset for a few days or a week, for some individuals, the symptoms of depression worsen and become a more serious problem.
Psychologists, counselors and therapists that specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy will agree that negative thoughts greatly contribute to regular moods of depression. Many depressed individuals preoccupy themselves with negative thoughts such as “I can’t take this anymore”, “I must do everything perfectly”, “My life is going terribly”, “No matter how hard I try, I cannot get ahead”, and “I can’t stand it that they don’t like me”. Interestingly, most people persistently think these thoughts without even being aware of doing so. Renowned CBT psychologists Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck, refer to such thought patterns as irrational thoughts, maladaptive thoughts, irrational thoughts or cognitive distortions. These psychologists assert that depressed individuals tend to have irrational negative beliefs and expectations about themselves, their future and the world and that they tend to hold on to these irrational expectations and ideas no matter what happens. These renowned CBT psychologists state that such distorted thinking leads to negative moods, which then increases the likelihood of even more negative thinking.
In order to assess whether a person is depressed, the Beck Depression Inventory, created by psychologist Dr. Aaron Beck, is often utilized. The test, which consists of 21 multiple-choice questions, is one of the most widely used testing instruments and is often administered by psychologist, counselors and therapists to assess the severity of depressive symptoms in their clients. The test is considered to be statistically relevant and very reliable and it meets all standards for Psychological Testing. A 2001 study by psychologists Boury, Treadwell & Kumar, that utilized the Beck Depression test confirmed that depressed individuals consistently interpret their experiences in a negative manner and focus on the negative aspects of most situations, which leads to feeling hopeless about the future, thus the psychological study found a direct correlation between the number of negative thoughts and the severity of the individual’s depressive symptoms. The test asks you to choose a statement from a group of four statements that best describes how you have been feeling. It then helps psychologist and therapist rank your level of depression from normal ups and downs, mild to moderate, moderate to severe or severe.
Below is an example / sample of a portion of this inventory.
0 I do not feel bad.
1 I feel sad.
2 I am sad all of the time and I can’t snap out of it.
3 I am so sad or unhappy that I cannot stand it.
0 I am not particularly discouraged about the future.
1 I feel discouraged about the future.
2 I feel I have nothing to look forward to.
3 I feel that the future is hopeless and that things cannot improve
0 I do not feel like a failure.
1 I feel I have failed more than the average person.
2 As I look back on my life, all I can see is a lot of failure.
3 I feel I am a complete failure as a person.
At GroundWork Counseling in Orlando, therapists utilize the Beck Depression Scale created by psychologist Aaron Beck, to assess depression in their clients. Scores on the Beck Depression Scale can help psychologists and therapists determine an individual’s level of depression so that together they can develop an action plan and treatment goals that teaches the individual to modify their unhelpful thinking.
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