Dr. Ron Clavier - Clinical Services

By: Ron Clavier  09-12-2011
Keywords: Cognitive-behavioural Therapy, Thinking Patterns

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy & Counseling

Cognitive-behavioural therapy is a form of psychosocial therapy that assumes that maladaptive, or faulty, thinking patterns cause maladaptive behaviour and "negative" emotions. (Maladaptive behaviour is behaviour that is counter-productive or interferes with everyday living.) The treatment focuses on changing an individual's thoughts (cognitive patterns) in order to change his or her behaviour and emotional state. It is a recommended treatment option for a number of mental disorders, including affective (mood) disorders, personality disorders, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders, substance abuse, anxiety or panic disorder, agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  "Beyond the Surface"
Oil on Canvas
by Ron Clavier

Cognitive-behavioural therapy integrates the cognitive restructuring approach of cognitive therapy with the behavioural modification techniques of behavioural therapy. The therapist works with the patient to identify both the thoughts and the behaviours that are causing distress, and to change those thoughts in order to readjust the behaviour. In some cases, the patient may have certain fundamental core beliefs, called schemas, which are flawed and require modification.

Cognitive therapy assumes that maladaptive behaviours and disturbed mood or emotions are the result of inappropriate or irrational thinking patterns, called automatic thoughts. Instead of reacting to the reality of a situation, an individual reacts to his or her own distorted viewpoint of the situation.

In my own approach to this, I utilize my knowledge of brain mechanisms involved in the acquisition of beliefs. I explain to my clients the neural basis of: sensation, perception emotion, and memory formation. I utilize common, simple language to explain complex events. In this way, I am often able to take away the fear many people have that their thought or behaviours are the product of “mental illness”.

Behavioural therapy, or behaviour modification, trains individuals to replace undesirable behaviours with healthier behavioural patterns. Unlike psychodynamic therapies, it does not focus on uncovering or understanding the unconscious motivations that may be behind the maladaptive behaviour. In other words, strictly behavioural therapists don't try to find out why their patients behave the way they do, they just teach them to change the behaviour.

Keywords: Cognitive-behavioural Therapy, Thinking Patterns

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