Cognitive Behavioral and Mindfulness Approaches

Subject: Psychology
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 9
Word count: 2496
Topics: Cognitive Psychology, Adolescence, Fear


Humans have suffered from problems related to psychological disorders. Some of the psychological disorders are induced by the socio-cultural environment and would entail situations where and the individual has a negative obsession towards certain social factors. The attributes of human cognition function and processes have proven a connection to a certain mental disorder that causes a heightened level of fear and sadness. The adoption of cognitive behavioral theory and mindfulness approach in evaluating various aspects of sadness and fear is important in the development of recovery and treatment plans. The paper will explore the role of cognitive process and mindfulness in determining how social environment can influence human relations and emotional stability. Moreover, the underlying psychopathology of sadness and fear has immense contribution to the development of antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs, which assist other behavior therapy programs. The two methods would also be used in handling some types of mood disorders, for example in situations of extreme depression.

Cognitive Behavioral 

Cognitive behavioral therapy had origin from the Western countries, which culturally are inclined to harnessing the ability of science as a potential method of addressing the human health problems. Cognitive behavioral therapy approach to psychotherapy uses evaluation of social and cultural contexts in evaluating problems relating to mental health (Dobson and Dobson, 2017, p. 5).Some of the aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy include problem-solving therapy, interpersonal therapy, rational-emotional therapy, acceptance, and commitment therapy (Salkovskis, n.d, p. 145). Cognitive behavioral therapy describes the use of behavior and thought processes construct in evaluating the social problem, which contributes to fear, and sadness in an individual. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been employed in diagnosis and formulation of treatment for cases of psychological obsession and compulsion. Obsession and compulsion are some of the major causes of sadness and fear in most individuals. Obsession describes a repetitive and persistent thought, images that are intrusive, harmful, and usually indicated by high levels of distress.

On the other hand, compulsion illustrates the response to obsession and functions of behaviors or mental acts undertaken for purposes of preventing or reducing distress. The adoption of cognitive therapy in psychological counseling and psychopharmacology require an adequate understanding of the cognitive theory of emotions. The socially or physically threatening situations experienced by individuals’ causes the certain mental negative perception that evokes a negative emotional response. The negative emotional response includes anger, sadness, anger, and fear. Cognitive behavioral therapy has some elements, which would be used in handling different problems and challenges depending on client’s requirements or needs. 

Historical development of psychological treatment in practice had links to societal beliefs and practices. Consequently, cognitive-behavioral therapy was developed in an environment with different societal and cultural trends. Clinical implementation of cognitive behavioral theory treatment model has two types of assessment, which include treatment utility and diagnostic utility assessment. The diagnostic assessment uses clinical data in the formulation of patient medication program. On the other hand, treatment utility describes the extent to which an assessment leads to the realization of improved outcome. Components of the cognitive behavioral theory include skill training, functional analysis, and critical tasks. Skill training in CBT is a more individualized session, which facilitates clients to disengage from old habits, which leads to cases of distress or depression. 

The critical task is essential in CBT process since it aims at motivating the clients to embrace abstinence, teach coping skills, and help in encouraging management of painful feelings. Functional analysis is effective in assisting clients and counselors to assess high-risk conditions, which cause interpersonal difficulties. The above components help in addressing cognitive distortion problem. Some of the cognitive distortions include mindreading, negative filter, overgeneralization, labeling. Labelling describe a distortion case where an individual assigns a negative perception to others and self. In case of a negative filter, cognitive distortion a victim will have a negative view of life without consideration of positive benefits (Salkovskis, n.d, p. 169) .Sadness also affects individuals that tend to have a negative evaluation of their social and physical environment. CBT helps in understanding the working of fear and sadness through analysis of an individual emotional state and behavior, which emanates from perceptions of future threat and thought patterns (Hofmann and Reinecke, 2010, n.p). This requires immediate intervention to help prevent piling up of the occasion of sadness, which would cause an emotional breakdown. The realization of effective treatment outcome in cognitive behavioral theory requires the psychiatrist to introduce psychoeducation program to inform a patient about the helpful coping mechanism. Additionally, formulation of a hierarchy of fear principle will equip the patient with the skill necessary for managing avoidance of exposure to other potential risk factors. Motivation will encourage clients to accept treatment plan by adhering to rehabilitation processes.

The Onset and Management of Fear and Sadness

The onset or acquisition of fear response from social observation emanates from the affected individual lacking self-esteem and avoidance of potential occurrence of punitive events. Such studies factors, which contribute to imagined and real fear, have been achieved through social referencing model where infants are placed in a position to portray adult emotional response. Behavioral inhibition has become one of the biological factors, which protects or warns human against potential risk. This has enabled protection against cases of infiltration psychopathological factors, which have been identified to contribute to cognitive disorders. The expression of elements such as fear and sadness has been noted to result from problems or dysfunctionality in the emotional state and emotional processes. The emotional process, therefore, influences the physical, behavioral, and mental health of an individual. Lack of proper co-ordination in mental processes is one of the factors, which contributes to persistent cases of mood swings causing sadness. The management of fear and sadness will focus on addressing psychopathological symptoms through evidence-based methods or practices.

Implementation of CBT program

The implementation of cognitive theory program touches has several phases, which include the Biopsychosocial assessment and treatment strategy, and establishing treatment willingness. The biopsychosocial assessment and treatment, which is part of phase 1, entail laying of the effective treatment program, which has the social-cultural concern of the immediate family members of the patient. Additionally, this should incorporate treatment program stakeholders, which include therapist, parents, and other concerned parties. Phase 2 of the program should focus on articulating effective communication skills for purposes of creating awareness of treatment plan. The third phase engages both the patient or client and immediate family in sessions of treatment. Additionally, CBT program embraces local culture setting, which leads to monitoring of emerging cognitive disorders, and elaborate documentation on regarding detection and treatment.

Mindfulness Approaches

Mindfulness describes the mind-body practice, which employs meditation methods in a particular case without the judgmental attitude. Mindfulness approach resulted from the ancient practice by Buddhism psychotherapy (Berker, n.d, 169). Mindfulness rarely focuses on describing the various aspects of emotional state in addressing problems of mental health. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is used in an individual that have confirmed cases of persistent depression and vicious cycle unhappiness. The mindfulness engages inclusion of meditative methods and mental attitude change in creating awareness regarding mindfulness. Mindfulness approach provides a potential benefit to an individual where there is an elaborate understanding of the components (Ward, 2013). Techniques, which have been employed in psychiatric practice to enable individual experience mindfulness, include formal practices and informal practices. The formal practices include activities such as meditations that are marked by deep breathing, motion or movement meditation and group interaction session (Berker, n.d, 178). Some of the informal practices include mindful activities such as cleaning and mindful reading. Notably, mindfulness is designed to help therapist interact with a client in a recovery and treatment process(Salkovskis, n.d, p. 156).Evaluation of operational aspects of fear would be essential in formulating a therapy that is customized to a given type of client. There is a need for an individual to have personal awareness regarding response to elements of fear. Fear addressed by mindfulness results from human engagement with the social and physical environment. The types of environmental fears include social fears, learned fears, and unfamiliar situation.

Learned fears are associated with traumatic personal experience and cultural experience. Social fear results from interaction with individuals and results into social isolation and low self-esteem because of negative belief on assertion, which is not founded on reality. Work worries would also be the cause of stress in some cases leading to fears. This results from long working hour, increased workloads and poor working environment. Some of the psychological conditions for which mindfulness-based application has been used include cases of mood problem such as anxiety, addiction, and self -harm violence and self-hatred.  

The working of Mindfulness in clinical setting undertakes to help patients or the participant to have clear demarcation on regarding singularity of being from mood and thoughts. The individuals would then be freed from a pattern that has led to recurrent flashing negative messages in mind. After achieving separation of thoughts, emotions, and self, patients or clients in the treatment program would not have new re-alignment or dimension of thought construct. Therefore, Mindfulness helps in fighting symptoms of depressions, which include sadness, and high level of stress. Incorporation of motivational interviewing methods helps patient to be accommodating to the guidelines provides by the therapist ((Berker, n.d, p. 181). Implementation of CBT program requires the establishment of goal-oriented assessment measurement for tracking the success of patient treatment program.

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Differences between Mindfulness and Cognitive behavioral theory

Mindfulness attempts to explore distress in humans as an inevitable act of nature, which is encountered at certain phases of life. The model posits that evidence-based clinical methods used in counselors and psychiatrist should focus on helping clients with mental or psychological conditions to learn the skills necessary for detachment from causative factors. Moreover, mindfulness encourages people to embrace acceptance in a bid to learn about the suffering process, develop coping, and disconnect mechanism (Salkovskis, n.d., p. 151).The ability to forget on the problem will facilitate recovery and reclaim of internal peace of mind for the participant. In case of cognitive behavioral theory, the use of collaborative approach, which promotes shared understanding between the client and therapist, contributes to the formulation of a rehabilitation program, which enhances incremental healing (Salkovskis, n.d, p 160).Additionally, mindfulness perspective warns on the consequences of avoiding pain or fear, which would have a long-term detrimental effect on individual mental health. 

The intervention of cognitive behavioral theory focuses on a changing content of thinking or activity, which contributes to incidences of symptoms of depression. On the other hand, mindfulness targets and evaluates the thinking process, which undertakes to change for unrealistic information or beliefs towards. Therapeutic use of mindfulness has revolutionized assessment approaches in understanding complexity in the working of fear and sadness (Salkovskis, n.d, p. 162). Therefore, mindfulness would be conceptualized as a determining factor of treatment outcomes. One of the challenges on mindfulness approach model regards to lack of adequate and elaborate research to help in availing accurate interpretation of the psychopathological role in the treatment process. Mindfulness approach would not be tailored as compared to drugs, which are designed to address a particular clinical requirement. Cognitive behavioral model is based on logical and scientific principles while mindfulness methods heavily rely on the use psychological or social-cultural underpinning in addressing cognitive disorder conditions. Mindfulness approach asserts that any behavior which not orderly emanates negative belief through a system of disturbing and feelings participant (Szigeth and Findling, 2012, pg. 410.)

Similarities between Mindfulness and Cognitive behavioral theory

Cognitive behavioral theory and mindfulness are both used in the treatment and management of various psychiatric disorders such as mood and anxiety disorders. Additionally, a combination of the two approaches in the form of Mindfulness cognitive behavioral therapy (MBCT) provides a highly efficacious therapeutic property, which is similar to antidepressants (Swart, Bass, and Apsche, 2015, p. 93). 

The two methods undertake to analyze the thinking process for purposes of determining underlying factors contributing sadness and fear in individuals Salkovskis, n.d, and p.156). Additionally, the two methods have a similar approach to enforcing positive re-interpretation and refocusing on the initially inappropriately perceived objects in the physical or social-cultural environment. The two methods engage individually with psychotic problems and behavioral breakdown in a consultative discussion session to improve on the treatment outcome result and provide education and self-awareness principles (Berker, n.d, p. 178).The two methods are essential, as a patient have to make a personal choice about the articulation of the program benefits

Self- Reflection

I believe effective understanding of concepts of cognitive behavioral theory and mindfulness approach will enable me to handle different socio-cultural context, which affect my emotional stability. Additionally, I opine that embracing positive perception regardless of negative influences from social and physical environment is the first step towards realization of mental health. I have also noted that in case I happen to suffer from mental problem, immediate consultation with specialist such as psychologist and psychiatrist will help me achieve original health status. I am also convinced on the need of sharing learned information with other individuals for purposes of creating mental and emotional health awareness. One of the surprising factor I have noted is that emotional or psychological problem would also manifest in physical pain. The study has enlightened me on mental health and information regarding human cognition process.

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The two approaches are effective in modeling factors, which contribute to cases and sadness in individuals. The use of psychological methods has greater benefits with regard to the resuscitation of both physical health and emotional stability of patients. Both cognitive behavioral theory and mindfulness methods would be employed in helping the patient with different emotional and psychological conditions. On the other hand, further research is necessary for adequate understanding of the connection between emotional health and physical heath. Fear and sadness in most individuals resulted from negative perception towards the socio-cultural environment and past traumatic experiences in case of children. Realization of effective treatment outcome would only be possible when there is the availability of well-informed and competent treatment program staff. Psychological methods can be supported by the intervention of other treatment plans such as therapeutic drugs to facilitate quicker patient recovery. Patient education awareness and moral support is an essential component in the implementation of the cognitive behavioral theoretical program.

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  1. Berker, M. (n.d). Chapter 8. Mindfulness approaches. Class lecture notes 
  2. Salkovskis, P. M. (n.d). Chapter 7. Cognitive Behavioral therapy. Class lecture notes. 
  3. Ward, D. (2013). Overcoming Fear with Mindfulness. New York, SPCK. 
  4. Dobson, D. J. G., & Dobson, K. S. 2017. Evidence-based practice of cognitive-behavioral therapy. New York: The Guilford Press.
  5. Sziget Weisz & Kindling, .2012. Cognitive-behavior therapy for children and adolescents. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Pub.
  6. Swart, J., Bass, C. K., & Apsche, J. 2015. Treating adolescents with family-based mindfulness
  7. Hofmann, S. G., & Reinecke, M. A. 2010. Cognitive-behavioral therapy with adults: a guide to empirically informed assessment and intervention. Cambridge University Press. 
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