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A penny for your thoughts

The very thoughts that plague your mind, feelings that you’d rather be without and the induced behavior that plays on repeat inside your head. As you read this sentence, do some come to mind?

If so, what if there is a way to stop feeling the way you do, store all the “bad thoughts” that keep you awake at night in a container never to be opened again, and to always be your form of “Perfect”, would you take the chance? Even better, having some semblance of control over these?

Cognitive theory – introduced by Aaron Beck (Psychotherapist) in the 1960’s did just that. This theory focuses on how one’s perception could be an underlying factor behind how one feels and behave the way they do. Likewise, the other two influence the way we think too. Based on this theory, therapists undertake the task of helping clients understand the way their thoughts are sometimes distorted.

While the past issues that influences the current perception of the client is acknowledged; it is not concentrated on in cognitive therapy.

Different Forms of Cognitive therapy:

COGNITIVE BEHAVIOUR THERAPY (Pioneered by D. Meichenbaum)

It is a talking therapy. It follows a pragmatic approach which helps one manage their problem by recognizing the thought/feeling/behavior that had a hand in resulting the problem.

Example case:

Let’s suppose Party A gets invited to a party. Party A, having been feeling bored for a while now instinctively goes on to press yes. But then hesitates, as they think of what this party might consist of and especially the people.

A now starts having negative thoughts such as how they might end up making a fool of themselves. This in turn gives rise to anxiousness and distress. Unable to battle these feelings, A chooses to not go.

Repetition of these events drives an individual to self-isolate themselves which later ends up in depression.

So, in CBT Party A can be helped by making them recognize their negative thoughts, break them and find a more positive way of thinking. Depending on the problem, the focus shifts to either Cognitive approach or Behavioral approach.

Goal of therapy: Unlearn unwanted reactions.


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Notion behind REBT: Humans tend to gravitate towards certain beliefs that may be irrational. These in turn dictate our actions that in way or the other end up being self-destructive.


  • Nice, sweet girls end up getting good husbands.
  • Vaccines must not be administered.

In general, it follows the same principle as CBT but in comparison tends to be briefer. It differs from CBT on the following grounds:

  • Philosophic: REBT addresses the philosophical reasons behind an emotional disturbance as well as the distorted cognitions (the focus of CBT). These are the ‘Musts’ and ‘Shoulds’ that cause the turmoil.
  • Secondary disturbance: The anxious feelings that arise because you are anxious about feeling anxious. REBT spotlights on these disturbances that arise in individuals unlike CBT.
  • Unconditional self-acceptance (USA): While CBT focuses on self-rating in a way to boost an individuals’ self-esteem, REBT proposes an elegant solution to the problem through USA.
  • Helpful Negative EmotionsREBT encourages some appropriate helpful negative emotions that are not self-destructive and inappropriate depending on the situation.
  • All anger inappropriate: While CBT appreciates some level of anger, REBT condemns anger entirely. This could be expressed as: Everyone must treat me well or they deserve to die. Although CEBT like REBT teaches individual assertiveness it fails to uproot the philosophical root of the anger.

Goal of therapy: Replace irrational thinking with rational thinking.

VIRTUAL REALITY THERAPY (Pioneered by Barbara O. Rothbaum and Larry F. Hodges)

Virtual reality is a self-created form of chosen reality. Therefore, it exists. – Joan Lowery Nixon

Fear, as the saying goes can be overcome by facing them. This form of therapy is induced to help the clients get exposed to what triggers their fears. It is generally administered for patients with phobias, anxiety and PTSD.


  • Depression – Learn to practice self-compassion
  • Addiction – Reduce craving for people in recovery
  • Eating disorders – Improve body image
  • Medical procedures – serves as a distraction during painful procedures
  • Stroke- Helps survivors relearn motor skills
  • Wheelchair users – practice getting around

Goal of therapy: Through exposure overcoming their fear/trauma.

Transactional Analysis (Pioneered by Eric Berne):

Wouldn’t you say you are quite adept at being a multifaceted chameleon of society? For, what are humans without their adaptive nature, right?

Eric Berne had used this very belief- Inspired by Freud’s theory of personality combined with Penfield’s groundbreaking experiments involving stimulation of specific brain area with electric currents, Berne developed his very own “Neo- and extra- Freudian” approach.

Notion behind TA: All individuals possess three ego states:

The Parent: Consist of recordings/images of the external events etched onto the child of ages 0-5 years. These are neither analyzed nor filtered but simply accepted.

Examples may include:

  • Do not play with matches.
  • Remember to say “please” and “thank you”

The Child: Represents the feelings/emotions felt by the individual, that are directly linked to external events observed by the child during the first five years.

Examples may include:

  • I feel happy when Mom hugs me.
  • Dad’s late night movie was pretty scary.

The Adult: Final ego state that serves as the data processing center which combines information from all the ego states and helps an individual arrive at a decision.

Goal of therapy: Are the adults truly the decisive, responsible sort as they should be? The answer to that is why the goal of this therapy is to gain and maintain autonomy by strengthening the adult state.


Sometimes, all it takes is a different perspective for the hidden truth to come to light.



What do you think?

548 Points

Written by Ramya

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Nidhi Dahiya

Amazing work

Sreejita Sarkar

It was so enriching, informative and yet engaging. All your facts are on point, and your explanations are spot on. However I wish if you could highlight more of the therapies involving not but cognitive, but also psychodynamic, behavioral and humanistic. I loved your article.

Ilhaam Shaik

Thank you for the detailed article!

Sajjithra Subbian

Hii Ramya this is so informative and we expect more from you


Good reading.

Amrita Jain

It is good but the information is too can elaborate your points to make the concept more clear and easy to understand. A short information of everything is making it vauge.

Diksha Tarnekar

This was so informative. Keep it up.

Shanthi KKannan

So.. informative and enriching. Bravo..

Ranjima Raveendran

Really loved this article. It was worth reading. I really liked how you explained some of the therapies here. I felt it would have been really great if you could have mentioned some more real life situations (like the one mentioned in CBT). Great work.

Very insightful and informative !

Isra Meraj

Hey Ramya, I have read the article and I must say that it was very informative. Using flowcharts for better understanding is important and you did that. I just love the way you categorized every situation with examples, applications and goals of therapies. I don’t want to criticize your work because I can see your efforts but would like to suggest to keep the articles short. Long articles make the person lose interest while reading it. Please take it in a positive way.
Overall, your work is amazing.

Yashaswini Bhat

Ramya your article has come out really well. The style you have opted for your article is amazing ,it immediately catches the readers eyes. It sows the seed of curiosity in the reader to finish the article. I must say your head line caught my eyes and I ended up reading your article. You also have good aesthetic sense i.e. the font size you have chose to inserting the proportionate which also helps to catch the reader attention.
I felt if you had mentioned reference column that would enhance your article quality. I know how much effort is involved in writing a article, so keep up the good work . Keep spread the knowledge and bloom as a beautiful flower of this community and the society


That was an informative article Ramya, I’ve small suggestion that it would be easy if you give daily life example so people from non psychological background would understand:)

Vidhi Gupta

Amazing piece of work. This is so much worth of hardwork. Loved it.


The article was amazing! Loved the title you chose. It was definitely helpful and well researched. I would however enjoy the virtual reality therapy to be explained a little better and simpler. Apart from that great article 🙂

Sree rekha k zenith

Good preparation. It was very informative, I got to know more about the different therapies like CBT, REBT.

Kritika Bhair

Heyyyy Ramya
This article of yours was quite interesting.
The way you differentiate between CEBT and REBT was the best part of the article
Rest the whole article is wonderful
Good luck!!

Bushra Khan

It is very informative and extremely well written!

Kritika Bhair

Heyyyy Ramya
This article of yours was quite interesting.
The way you differentiate between CEBT and REBT was the best part of the article
Also this virtual reality concept was the new thing I learned
Rest the whole article is wonderful
Thank you so much
Good luck

Kanishka Mendiratta

Well explained with the perfect use of live examples and graphics! Many people need to implement this on themselves. You have done a wonderful work.
I appreciate for your efforts ☺️

Idhaya g

Great work your perspective also clears the concept

Gauri Kakar

I found your article very insightful. I really appreciate how throughly you’ve explained these theories of psychology in such simple examples. Amazing work done!

Simran Rai

The article was worth reading. It was well researched and concise.The virtual reality therapy could have been written in a more lucid manner, apart from that a very well written article 🙂


The introduction was beautiful and got me thinking about my own thoughts that I would do anything to get rid of. The explanation is amazing to and I learned a lot about why the therapies we hear about are given and to achieve what. Very well written 🙂


I love this blog.It has a lot of great info! Thank you so much!

Neha Upasani

I think Indian women are so much busy to control their feelings/thought (maybe it’s because of the sociocultural pressure) and it leads to their affected mental well being. This article is really good for this concern.


That is very informative! thank you for writing this article!

Gurleen Kaur

Well executed

Richa Barua

On a personal level, I have always loved the concept of flowcharts. The article has been well versed. Little bit of changes that’s required are like the spellings. Aaron Beck for example.
Other than that, it’s an amazing work.


it was very informative.

Radhika Suresh Nair

Beautifully written.. I loved the way you’ve explained it..
Good job.!!

Iarisa Nongbet

Very detailed and wonderful presentation.


Wow!! Learnt alot from this article. Nicely written. Briefly explained everything.

Alby Thomas

This gives a detailed idea of CBT! Good job!❤️

Ekta Mishra

Hey Ramya
First things first. Your way of writing really sucks in readers. They are compelled to read it. And the information you give is very useful and also helps us to even consider for a therapist. Your examples were somewhat related to ones life and that makes it more easier to take in the information you have given us.
Thank you..

Tanisha Jain

Insightful read. It would have been even better if you included your own voice by perhaps discussing what you think are some drawbacks of the different approaches and which approach you resonated with the most/why!

Pratik Jha

Got to learn a lot thankyou

Sakina Husain

Amazing work here! Really well written. Very common and relatable topic. Specially the cognitive behaviour therapy. Really well explained…

Sneha Goswami

Hi Ramya!
This article has been wonderfully penned down by you. The flow of the article is very good and informative. It describes and explains all the crunch points related to the Cognitive Theory. Being a psychology student, I don’t think that I have ever better understood these concepts.
Overall, a very great article and excellently written.
Best Wishes,

Ami Kukadia

Very informative. Nice job

Gurleen Kaur

As Beautifully explained as it can b

Prerna Dash

This was such an informative piece of information. I loved the way in which you classified the topics and represented the information via flowcharts.

Jiniya Chakraborty

Even though it was information-heavy, the way of writing made it clear more comprehensible.

Aanandi khanna

Ramaya great work and it’s very informative.

Rashmi Parab

Really loved this article. It was worth reading. I really liked how you explained some of the therapies here. I felt it would have been really great if you could have mentioned some more real life situations (like the one mentioned in CBT). Great work.


Hey I liked the way you explained through the flow chart system this makes the article more interesting and it makes the things for the viewer more easy to understand the article and the last conclusion was good. You are going a nice work

Trisha Baunthiyal

A very catchy headline and very informative!

Vinaya Parthasarathy

Just learned about all this in school!!!! It increased my knowledge on the topic and was an amazing article!

Kirti manaktala

This is amazing. its so informative but in a language which can be easily comprehended whether or not someone is from a psychology background. Love the addition of flow charts. Personally, for me its way easier to understand things when accompanied by visual aids such as flow charts and that made this article even more interesting to me. The examples were a lot of help too. Looking forward to reading more of your content.
Take care and stay safe.

Tanisha Ajmani

Well written!

Ayeman Qamri

It was really quite informative, the heading caught my eye, and as soon as I started to read it the interest started to develop. You made good use of the flow charts and examples which made the article more relatable. But towards the end, I felt it was not able to keep the reader involved. Moreover, if you add something more in the conclusion and add the sources and sites so that readers who wanted to know more about it can easily get that. Rest it was really wonderful. Keep up the good work.

Manasi Gujarathi

I really liked this article. The examples made it easy to understand. Very well written.

Jigyasa vashistha

I so much so enjoyed this article I didn’t had a thought in mind. Well yes cognitive behavior therapy is indeed a overall mind & behaviour shaper. It can certainly change our thinking pattern for better. But also it’s a fact, we people gravitate towards negatives. It needs alot of practice to bring a mindset shift. It’s possible with regular practice

Vanshika sharma

Hey, great article. It was very informative too! I loved it. Keep up the good work.