Saturday, 20 September 2014

Can CBT Cure Sick Babies?

In the video below, Dr David Burns, author of Feeling Good, a famous self-help manual based on CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) techniques give a useful introduction to CBT including a description of how he first used a pretty simple CBT technique called Examine the Evidence to help a patient to challenge her own distorted thinking patterns which were creating severe depression. The video concludes with a personal story of how when his baby son was in intensive care, Dr Burns used CBT on himself to free him up to show love towards his son, which his distorted thinking in that difficult situation had been preventing him from doing. His son immediately recovered, so there is it seems to me an implicit message that CBT can help to cure life threatening illnesses in loved ones. I feel this is unfortunate because it detracts from the clarity of the rest of the video which emphasises that CBT is about balancing distorted cognitive reactions to events (and thereby balancing your emotions) not about changing events themselves. So far as I am aware CBT cannot cure sick babies but it might be able to help you to deal with your own thoughts and emotions  if you are in the tragic situation of having to deal with the serious illness of  a loved one. Still, I feel it is worth setting aside a bit of time to listen to the video if you want to know what CBT is about:

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