Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies
The family of cognitive and behavioral therapies includes a di-verse group of interventions. Nevertheless, the treatments share several pragmatic and theoretical assumptions. First, these thera-pies emphasize a psychoeducational orientation, by which patients learn about the nature of their difficulties and the rationale for use of particular treatment strategies. Secondly, the cognitive and behavioral therapies typically employ homework and self-help assignments to provide patients the opportunity to practice thera-peutic methods to enhance generalization outside of the therapy hour. Thirdly, objective assessment of psychiatric illness is con-sidered an integral part of treatment, and selection of therapeutic strategies derives logically from such assessments. Fourthly, the therapeutic methods used are generally structured, are directive, and require a high level of therapist activity. As such, the cognitive and behavioral therapies tend to be easier than other approaches to describe in treatment manuals. Fifthly, for most disorders, the cognitive and behavioral therapies are time-limited interventions. Sixthly, and perhaps most important, these therapies are built on empirical evidence that validates the theoretical orientation and guides the choice of therapeutic techniques. Specifically, learn-ing theories (i.e., classical, operant and observational models of learning) and the principles of cognitive psychology are relied on heavily in constructing cognitive–behavioral treatment models.