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, 96 (3), 379-94

Cognitive Change Processes in Psychotherapy


Cognitive Change Processes in Psychotherapy

C R Brewin. Psychol Rev.


Several types of cognitive-behavioral therapy are now practiced that use different sets of theoretical concepts and propose different kinds of change mechanisms. None, however, is directly grounded in experimental research in cognitive and social psychology, and few address basic issues such as the relevance of conscious versus nonconscious cognitive processes and the validity of the self-report data on which therapy depends. Put forward in this article is a model that describes the conscious and nonconscious processing of emotional stimuli and distinguishes between knowledge that is verbally accessible and knowledge that can only be recovered by exposure to situational cues. Also proposed are three mechanisms of cognitive change that involve altering verbally accessible knowledge, the accessibility of nonconscious situational memories, and self-regulatory strategies. These mechanisms are related to the current practices of behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapists.

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Cited by 4 PubMed Central articles