Topic 2 Overview of Key CBT Theory

  • Emotions are difficult to change directly, so CBT targets emotions by changing thoughts and behaviors that are contributing to the distressing emotions.
  • CBT is utilizing the accurate understanding of thoughts to purposefully change reactions and behaviors. Internal thoughts are viewed as mechanisms for change.
  • With a deeper understanding of personal cognition and its relationship to behavior, people can change their lives through changing the way they think.

How one feels about a certain situation can cause physical and emotional feelings, resulting in varying behaviors in response.

  • CBT breaks problems down into smaller pieces to give detailed attention to each part. The techniques aid children in disrupting negative, automatic thoughts, and replacing them with more helpful ones.
  • The overall goal is to teach the skill of breaking down negative thought patterns and changing them into a more helpful approach to handling daily life.

In general, CBT includes:

  • identifying specific problems or issues in child’s daily life;
  • becoming aware of unproductive thought patterns and how they can impact child’s life;
  • identifying negative thinking and reshaping it in a way that changes how child feels;
  • learning new behaviors and putting them into practice.

CBT in dietary practice

  • CBT is based on the principle that behavior is learned (rather than inherited) and, therefore, as one learns a problematic behavior, one can also learn what is desired. Behavior is learned in three main ways.

1. Classical Conditioning Theory

Stimulus and behavior are combined after repeated exposure. A common example is the habit of eating popcorn in the cinema, which happens regardless of whether you are hungry or not.

2. Operant Reinforcement Theory -Operant Conditioning

To acquire a new behavior through factor learning, this must be followed by a reinforcing event (reinforcement – reward). For example, some people learn that eating can “soften” unpleasant feelings, making them feel comfortable eating, which increases their chances of eating whenever things go wrong.

3. Social Learning Theory

Behavior is learned through observation and imitation of patterns. Also called social learning.

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