• cognitive behavioural therapy;
  • ABC model;
  • automatic thoughts;
  • alternative belief;
  • psychoeducation;
  • mental health nursing

Cognitive behaviour therapy: teaching a client the ABC model — the first steps towards the process of change

Research suggests that clients need to be made aware of the relationship between thinking and emotional and behavioural reactions at the start of the therapeutic work. This paper looks at the clinical processes of educating the client about this relationship in a seven-step ABC model. Rationales for each of the seven steps are given. The model illustrates the process of generating alternative beliefs in relation to a negative event and shows consequences of holding helpful and unhelpful beliefs.