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Unread May 9th, 2005, 09:49 PM
James Pretzer James Pretzer is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 283
Default CT's "Official" Clinical Style

You asked "does CT have an 'official' clinical style?"

I guess it does. If you take a look at items 14-18 of the version of the "Competency Checklist for Cognitive Therapists" in Appendix A of Cognitive Therapy of Depression, you'll see what could be argued to be the "official" stance on the therapeutic relationship in CT. It emphasizes genuineness, warmth, accurate empathy, professionalism, and rapport. Of course, many other approaches to psychotherapy emphasize the same aspects of the therapeutic relationship.

Another aspect of the "official" clinical style which is more specific to CT is what Beck calls "collaborative empiricism." Therapist and client/patient work together toward mutually agreed-upon goals, working together to collect the observations needed to test dysfunctional cognitions and come up with more adaptive alternatives, to find more effective ways to cope with problem situations, and to find adaptive ways to deal with problematic emotions.

Of course we adjust our therapeutic stance in response to the needs and preferences of the client but we don't abandon genuineness, warmth, empathe, professionalism, rapport, or collaborative empiricism in the process.

For other perspecitves on this issue, see my summary of Jesse Wright and Denise Davis' article on this topic (in the archives at and Ellis's thoughts on the characteristics of effective therapists (in the archives at
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