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Cognitive theories emphasize the impact of thoughts on emotions and behaviors. Albert Ellis’s rational-emotive behavior therapy (REBT) involves the identification of irrational thoughts, the subsequent emotions, and the resulting behaviors using the A-B-C model. Treatment extends this to the A-B-C-D-E model, as those thoughts are disputed and alternative, more rational effects are the results:

Steps in the Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) ModelAActivating an eventBBelief about the eventCEmotional and behavioral consequences of the beliefDDispute or debate the beliefENew rational effects or beliefs and new emotions and new behaviors

Aaron Beck’s cognitive therapy (CT) is designed to identify dysfunctional thoughts as well; in his theory, they are referred to as “cognitive distortions.”

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Types of Cognitive DistortionsAll-or-nothing thinking”Should” and “must” statementsOvergeneralizationLabeling and mislabelingMental filter and selective abstractionPersonalizationDisqualifying the positiveCatastrophizingJumping to conclusions and arbitrary inferencesMind readingMagnification or minimizationTunnel visionEmotional reasoning

Adapted from “Labeling the Distortion” by Seligman and Reichenberg (2014).


In a minimum of 200 words, post your responses to the following:

Read the case study of Aaron.


The Case of Aaron Aaron is a highly intelligent, 11-year-old son of an unemotional, overly intellectual, divorced woman who works as a mathematician at one of the Los Angeles missile and space laboratories. His father lives in another part of the country and has no contact with him. Aaron is often left home in the care of a neighbor while his mother works late or travels to professional conferences. Although Aaron is pleasant in appearance, his behavior is extremely disruptive. He runs from game to game and toy to toy in the counselor’s office, never letting the counselor help him to enjoy any one activity. He actively avoids the counselor’s offers to play. He behaves aggressively in a haphazard, unpredictable way, crying for the counselor’s attention, but becoming angry and withdrawn when she gives him some warmth. He tends to criticize his mother, often describing her as hostile and rejecting. He also criticizes his previous counselors at the clinic regarding their treatment of him. He expresses dissatisfaction with the clinic’s toys, playrooms, and lack of electronic/video games. He blames his failure to be happy on his mother, his missing father, school, or his previous counselors. He often tells the counselor that his mother does not like him. According to Aaron, his school is also bad, his teachers do not understand him, and the other kids pick on him. He reports that no one really cares about him and that he has no friends. Vocally and physically aggressive at times, he might with equal suddenness become withdrawn and almost detached from reality. He will start a game, then destroy it if he suffers even one minor setback. He walks away from outdoor play with the counselor, then returns to beg her for candy. He runs away, hides, and tries to make the counselor look for him all over the clinic. Continually begging for ice cream or for money, he becomes detached when his requests are refused. If difficult topics come up in sessions, he stops suddenly and runs, screams, or talks gibberish.

Based on the case study:

  • Identify six of the cognitive distortions listed in the table above that apply to the case study of Aaron.
  • Cite evidence from the case for each type you identified.
  • For each type you identified, apply the A-B-C portion of Ellis’s theory and then create a D and an E.

Now, address the following questions:

  • Is the cognitive approach a good fit for Aaron? Why or why not?
  • What type of client is best suited for cognitive therapy (CT)?
  • Is it most suitable for particular cultures, ages, genders, or presenting problems? Why or why not?

Support your rationale and analyses by using at least two resources from professional literature in your response. Professional literature may include the Argosy University online library resources; relevant textbooks; peer-reviewed journal articles; and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu or .gov).

Your discussion posts and all written assignments should reflect graduate-level writing skills and appropriate use of APA style, including in-text citations and references.

Here is one answer below by student, to help you do the work 200 words make it different from this post


The six cognitive distortions that apply to the case study of Aaron are: All-or-nothing thinking, when he goes from one activity to the next; mental filter and selective abstraction, when he insists on having the counselors full attention but pulls away when he feels she is too warm; disqualifying the positive, when he criticizes his mom, past counselors, and toys; jumping to conclusions and arbitrary inferences, when he claims his mother does not like him, teachers don’t understand him and nobody cares about him; magnification or minimization, when he blames his failure on his mom, dad, school, and counselors; and emotional reasoning, when he destroys games, shows sudden aggression, tantrum, and detachment as a response to any sort of discomfort  (Argosy University, 2014).

The activating events here lack of structure in his life, not get the necessary attention from his parents, wanting a “perfect” life, not receiving praise for achievements, not being accountable for his actions, and not being shown or exposed to healthy situations involving emotional responses. He believes he no one cares about him and therefore finds no reason to complete a task, needs attention, and criticizes those around him to make himself look better. His emotions and behavior, as a result, are unpredictable and out of control. He needs to dispute or debate each of his beliefs and really understand how each one is harming him more than those around him. He can then reinforce new rational beliefs about himself and others. These thoughts might be “I am valued and loved. My mom is just working hard because she loves me”; “I am responsible for communicating my problems with others, not acting out and shutting down.”; and “I am doing my best.”

I believe the Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) approach a good fit for Aaron, because it helps the client understand their thought process and how it effects how they are seeing and responding to the world around them. It is also short term and time limited, something I feel Aaron needs and as soon as possible. Why I really think is best about it is it’s “detachment” with the client. This form of therapy does not involve the bond or rapport. It simply jumps right into the problem thought areas and allows the client to discover how they are controlling how they react (Brief Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Demonstration, 2000).

In my opinion, cognitive therapy (CT) is more suited for clients who need a bond with their counselor in order to open up, as it takes on a more gentle tone (Demonstration of Cognitive Therapy, 1995).

It is most suitable for particular cultures, ages, genders, or presenting problems, because it takes on the approach that all problems stem from our thoughts. Therefore, all thoughts can be explored and understood by the client, as the thoughts are their own. Because of this, those thoughts can be transformed by the client themselves as well (Argosy University, 2014).


Argosy University. (2014). Module 4 lectures. Counseling Theory. Retrieved May 2017 from:

Argosy University. (2014). The Case of Aaron. Counseling Theory. Retrieved May 2017 from:

Brief Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Demonstration [Video file]. (2000). Milton H. Erickson Foundation. Retrieved May 26, 2017, from Academic Video Online: Premium.

Demonstration of Cognitive Therapy [Video file]. (1995). Milton H. Erickson Foundation. Retrieved May 26, 2017, from Academic Video Online: Premium.

Rose, W. (2006). REBT Self-Help Form. Retrieved May 2017 from:

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