Evaluation of Cognitive Behavior Theory Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Persons in a Military Setting

Today's organizations are increasingly operating in a complex and rapidly changing environment that requires them to retain highly qualified employees as well as promote their well-being. While all organizations require effective human resource management practices, military organizations need these practices more because of their rapidly changing organizational environment. In essence, military organizations or settings are faced with the need to establish effective HR practices because retaining and enhancing the well-being of their members is crucial towards success in the rapidly changing environment (Dupre & Day, 2007, p.186). Given this need, military organizations continue to develop and utilize different approaches towards retaining valuable personnel and ensuring their well-being in the highly complex military setting. Even though these strategies have been relatively effective in achieving desired goals, they have been characterized by some shortcomings.

Based on cognitive behavior theory, persons in a military setting can be helped through using motivation, cognitive behavior focus, empowerment, empathy, and building trust. The use of motivation to help people in the military setting involves displaying self-confidence, high sense of responsibility, self-sacrifice, and social and physical courage. This approach helps in creating admiration and sense of identity with a military leader, which makes followers to emulate the beliefs and values of the leader (Shamir et al., 1998, p.388). Empowerment involves showing determination, self-confidence, and optimism in order to help others in the military setting. The approach not only inspires a sense of confidence but also raises self-efficacy and collective efficacy. Building trust entails emphasizing collective identity through making goals and efforts more beneficial and meaningful for every member. Empathy involves creating organizational practices that provide and enable followers to reciprocate constructive attitudes and actions. Cognitive behavior focus entails emphasis on ideology in which collective values and behaviors are linked to mission and desired goals.

Motivation plays a critical role in helping others in the military setting but may contribute to prominence of certain values at the expense of other important values. On the other hand, empathy does not necessarily create positive association with subordinate identification while empowerment does not contribute to self-sacrifice by individuals in the military setting. Moreover, building trust may be ineffective by creating an environment where subordinate demonstrate loyalty to the leader but not to organizational goals and objectives. The drawback of cognitive behavior focus is its requirement of application of cognitive behavior theory, which is not effective to use for motivation.

A theoretical orientation to human relations is an approach towards improving human relations through incorporating behavioral sciences into management practices. This theoretical orientation is important because it addresses the wrong notion that management's role is mainly focused on using employees to complete organizational tasks and responsibilities. While addressing the problem, the theoretical orientation to human relations focuses on the employee with regards to his/her well-being when conducting organizational tasks. In essence, a theoretical orientation to human relations entails taking care of the employee as well as organizational processes for productivity and success.

The theoretical orientation to human relations from a manager or supervisor perspective incorporates applying basic principles of cognitive therapy. The basic principles of cognitive therapy are applied to help create balance between caring for employees and ensuring realization of organizational goals. These principles include collaboration and active participation, goal- and problem-focused, emphasis on the present, structure, and creative thinking and behaviors.

Part II -- Cognitive Behavior Theory

Cognitive behavior theory has attracted considerable attention among behavioral and cognitively focused psychologists largely because of the lack of a single definition for this concept. Actually, there are several conceptualizations that have been developed to represent the various categories of cognitive and behavioral theories. These various categories of cognitive behavior theory emerge of a series of related theories that have developed from theoretical concepts, empirical studies, and clinical experiences. However, these categories of cognitive behavior theory provide diverse views regarding the role of cognition in behavior, especially in consideration of behavior change.

Despite the lack of a single definition of this concept, cognitive behavior theory can be described as a concept and belief that cognition plays a significant role in behavior change. In essence, an individual's cognitions or thoughts have greater impacts on his/her behaviors. Therefore, a person's negative cognitions, thoughts or beliefs generate difficulties for him/her to make positive and meaningful behavior change. On the other hand, positive cognitions, beliefs or thoughts enable an individual to make positive behavioral change.

Cognitive behavior theory has been utilized to develop various interventions that mix cognitive and behavioral approaches to deal with several psychological and behavioral problems or issues. Through mixing behavioral and cognitive strategies, cognitive behavior intervention focus on changing a person's thinking and behaviors by teaching him/her to develop and reinforce positive experiences that contribute to fundamental lifestyle changes. In the health care setting, cognitive behavior therapy is used to develop psychotherapies that enable patients to learn and utilize certain cognitive and behavioral approaches to lessen or eliminate symptom severity (Brown et al., 2016, p.206). Therefore, cognitive behavior theory helps in creating fundamental lifestyle changes through changing cognitions, thoughts and/or beliefs, which in turn result in behavioral change.

Attributes of Cognitive Behavior Theory

There are several attributes of cognitive behavior theory, which are also regarded as the principles of cognitive therapy. Some of the most common attributes of cognitive behavior theory that are important in understanding the role of cognition in behavior include

Collaborative Relationship between Client and Therapist

A good client-therapist relationship is one of the most important attributes of cognitive behavior theory because of the need for a sound therapeutic alliance during therapy. This attribute enable patients to effectively identify and define problems as well as obtain necessarily skills to manage these problems (Fenn & Byrne, 2013, p.580). The therapist achieves this through empathy, genuineness, rapport, and understanding.

Psychological Distress is a Function of Disturbances

The second important attribute of cognitive behavior theory is the premise that psychological distress is a largely a function of disturbances in cognitive processes. This attribute is important in the sense that it enables therapists to understand the role of cognition in behavior and develop appropriate approaches for enhancing cognitive processes.

Focus on Changing Cognition

The other attribute is a focus on altering cognitions to create desired changes in affect and behavior. As previously mentioned, cognitive behavior theory is a concept that focuses on the role of cognition in behavior, especially behavioral change. This attribute demonstrates the work of cognitive behavior therapists whose main focus is to help clients change their cognitive processes in order to create positive experiences with regards to behavior. It's important because it enables cognitive behavior therapists to identify negative cognitions, thoughts or beliefs and develop suitable measures for behavior change. Through identifying cognitions, especially negative ones, individuals develop suitable approaches that generate desired changes in behaviors and affect.

A Present-centered Time-limited Focus

Cognitive behavior therapy or theory emphasizes the present and aims to be time restricted or limited. The significance of being present-centered is that patients' treatment entails a strong emphasis on existing problems and certain situations that cause psychological distress to them. Through this attribute, cognitive behavior therapists are able to handle the current psychological distress of their patients regardless of diagnosis in order to promote their well-being. By focusing on the present, cognitive behavior therapy helps patients to develop a more functional and reasonable belief through approaches recommended by the therapist.

On the other hand, being time-limited is important because it helps direct therapeutic approaches which deal with the patient's conditions effectively. Through a time-limited focus, cognitive behavior theory enables therapists to develop approaches that meet the goals of providing symptom relief, helping patients deal with their most pressing issues, and educating patients to avoid relapse.

Active and Directed Stance by Therapist

The other attribute of cognitive behavior theory in relation to therapy is active and directed stance by therapist. This attribute is important because it enables therapists to ensure therapy sessions are structured towards achieving desired goals. Through this process, the therapist maximizes efficiency and effectiveness of the therapy sessions with regards to the desired goals and objective of cognitive behavior therapy.

Educational Treatment

The basis of cognitive behavior therapy is educational treatment that focuses on certain and structured target problem. Educational treatment is important because it enables patients to identify, assess, and respond to their psychological distress or dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs that cause negative experiences. Through educational treatment, cognitive behavior therapists help patients to identify major cognitions and adopt realistic views that make them feel better and function well behaviorally.

Psychoeducational Model and Cognitive Behavior Theory

Psychoeducational model is a therapeutic approach in which a patient or client's psychological functioning is viewed in terms of client ambition or dissatisfaction that in turn translates to setting goals, teaching skills, and achieving the goal or satisfaction. This model does not view an individual's psychological functioning on the basis of abnormality or disorder, which requires diagnosis, prescription, therapy and cure. Psychoeducational model is applicable to cognitive behavior theory through psychotherapy orientations. Through…

Sources Used in Document:


Brown et al. (2016). Assessing Cognitive Therapy Skills Comprehension, Acquisition, and Use by Means of an Independent Observer Version of the Skills of Cognitive Therapy (SoCT-IO). Psychological Assessment, 28(2), 205-213.

Dupre, K.E. & Day, A.L. (2007). The Effects of Supportive Management and Job Quality on the Turnover Intentions and Health of Military Personnel. Human Resource Management, 46(2), 185-201.

Fenn, K. & Byrne, M. (2013, September). The Key Principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. InnovAiT, 6(9), 579-585.

Goldman et al. (2013). Psychotherapy Integration and Alliance: Use of Cognitive-Behavioral Techniques Within a Short-Term Psychodynamic Treatment Model. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 23(4), 373-385.

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