Magical Beliefs About CBT…

abound.These beliefs are inculcated by initial training and maintained by sharing ‘best practices’. For example, low intensity CBT therapists operate, on beliefs such as  ‘if I go into the CBT superstore and choose a strategy it will be potent’, ‘my clinical judgement is sufficient to make the right choices’,  and ‘improvements in test scores are sufficient basis for believing the clients needs have been met ‘.  But these beliefs are not evidence-based.

 

For the past 50 years it has been taken as axiomatic that ‘arrested information processing plays a pivotal role in debility post-trauma and should be targetted’. In Personalising Trauma Treatment: Reframing and Reimagining Routledge’  (2022)https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwj2r8v8m_j2AhWxQEEAHQrjAGgQFnoECAUQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.taylorfrancis.com%2Fbooks%2Fmono%2F10.4324%2F9781003178132%2F I examined this issue in detail, dissented and concluded that it is the centrality accorded to the trauma that is the driving force for debility post trauma. To the extent that clients utilise the trauma as their window on themselves and their world they are likely to suffer impairment in functioning, both personally and interpersonally. It  is a magical belief that the problem lies with the traumatic memory, rather the issue is what the person takes the memory to mean for today (see youtube video https://youtu.be/3UeJ1Lux4pU) detailing how to help the client back to their old selves post trauma – Restorative CBT (RCBT).

Personalising Trauma Treatment : Reframing and Reimagining book cover

 ‘All disorders are maintained by a negative belief system, making CBT appropriate’, this belief underpins the extension of CBT to the treatment of long-term conditions. But it would not stand up in Court. It would be suggested that the idea is promulgated to satisfy the acquisition of power by service providers. A relatively newly emergent,  magical belief is that ‘if children are taught the elements of CBT model/adaptive coping it prevents the development disorder’ this may or may not be true but dogmatism here has no place. 

In the Middle AgesIn it was believed that the earth was the centre of the universe and planets such the sun  and moon orbited it in circles. This geocentric view of the universe persisted for a long time after it became evident that the earth was not at the centre  and that orbits were elliptical rather than circular. Unfortunately the power of the current Teflonocracy will likely lead to the persistence of these magical beliefs for some time to come.

Dr Mike Scott

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