Free Cognitive-Behavior Practice Theory Essay Sample

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Psychology, Behavior, Brain, Belief, Students, Theory, Human, Study

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2021/03/16

Cognitive Behavior practice theories are categories of related theories, which have been derived from, clinical experiences (Bateman, 2001). These methods reflect the role of both cognitive and behavioral approaches to helping and understanding human beings. They follow a basic principle that human behaviors are not consequences of experiences but rather a result of how these experiences are perceived (Lockman, 2001). The literature review section that follows attempt to explain the social environment, and the human behavior as well as giving an overview of the practice theory and its central assumptions. Using the provided case study I will use the cognitive-behavioral practice theory to explain the social environment and the behavior presented by the client. In the study the client shows symptoms of human functioning disorders as; having difficulties in maintaining his study routines, feeling left out of her friends and unexplained health problems. This paper looks into the human functioning disorders that have been presented in the study. For the purpose of this study I have focused on core belief and schema, and automatic thought concept and to illustrate the correlation between human behavior and cognition (Lockman, 2001).

Cognitive Behavioral Practice Literature review

The Cognitive theory was developed by Aaron T. Beck and his work mates, during early 1960s. The method was developed in with an aim of changing the patient’s thinking pattern to have positive effects on the client’s behavior (Bateman, 2001). During this time, most theorists viewed human behaviors and cognition as a product of an internal process. The theories of human functioning used are derived from the B.F. Skinner’s behaviorism theory, although more focused on describing cognitive occurrences, unlike B.F. Skinner’s which revolves around behavior analysis (Lockman, 2001). Cognitive practice theory maintains that the ways of thinking developed over time, deter an individual from viewing their environment in either a rational or constructive manner. From the debate on which one between cognition and behavior could be more significant in human functioning it was realized that both are of equal importance. In order to understand the human behavior, there is a need to analyze both. Hence, it is observed that, the emerging of the Cognitive- Behavioral practice theory as the approach recognizing both aspects as having an impact on human functioning (Bateman, 2001).
The Cognitive-behavioral approach has lead to a theory of emotional disorders. This theory holds that behavior presented is a consequence of one’s beliefs and thoughts accrued over his life span (Lockman, 2001). These views once developed tend to be the baseline for interpreting information. The theory has three assumptions; firstly, the thinking determines the way an individual reacts to the environmental issues. Secondly, cognitions can be targeted and modified intentionally, and when the change is achieved in a more realistic and rational way, the person improves his functionality and adaptability. Lastly, cognitive contents and processes are accessible and known (Beck, 2011). According to a Psychologist, David Beck individuals stated who are must often involved in unhealthy thinking habits are the most susceptible to depression, anxiety and other forms of emotional disorders if they are no interventions (Lockman, 2001).

Automatic thoughts

Dr. Aaron T. Beck, a Psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania, came up with several experiments to examine the psychoanalytic concept of depression. He realized that a depressed patient experiences spontaneous arousal of negative thoughts periodically. He referred to these thoughts as the automatic thoughts(Beck, 2011). They are defined as rapidly moving negative thoughts, words and images which flow in a person’s mind in a given event. He further categorized them into three groups as; patients negative thoughts on the world, the future, and themselves. He helped the patients in identifying and evaluating these hence, enabling the patients to view the situations with a more realistic approach. He realized, when a patient changes his view on the situation, themselves and their future, they begin to behave more functionally. He called this Cognitive behavior therapy (Bateman, 2001).

Core beliefs

Core beliefs, on the other hand, are absolute, generalized and inflexible beliefs that people carry about the world, themselves and the future (Beck, 2011). They develop from messages received over time especially during childhood and also during the stressful moments in adulthood. When one holds an inaccurate and judgmental core belief, it causes a profound effect on ones’ self-efficacy and self-concept. It further prolongs vulnerability to disturbance of moods (Bateman, 2001). The desired change and prevention against relapse will occur as a result of identification of the negative beliefs and working hand in hand with therapists using cognitive therapy strategies. It is important to note that core beliefs contract is found within the larger construct of a schema (Lockman, 2001).


Clark and Beck (1999) defined schema as the relatively enduring internal structured of stored generic or prototypical features of ideas, stimuli or experiences. These experiences are used to arrange new information in more meaningful way, determining how the surroundings are conceptualized and perceived. Schema, therefore, does not only stop at influencing what we believe but also goes ahead to determine how we process the messages we encounter in our daily life. It follows therefore that, core beliefs indicates a person schema (Beck, 2011). When a schema and its core beliefs are activated an individual process a message in bias, overlooking the information that is not consistent with the schema. According to Judy Beck, Schemas, and their core belief gives rise to intermediate beliefs. Intermediate ideas can be defined as conditional assumptions, rules, and attitudes, mostly spoken out. They contribute majorly to the way people leave and respond to the life stressors. (Beck, 2011)

Application of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

In the provided case study, the client’s name is Jackie. She is a twenty-year-old college girl at a local university. She home is in a small town in the south. The school she attends has relatively diverse characters. In her life, it is noted that, she is involved in activities that could be rather overwhelming for a full-time student at the University. She stays in an apartment, with two other women, since she does not own a car, she walks to the university. She has a part-time job as a social service to aid her pay her school fees because her family cannot afford. The student health service center referred Jackie to the university counseling center to be examined for non-medical reasons for her symptoms. She presented loss of appetite, decreased motivation in her life and school work, as well as, unexplained fatigue.

Automatic Thoughts

In the case study, we can identify, numerous negative thoughts Jackie holds against herself. For instance, she views herself as heterosexual. These thoughts have significantly affected her social life and have contributed greatly to her inability to date. She views her university experience as a disappointment. From the information provided it noticeable that Jackie had negative feelings about the college education from the initial start. She viewed it as very stressful with broad classes. She did not like her tutors who happened to be doctoral students. Jackie considers herself less smart as compared to her colleges in college. She defends her view of herself by another thought she holds; that the reason she performed in high school is because she was left two grades behind. Jackie has not been consistent in other sports, because of her negative thoughts over herself in fitting in the other teams. Jackie is already full of fears of the future, she thinks herself as a failure and is worried that she is likely to lose her scholarship in the near future. Jackie can manage several grade Bs and a few As, this shows that she can do better. However, due to the negative thoughts and feelings she holds against herself, she is unable to enjoy her college life as well as improve. Her problem can be solved by helping her identify these negative thoughts so as to be able to think more rationally and meaningfully.

Core Beliefs and Their Corresponding Schemas

Jackie’s early life experience has significantly contributed to how she feels. From the report, it is evident that Jackie has developed a core belief of not being smart. As a result, she is experiencing a difficult time in college. Her belief that she is not smart seemed to have developed as from high school. She believes that her high performance in high school was because she was two grades behind as well as being liked by her teacher. These have led her to view herself as a failure now that the factors that aided her high school performance have been removed. Her core belief of not being smart has played a core role in viewing her life experiences negatively. Her dysfunctional beliefs have been strengthened by her negative self-view


The approaches of Cognitive- behavioral theories are applied on the fundamental principle that person cognition plays a prominent role in determining his behavior. The life events responses are determined by one’s feeling and action caused by a cognitive process in form of judgments, appraisal, assumptions, and meanings. These processes can hinder or facilitate the adaptation process. The three basic assumptions can be summarized as follows: Cognitive content and processes are accessible and known. Secondly, our thinking d determines the response to the environmental problems. Lastly, it is possible to modify, target and change cognitions intentionally. This theory is therefore successfully providing an insight into human behavior and the social environment.
The theoretical concepts were chosen, the core belief, and the automatic thoughts have clearly brought out the relationship between a person and his behavior in a cognitive perspective. From the case study it is noticeable that a person’s core beliefs as well as the interpretation the world around them and themselves can result to social functioning disorders. Physical disorders, and spiritual disorders, economic and mental problems may also occur. Jackie in the case study exhibits all these dimensions of disorders. We also notice that the two concepts automatic thoughts and core beliefs can be successfully used to illustrate the idea that childhood experiences can shape the way a person view current and future events. They become the catalyst for the dysfunctional cognitive patterns, which may lead to incorrect interpretation of situations. Lastly, applying the concept in the case study has help to illustrate the fact that negative thoughts can result in a person developing unrealistic belief about themselves and their surroundings.


BATEMAN, A. W. (2001). Cognitive psychotherapy of psychotic and personality disorders: Handbook of theory and practice. edited by C. perris and P. D. McGorry. (pp. 444; £60.00.) john wiley & sons: Chichester. 2000. Psychological Medicine, 31(8), 1479-1484.
Beck, J. S. (2011). Cognitive conceptualization. In Cognitive behavior therapy: Basics and beyond (2nd ed., pp. 29-45). New York, NY: The Guilford Press
Lockman, J. J. (2001). An embodied theory of cognitive development: Within reach? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24(1), 48.

Cite this page
Choose cite format:
  • APA
  • MLA
  • Harvard
  • Vancouver
  • Chicago
  • ASA
  • IEEE
  • AMA
WePapers. (2021, March, 16) Free Cognitive-Behavior Practice Theory Essay Sample. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from
"Free Cognitive-Behavior Practice Theory Essay Sample." WePapers, 16 Mar. 2021, Accessed 30 January 2023.
WePapers. 2021. Free Cognitive-Behavior Practice Theory Essay Sample., viewed January 30 2023, <>
WePapers. Free Cognitive-Behavior Practice Theory Essay Sample. [Internet]. March 2021. [Accessed January 30, 2023]. Available from:
"Free Cognitive-Behavior Practice Theory Essay Sample." WePapers, Mar 16, 2021. Accessed January 30, 2023.
WePapers. 2021. "Free Cognitive-Behavior Practice Theory Essay Sample." Free Essay Examples - Retrieved January 30, 2023. (
"Free Cognitive-Behavior Practice Theory Essay Sample," Free Essay Examples -, 16-Mar-2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 30-Jan-2023].
Free Cognitive-Behavior Practice Theory Essay Sample. Free Essay Examples - Published Mar 16, 2021. Accessed January 30, 2023.

Share with friends using:

Related Premium Essays
Contact us
Chat now