Understanding CBT


We’ve discussed CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) at length in class! However we’ve mostly discussed the theory behind it as well as discussed the ways in which CBT dovetails with cognitive psychologist’s views of mood and anxiety disorder etiology. 

But, you need to understand what CBT looks like in practice in order to better understand this treatment technique as well as better understand what it means to have depression. Comprehending both of these lucidly will also further facilitate your understanding of etiology. 

Watch the following excerpts of CBT in action and then answer the following questions on a word document:


Ohio State on Socratic Questioning:



  1. In the first video, the word “examine” is used frequently. How does the first video’s use of the word “examine” connect to the Socratic questioning employed by the researchers at Ohio State? 
  2. What behavioral change is agreed upon during the second video’s session? 
  3. Why might this method of questioning be superior to more traditional prescriptive methods of therapy? 
  4. What was the the goal of the session in the second video? It is never stated, but you should be able to identify it. 
  5. How does the quote at the top of this post by socrates relate to CBT? 
  6. Explain the relationship between cognitive etiology and the treatment of CBT? 


Investigating Social Etiology of Depression



As you know, the etiology of depression is a nuanced and complicated thing.  This post will require you to analyze the social and environmental etiological elements of the disorder.

Brown and Harris (1978) developed the vulnerability model after their research found that those with certain environmental “vulnerabilities” were more likely to suffer from depression.

Your job is to triangulate these findings with other research. 

Consider the following: 

After reading the above pieces, answer the following questions: 

  1. How does Sapolsky’s work support the anthropological findings of Dr. Luhrmann?
  2. What environmental causes of mental illness does Dr. Luhrmann allude to?
  3. How do both researchers findings support the vulnerability hypothesis?
  4. Does Sapolsky’s work support a social etiology of depression or biological or both?

Add Sapolsky to your “study guide to studies” for abnormal under whichever level of analysis you see fit.