COGNITIVE APPROACH TO PSYCHOPATHOLOGY

Understand how the cognitive approach explains mental illness in terms of beliefs, thoughts and perceptions

and how it explains psychopathology. .  Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these explanations.Learning objectives By the end of the lesson you’ll be able to:  Describe and explain the principles and assumptions of the cognitive approach.

. 3.The approaches to psychopathology 1. Turn to the other person in your pair and see what they came up with. 2. think what the principles and assumptions are for the previous 3 approaches to psychopathology. Share these with the rest of the class. On your own.

perceptions)” Schemata: Organised systems of knowledge we use to understand and interpret the world Negative schemata can lead to: Negative automatic thoughts: Automatically thinking the worst in every situation . thoughts.Cognitive approach “Mental illness is due to cognitive processes (beliefs.

Features of the cognitive approach  Cognitive biases: (different types of negative automatic thoughts)  Beck’s negative triad  Musturbatory beliefs  Ellis’ ABC model .

Activity  In your groups. read the materials you’ve been given and discuss this to make sure you understand it. .  You then have 10 minutes to prepare to teach this to the rest of the class.

not completing cryptic crossword means you’re stupid.Examples of cognitive biases that may be used by depressed people Cognitive bias Minimisation Explanation Bias towards minimizing success in life.g. . Bias towards focusing on only the negative aspects of life and ignoring wider picture Maximisation Selective abstraction All or nothing thinking Tendency to see things as one or the other. excellent exam results due to luck or easy paper. a success or a failure. e.g. Bias towards maximising importance of failures (even small ones). not good/bad at different things. e. e.g.

Beck’s (1967) cognitive triad model of depression Negative views about the world “everyone is against me because I’m worthless” Negative views about the future “I’ll never be good at anything” Negative views about yourself “I’m worthless and inadequate” .

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" Feelings of anger. who will probably always fail and deserves to suffer” Feelings of anxiety. depression. considerately and fairly. intolerance. If I fail in these important respects. hassle-free. it is terrible and they are rotten. unworthy person. perform well and win the approval of others. discomfort. that is awful and I am a bad.“I absolutely MUST. bad. panic. fury and vindictiveness "The conditions under which I live MUST be favourable. safe. anger. I can't ever enjoy myself at all. despair. and if they are not that way it's awful and horrible and I can't bear it. Otherwise." Feelings of frustration. My life is impossible and hardly worth living. unworthy people who will always treat me badly and do not deserve a good life and should be severely punished for acting so abominably to me. worthlessness. under practically all conditions and at all times. rage. incompetent. "Other people MUST treat me nicely. depression . and quickly and easily enjoyable.

Ellis’ ABC model: A Activating event B Beliefs about this event C Consequences of these beliefs .

and so will fail at future relationships C: Consequences of B Desirable emotions Undesirable emotions Mary feels sad. but hopeful that she will have successful future relationships Mary feels guilty that she spoilt the relationship and that she is unlovable Desirable behaviour Undesirable behaviour Mary looks forward to forming new healthy relationships and tries to learn from the experience Mary resolves not to form new relationships as she will only fail and get hurt again .A: Activating event Mary and her boyfriend split up Rational thoughts Mary tells herself that although it is a sad situation they were not compatible and she may learn from the experience Irrational thoughts B: Beliefs about A Mary tells herself that the break up is her fault and that she is not loveable.

.  Depressive realism – not irrational or maladapative. just relavant to the life circumstances of the individual.Evaluation  Sometimes negative beliefs might actually be an accurate reflection of reality.