Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) in the treatment of phobias

102500 This research will begin with the statement that Albert Ellis, the founder of cognitive behavioural therapies, once when asked about his depressing and traverse childhood said, he had learned to face his suffering by, “developing a growing indifference to that dereliction”. It is with this belief that in 1957 he developed a new way of changing a client’s vanquished behaviours, one which challenged the clinical results of psychoanalysis. Cognitive reconstruction and rational perlustration, he believed were the base upon which fallacious, rigid and subjugated thoughts could be broken down through the use of emotive, behavioural and cognitive methods. This is how Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) was first born. Later in 1997 when Aaron T. Beck, considered the father of CBT, began his work among depressed patients he noted that dysfunctional disorders, psychiatric disorders and behavioural disorders were all characterized by dysfunctional thinking which rationalized the affective and behavioural symptoms. A lot of studies showed that irrespective of the intervention that is used, patients got better only when there was an improvement in the way they thought. He noted that the same could be held true even in the case of social phobia. Aaron believed that CBT was the future, he considered it to be a safer and more effective alternative to phamacotherapy. An interesting study in which patients with acute schizophrenia were assigned either to treatment as usual or to cognitive therapy was done in Britain recently. It turned out that the schizophrenic patients treated with cognitive therapy required only half as much time in the hospital as those who received conventional treatment.” (Beck, 283) Over the years, CBT has been used in many clinical experiments with positive results. Henning K. R. and Frueh B. C. with a group of psychologists and corrections officers started using cognitive procedures with prisoners in the Vermont Department of Corrections and found that the relapse rate among prisoners who had been adminstered a specific cognitive-behavioural programme was one half as high than those who had received standard prison treatment (Henning &amp. Frueh, 101). David Veale in his clinical assessment of emetophobia, a phobia of vomitting, found CBT to be the best treatment for this disorder. Through a processs of psycho-education, engagement and therapy, he was able to alter the way people thought and acted, thus helping them discontinue their excessive safety behaviours and stand up to their fears (Veale, 272). Phobic Neurosis On October 4th, 2000, Discovery Health released the findings of is telephonic study conducted by Penn, Schoen &amp. Berland Associates, Inc. among 1000 American adults and found that nearly 40% of Americans had an excessive fear about key objects or situations but would rather suffer from it than seek professional help. It established that the level of dread was very high in the American society with women being more susceptive to it than men. (Newswire, 2000) Disorders of behaviour got classified as ‘neuroses’ in DSM II. It was here that phobic neurosis was first defined as, “intese fear of an object or situation which the patient consicously recognizes as no real danger to him.” (American Psychiatric Association, 1968) Phobias were ascribed to agitations displaced to the phobic object or situation from some other object or situation of which the patient was oblivious. Issac Meyer Marks in his article, ‘The Classification of Phobic Disorders’ propounded that phobias could be further classified into, Class I – phobias of external stimuli and Class II – phobias of internal stimuli (Marks,