alexa Hypothesized mechanisms of change in cognitive therapy for borderline personality disorder.


Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy

Author(s): Wenzel A, Chapman JE, Newman CF, Beck AT, Brown GK

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Abstract Preliminary evidence suggests that cognitive therapy (CT) is effective in treating borderline personality disorder (BPD). According to cognitive theory, BPD patients are characterized by dysfunctional beliefs that are relatively enduring and inflexible and that lead to cognitive distortions such as dichotomous thinking. When these beliefs are activated, they lead to extreme emotional and behavioral reactions, which provide additional confirmation for the beliefs. It is hypothesized that a change in dysfunctional beliefs is the primary mechanism of change associated with CT. However, additional mechanisms of change are likely also at work in CT, including enhancement of skills, reduction in hopelessness, and improvement in attitude toward treatment. Each of these mechanisms is discussed in light of cognitive theory, data from an open clinical CT trial, relevant literature, and therapeutic interventions. Findings from the CT trial support the role of cognitive change during therapy and its continuation after termination. Copyright 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This article was published in J Clin Psychol and referenced in Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy

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