- cognitive therapy and hallucinations
- Cognitive therapy (CT) is also known as cognitive behavioural therapy. Both terms are indebted to the Latin noun cognoscere, which means to learn or to scrutinize. They refer to a psychotherapeutic intervention that aims to reduce the individual's degree of suffering by influencing the interpretation of his or her negative feelings and problematic behaviour. The development of this method is traditionally attributed to the American psychoanalyst and neuropsychiatrist Aaron T. Beck (b. 1921). In 1952 Beck published the first case report of CT in an individual with a chronic psychotic disorder. In individuals with * auditory hallucinations, the primary aim of CT is to relabel the meaning of the voices' content, thus reducing the degree of power and malevolence attributed to them. More specifically, CT seeks to counter the notion that voices are externally generated, that they represent the individual's own feelings or wishes, that they have power over the hallucinator, and that there are meaningful intentions behind them. Today CT is recognized as an evidence-based intervention for delusions and * auditory hallucinations in countries such as Great Britain, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. Although reports of a substantial reduction in the frequency and/or intensity ofhallucinations due to CT are rare, the simple re-labelling of the meaning and significance of these phenomena alone has been shown to have the potential to reduce overall anxiety and distress, and increase the affected individual's feelings of empowerment and control.ReferencesBeck, A. (1952). Successful outpatient psychotherapy of a chronic schizophrenic with a delusion based on borrowed guilt. Psychiatry, 15, 305-312.Dickerson, F.B. (2000). Cognitive behavioral psychotherapy for schizophrenia: A review of recent empirical studies. Schizophrenia Research, 43, 71-90.Van der Gaag, M. (1992). The results ofcognitive training in schizophrenic patients. Thesis University of Groningen.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.
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