Knowing and Believing: Enhancing client (and therapist) belief change using experiential interventions

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Whilst the cognitive-behavioural approach is widely supported by the evidence base across different psychopathologies, research tends to lack investigation into the effectiveness of specific cognitive behavioural strategies (Bennet-Levy et al., 2004). There is, however, evidence that those interventions that lack an experiential component are less effective than those that do (Bennet-Levy, 2003). For example, belief change has been found to be more effective when utilising behavioural experiments (i.e., testing a belief via active experimentation) as opposed to utilising verbal or written evaluation methods only (Bennet-Levy, 2003; McManus et al., 2011). One explanation for these findings is that interventions which incorporate an experiential component (and therefore emotional activation) allow the client to process information at a
deeper ‘implicational’ level (Teasdale, 1997), rather than at an intellectual or rational level which may be less effective in facilitating change (Bennet-Levy, 2004). Essentially, cognitive-behavioural intervention should aim for a unification of ‘head and heart’, whereby the client not only sees an alternative perspective, but also believes it.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2023
EventBABCP 51st Annual Conference - Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jul 202313 Jul 2023


ConferenceBABCP 51st Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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