Thinking errors?

Of course, supporters of CBT argue differently. They suggest that CBT directly addresses key psychological, rather than political or social, problems. In a multi-disciplinary team, they argue, social and financial problems can, or at least should be, dealt with - and dealt with by professionals other than clinical psychologists with the appropriate skills for the task. Many would argue that, whilst political and social change is needed, our individual professional responsibilities are somewhat different. We may, to use an analogy, lobby politicians for changes to road traffic regulations, but that shouldn't prevent paramedics offering medical help at a road traffic collision. Although 'CBT' is a very broad term, the theoretical assumptions underlying at least some versions of the therapeutic approach are seen by some as problematic. Typically, CBT therapists help their clients become aware of the links between their thinking styles and their emotions. So, for example, someone may say that they feel depressed after receiving a piece of equivocal feedback, and also that ' ... nothing I ever do is good enough'. Therapy continues, predictably, with the therapist helping the client realise the links between this style of thinking and the consequent emotions, and to identify other possible ways of seeing the situation. And therein lies a further potential source of controversy. Although not all would agree, many psychologists and psychotherapists worry that CBT can give people the message that they are to blame for their difficulties because they are in some sense 'thinking wrong' or making 'thinking errors' which need to be corrected through therapy. This is contentious.

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