Posted: May 25th, 2022

Depression via comprehension of the three elements

Treating depression is cognitive therapy which was developed by American psychologists Martin Seligman (1991), Albert Ellis (1975) and Aaron Beck (1976) (an American psychiatrist). Several research studies have established that cognitive therapy is specifically efficient in treating depression as well as the prevention of relapse and the reduction of withdrawal symptoms concerned with therapy (Ball, n.d). According to Beck (1976), cognitive response is founded on two major concepts:

The depressed individuals possess a regular negative prejudice in their thoughts.

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The manner in which the happenings are understood sustains the depression.

Cognitive therapy generally mentions that it is not the circumstance only, but instead the manners in which individuals understand it which determines their specific feelings. The cognitive design depends upon the ABC model;

Adverse situations: This might be an abstraction or real. The visualized occurrences could result to similar responses as the real and actual ones. Hence if individuals believe that they are undergoing rejection, in that case they shall in fact respond as if they are actually undergoing rejection.

Beliefs and thoughts: Automatic thoughts refer to ideas or images that quickly pop up in the mind as a form of response to the daily occurrences. They are comprised of quick sentences or expressions that have been practiced quite appropriately and they almost pass without the notice of many. They might be POSITIVE (in this case, Beck describes this as adaptive, sensible and goal directed) or NEGATIVE that possesses a tendency of distortion, unproductiveness and working against the satisfaction of the objectives.

Consequences: This entails behaviors and feelings.

The objective is to assist Ana deal with depression via comprehension of the three elements of cognitive therapy according to Beck:

1. The Cognitive Triad:

It deals with the prejudiced and negative ideas that the individual has concerning himself, his encounters and the future. Several signs and symptoms of depression could describe the Cognitive Triad. For example, poor motivation could be seen to develop from helplessness as well as doubt. It is not easy for one to dedicate themselves to certain goals if all they are anticipating are negative results. According to Martin Seligman (1991), helplessness refers to a situation wherein an individual feels that nothing one does influences what shall happen to them. This is contrary to the feeling of personal control. Majority of the things in life are beyond our control: the color of our eyes, civil wars in certain nations, our race, and so much more. However, there exist a great and an untaken territory of things over which individuals can have substantial control. Some of these entail the manner through which we conduct our lives, how we cope with others and many more. Our ideas are just responses to events and occurrences in our day-to-day lives (Ball, n.d).

2. Underlying beliefs or silent assumptions:

These refer to the interpretive regulations or in other words templates created for early encounters that result to the day-to-day ideas or thoughts of individuals. They develop from the messages parents communicate to their children, from friends, from school teachers in addition to other important individuals in their lives. The influence that is possessed by the messages of parents to their children’s self-esteem has currently garnered a lot of interest. It is now a subject of interest and discussion. These silent suppositions result to various prejudices in thinking because of a procedure of tuning into or screening out of various data. They make individuals to address specific issues, disregard others and encode these happenings in particular manners (Ball, n.d).

3. Information processing:

According to the cognitive model, the depressed individuals make several alterations in the manner by which they understand the data. Their mode of information processing eventually results to passivity and depression. A few of the regular examples include:

Selective thinking: This entails concentrating on the negative aspects while disregarding the positive details or deatures of the situation (Ball, n.d).

Over-generalizations: This entails obtaining sweeping conclusions on the basis of just one previous occurrence. There exist the anticipation that simply because something did not fructify as planned in the past, similar outcomes are bound to continue (Ball, n.d).

Personalizing: This entails being accountable. Radical thinking entails viewing everything in terms of failure or success, and all or nothing at all (Ball, n.d).

Cognitive therapy has various objectives. The first is to decrease the incidence and severity of events via early detection of the symptoms and efficient management. The second is to address the impacts of the sickness on an individual’s self-esteem and relationships. Hence, cognitive therapy is actually a way of life. It is a means of thinking of and responding to mood variations and stress with the best chance for complete recovery in between the occurrences (Ball, n.d).

The function of a therapist in a cognitive-behavioral intercession is to assist the patients assess the other interpretations and to generate opposing proof which backs more adaptive models. This particular pattern will assist the patient to identify the automatic negative ideas, through initially learning the identification of the negative ideas going through her mind at certain instances when she is at her worst. The model shall help her come up with other positive explanations and later learn the establishment of more sensible explanations. She shall then learn to divert herself from the negative ruminations. This implies that stopping the negative thoughts and learning to control her thoughts (Ball, n.d).

There are, however, certain risks involved with using this method. First, it changes the negative thought flow to positive styles based on a mechanical level. It requires a level of expertise to hinder depression from occurring. Secondly, based on a philosophical level, it exploits what is referred to as newly legitimized powers of the self by Seligman (1991). It entails providing the mindset with methods for altering itself when it pleases (Ball, n.d). secondly, assured outcomes are difficult to attain as relapse into negative thinking is an easier way than consciously fighting for practical and positive results. Thirdly, negative habits of thinking are difficult to combat in the face of persistent practical situations.

The solution to Ana’s problem may stem from affording herself less time to ponder over current difficulties by engaging herself in a job- a move that would rid her of financial difficulties. Referring her child to a professional care at home, work, or creche would help her be free to concentrate on her job and positive outcomes. Additionally, she could gain from establishing a regular, if intermittent communication with her husband which would assure her of familial feelings and support.


Ball J. (n.d.). Thinking your way out of depression. Retrieved 10 August 2015 from

Ellis, A., & Harper, R.A. (1975). A new guide to rational living. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall.

Seligman, M.E.P. (1991). Learned optimism. New York: A.A. Knopf.

Beck, A.T. (1976). Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. New York: International Universities Press.

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