Essay: Cognitive behavioral theory

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Essay: Cognitive behavioral theory

Sample Essay

Cognitive behavioral therapy is also an effective non play therapy technique for treating low self esteem in children and adults. Low self esteem in children and adolescents is normally contributed to the distortion of their inner schemas. One such distortion is the application of unrealistic self standards where children and adolescents aim at being perfectionists or become rather overly dependent on others in the society. Another dysfunction also emerges when children and adolescents are unable to accurately evaluate themselves. This can be attributed to external influences like peers and parents who are constantly putting them down. By demeaning the children’s being it becomes difficult for them to develop confidence. Depicting the source of such dysfunctional attitudes is the initial stage in formulating appropriate cognitive behavioral therapy.

The case study for the analysis of this therapy technique involves John, a thirteen year old student who needs therapy after expressing his will to commit suicide. Regardless of John’s outstanding academic performance, he is constantly withdrawn and often engages in self depreciating thinking. Following an initial evaluation with John, his parents and the therapist it is evident that John is constantly under pressure to perform and be the very best. His achievements are met with high excitement by the parents but he claims that when he makes mistakes or achieves less than expected, he is faces reprimand. Furthermore, John has set such high and unrealistic standards for himself that he feels the need to punish himself when he falls short of them. Clearly, John’s self esteem has become quite vulnerable. Moreover, this unrealistic self criticism emerges from John’s desire for acceptance. As Dattilio et al (2006, p.195) argues, such dysfunctional attitudes call for cognitive restructuring.

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