Cognitive activity is the bedrock of cognitive behavioral therapy,


Cognitive activity is the bedrock of cognitive behavioral therapy, but there are many terms used within the field to describe this activity, including beliefs, stream of consciousness, schemas, and even the simple term thoughts, to name but a few examples from the literature. For this Discussion, you consider two important terms used with CBT: irrational beliefs and cognitive distortions.

As you read the Learning Resources this week, keep the following statement in mind and consider both possibilities:

Some researchers suggest that irrational beliefs and cognitive distortions are the same, while others suggest they are different.

For this Discussion, you examine your own personal beliefs about irrational beliefs and cognitive distortions.

To prepare:

  • Review the Learning Resources related to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) for this week.
  • Search the Walden library for additional scholarly articles related to irrational beliefs and cognitive distortions. You may also research the term irrational assumptions, which is sometimes used synonymously with irrational beliefs.

With these thoughts in mind:

Write an explanation of irrational beliefs and cognitive distortions. Next, compare and contrast what you believe are the differences between irrational beliefs and cognitive distortions, if any. If you believe they are the same, provide justification for your position. Provide an example of each.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources. Use proper APA format and citations.


  • Ellis, A. (1980). Rational-emotive therapy and cognitive behavior therapy: Similarities and differences. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 4(4), 325–340. doi:10.1007/BF01178210
    Are cognitive behavior therapy and rational therapy synonymous? by Ellis, A. in Cognitive Therapy and Research, 4(4). Copyright 1980 by Plenum Publishers. Reprinted by permission of Plenum Publishers via the Copyright Clearance Center.
  • Ellis, A. (1993). Reflections on rational-emotive therapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 61(2), 199–201. Retrieved from the EBSCO databases (Accession No. 8473572).
    Reflections on Rational-emotive Therapy by Ellis, A., in Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 61/Issue 2. Copyright 1993 by American Psychological Association – Journals. Reprinted by permission of American Psychological Association – Journals via the Copyright Clearance Center.
    Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
  • Beck, A. T. (1963). Thinking and depression I: Idiosyncratic content and cognitive distortions. Archives of General Psychiatry, 9(1), 324–333. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720160014002
    Thinking and Depression I: Theory and Therapy by Beck, A. T., in Archives of General Psychiatry, Vol. 61/Issue 2. Copyright 1964 by American Medical Association. Reprinted by permission of American Medical Association via the Copyright Clearance Center.


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