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Cognitive behavioural approach and the humanistic approach in Psychiatric Nursing

Cognitive behavioural approach and the humanistic approach in Psychiatric Nursing

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An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Catherine Leahy. Originally submitted for Studies in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 1 at University College Cork, with lecturer Rick Deady in the category of Nursing & Midwifery
An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Catherine Leahy. Originally submitted for Studies in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 1 at University College Cork, with lecturer Rick Deady in the category of Nursing & Midwifery

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 29, 2012
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10/27/2013

 
Introduction
This essay will compare and contrast two psychological approaches and discusshow they are relevant within mental health nursing practice. The author will begin bygiving an outline of both approaches. The two approaches are the cognitive behavioural approach and the humanistic approach. Then the author will compare andcontrast both these approaches taking into account the different aspects andsimilarities of both. With this in mind the author will then discuss how these two particular approaches are relevant within mental health nursing when working in theMental Health Services.
Cognitive behavioural approach
To get an understanding of this approach it is best to break the two approacheswithin this one approach into their separate areas and then bring them together.“The word cognitive comes from the latin word cognare, meaning ‘to know.’Hence, cognitive psychology is the study of the behaviour of knowing or thought.”(Balota and Marsh, 2004, p.1). Cognitive psychology is the study of the higher order of mental functioning such as intelligence, thinking, language, memory and decisionmaking. During the 1950’s events such as the growth of the computer usage caused arise of the cognitive science. According to psychologists such as Alan Newell andHerbert Simon the brain processed information like programs of the computer (Gazzaniga, 2006). Within cognitive approach the person’s schema is of importance.Schema is the person mental notes that influence how they perceive and interpretevents in their lives. Their schema is formed from past experiences; this can be alteredor may be incorrect, which can lead to faulty thinking (Rana and Upton, 2009). This1
 
lead’s one to believe that the person can develop negative thoughts about themselves,others and their environment.Behaviour psychology is the study of behaviour and how behaviour is affected.This perspective is of the view that we are born as a blank canvas and that our experiences shape how we develop and our behaviour (Passer and Smith, 2007). Thisapproach suggests that if a good reward is given for behaviour this behaviour will berepeated, but on the other hand if there is no reward or unpleasant consequences arethe outcome of the behaviour it is less likely to be repeated (Carlson and Buskist,1997). Pavlov considered this classical conditioning, which resulted in theconditioned response (Gazzaniga, 2006). Much of this research has been carried outwithin controlled settings such as laboratories (Carlson et al, 1997). One of John B.Watson in 1973, main questions was nature more important than nurture. He is said to be of the opinion that nurture was the only component to our behaviour. Skinner, B,F. was another purest behaviourist who was of the view that the mental process was of no scientific value in explaining behaviour (Gazzaniga, 2006).During the 1960’s and 1970’s many psychologists demonstrated how the cognitive process such as attention and memory could be assessed using sophisticatedexperiments. This caused the behaviourist psychologists to question the views of the behaviourist model. They began to develop a modified view called cognitive behaviourism. This approach takes the view that our thoughts and our behaviour arelinked and cannot be seen as separates. They believe that our environment andexperiences influence our thoughts and thoughts influence our behaviour (Passer andSmith, 2007). From this we are lead to believe that cognitive behaviourism wasestablished from the behavioural approach. This is contradicted by Eysenck (2000)where he suggests that Beck a cognitive psychologist gave his clients homework 2
 
 between sessions, which required the client to monitor their thought process thusleading them to alter their behaviour. This leads Eysenck (2000) to believe Beck wasa cognitive behavioural therapist rather than just cognitive.When looking at both these approaches together in the context of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) they each contribute to it as a therapy. CBT works withthe thought, where these thoughts developed and how they make a person behave andtheir emotional effect on the person (Stephens, 2006). This is the ABC modeldeveloped by Ellis (1977) where he suggests that you work from the activating eventthrough the beliefs of the event and then begin to explore the consequences of thesethoughts. CBT is lead mainly by the therapist with them setting goals for the client toachieve (Rana et al, 2009).
Humanistic approach
The humanistic approach was developed by Carl Rodgers and Abraham Maslowmainly during the 1950’s. This approach focuses mainly on the personal responsibilityof the person, free-will and the personal growth and fulfilment of the person.Humanistic psychologists favour the un-interperted experiences of the client; thismeans they get the pure experience of the person (Eysencks, 2000). Passer and Smith,2007) state that Maslow (1908-1970) was of the opinion that everyone had the abilityto reach their full potential, he called this self-actualisation. Passer et al (2007)continues by saying that humanist’s are of the belief that our lives and the meaning of the same is in our own hands. According to Eysencks (2000) Rodgers believed thatthe concept of ‘self’ is of importance in relation to understanding the human personality. He continues to suggest that people have too self’s one being the self-concept which is where they are now and the ideal self which is the self concept3

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