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Cognitive theory and therapy: past, present, and future 

Cognitive theory and therapy: past, present, and future
Cognitive theory and therapy: past, present, and future

Aaron T. Beck

and David J. A. Dozois

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date: 16 December 2018

Cognitive therapy, often labelled as cognitive behaviour therapy, has grown exponentially as evidenced by its ubiquitous presence in training programs in psychology, psychiatry, medicine, social work, nursing, and other allied health professions that value evidence-based practice. Cognitive therapy and cognitive behaviour therapy have been described as ‘the fastest growing and most heavily researched systems of psychotherapy on the contemporary scene’. This essay outlines the historical development of both the theory and the therapy. After this recapitulation, an overview is presented of the conceptual, practical, and empirical aspects of cognitive therapy and highlight the core concepts and the empirical research pertaining to cognitive theory. General treatment strategies are outlined and a brief review of the efficacy of the approach is provided. The essay concludes with recommendations for future research.

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