Behavioral Therapy Versus Gestalt Therapy

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Whilst CBT utilizes rational and educational techniques aimed at resolving a client’s condition, Gestalt therapy delivers a more creative and authentic approach. The ABC technique is the most common technique used in CBT, referring to the theory that ‘what one does and thinks affects the way they feel’ (Corey, 2012). The model is based on the notion that behavioural problems can be altered and unlearned, and doing so will reduce psychological distress. Exercises focus on fixing the cognitive patterns of client’s to become healthier, such as the therapist questioning a client’s irrational beliefs and assisting them to restructure their thinking patterns in a healthier way. The counsellor utilizes Socratic dialogue, which requires asking…show more content…
CBT has the strongest research support for its effectiveness in treating a wide range of psychological and behavioural problems, such as depression, anxiety, and addiction (Hickes & Mirea, 2012). The diversity in its applicable structure has also encouraged many psychotherapists to apply it therapeutically in sessions (Stallard 2002). CBT is more effective in achieving positive outcomes for clients than Gestalt, as it provides a more clearly defined framework, has long established techniques, and greater validity and research to support the therapeutic process. A study conducted by Mewton & Andrews (2015) studied the efficacy of CBT for depression, with results indicating that treatment decreased the prevalence of depression and suicidal ideation by more than fifty percent, and improved the quality of life of participants. Studies have also found CBT to be equally or more effective than drug therapy (Butler, Chapman, Forman, & Beck, 2006; Shamsei et al., 2008). Though Gestalt has received little empirical validation, research has suggested that the use of the two-chair technique and the empty chair technique are just as effective in treating conflict and unfinished business, as CBT (Greenberg & Rice, 1997, cited in Wagner-Moore, 2004). Additionally, a study by Watson (2006, cited in Tonnesvang, Sommer, Hammink, & Sonne, 2010) comparing the treatment outcome of 40 clients receiving either CBT or Gestalt, found that among successful responders of each approach, those receiving Gestalt had higher levels of emotional processing. However, other studies have shown that expression of emotion may lead to great levels of hostility among some clients, and the Gestalt therapy approach produced higher rates of deterioration than other psychotherapy approaches (Mohr, 1995). Until

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