Historical Background Of Cognitive Behavioural Theories

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Historical Background to Cognitive Behavioural Theories The behavioural approach had its origin in the 1950s and early 1960s and it was a fundamental departure from the dominant psychoanalytic perspective. Contemporary behaviour therapy arose simultaneously in the U.S., South Africa, and Great Britain in the 1950s. In spite of harsh criticism and resistance from traditional psychotherapists, the approach survived. Its focus was on demonstrating that behavioural conditioning techniques were effective and were a viable alternative to traditional psychotherapy. In the 1960s Albert Bandura developed social learning theory, which combined classical and operant conditioning with observational learning. During the 1960s a number of cognitive behavioural approaches sprang up, and they still have a significant impact on therapeutic practice. It was during the 1970s that behaviour therapy emerged as a major force in psychology and made a significant impact on education, psychology, psychotherapy, psychiatry, and social work. In the 1980s behaviour therapists continued to subject their methods to empirical scrutiny and to consider the impact of the practice of therapy on both their clients and the larger society. Increased attention was given to the role of emotions in therapeutic change, as well as the role of biological factors in psychological disorders. Two significant developments in the field were : 1 The continued emergence of cognitive behaviour therapy as a major force 2 The application of behavioural techniques to the prevention and treatment of medical disorders. By the late 1990s, there were at least 50 journals devoted to behaviour therapy and its many offshoots. Behaviour therapy is marked by a diversity of views and procedures but all practitioners focus on observable behaviour, current determinants of behaviour, learning
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