cognitive behavioral education

What is Cognitive Behavioral Education (CBE) and how is it Different from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

The following discussion sets forth the differences between Cognitive Behavioral Education (CBE) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or CBT.) The term "cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)" is a general term for a classification of different approaches with similarities, including but not limited to Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Rational Behavior Therapy, Rational Living Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, and Dialectic Behavior Therapy. However, Cognitive Behavioral Education (CBE) is a unique educational discipline that is defined by an “option presentation” curriculum developed by Baldwin Research Institute® and taught exclusively by St. Jude Retreats® and/or through Baldwin Research’s educational process known as the Jude Thaddeus Home Program®. This curriculum is taught without the inevitable encumbrances of therapy based processes that utilize control methods which negatively affect the outcome of the therapy. The CBE method is non-confrontational and non-control based and is a non-therapy model. The teaching techniques are defined as allowing the student (not a patient or client) the total freedom to select from options which are presented by a Baldwin Research Institute Certified Instructor.

Cognitive Behavioral Education (CBE) exists as a distinct and unique educational technique that is offered through Certified Baldwin Research Institute, Inc. Instructors; it is not a therapy or medically based method.

CBE has the following ten characteristics:

1. Like CBT, CBE is based on the Cognitive Model of Emotional Response. CBE is based on the fact that the mindcauses our emotions and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. If a situation or external negative circumstances do not change, the individual still has the mental ability to change their position and emotional reaction to those circumstances. CBE goes even further than conventional CBT techniques by the student creating their own physical brain changes, also called self-created neuroplasticity, as a result of the student’s personal motivations, actions, behaviors and choices, not the instructor’s. These motivations, actions, behaviors and choices are chosen by the student through the proprietary option presentation, non-control based education offered in the Jude Thaddeus Program® and Jude Thaddeus Home Program®.

2. Much like CBT, CBE is a Time-Limited educational process. However, unlike conventional therapies CBT, CBE begins with a well defined completion time. Student enrollment for a standard CBE program is 42 days. Some students, however, may enroll for a maximum 70 day enrollment period. According to the NACBT, some forms of CBT may be as short as 16 sessions with a therapist. Other forms of therapy may be as long as several months to years. The St. Jude Retreats® typical student has a complex number of personal challenges and problems that demand consistent exposure to the option presentation methodology for maximum neuroplastic changes to occur. Yet, the method has found documented success where other forms of therapy and the control based CBT methodologies have historically failed with this demographic. Mental health disciplines such as psychoanalysis or free association counseling can take years, and in many cases with limited positive results, and sometimes produce dramatic harmful effects on the patient. What enables CBE to be so brief and effective is the option presentation component in conjunction with the social component, which is completely absent in the common CBT model. Like CBT, CBE makes use of homework assignments, but also makes available an atmosphere to apply those options in an open social environment, whether that be at home or at one of the St. Jude Retreats®. CBE is also time-limited in that the student understands at time of enrollment that there will be a point when the classes will end at either the 42 day or the 70 day, whichever they choose. The end of the education process can happen earlier than their enrollment period and this decision is based solely at the discretion of the student. Again, this characteristic of CBE is a manifestation of making use of option presentation. From the moment the student makes contact with the St. Jude Retreats® for possible enrollment, the student is offered options to pick from. All humans always move in the direction of what makes them happy at any given moment in time. Thus, even the length of the enrollment is based not on the teacher’s opinion as to what is best for the student; but rather, it is based on the student’s decision of what is best for him/her.

3. Excellent instructor skills, versed in the discipline of non-judgmental option presentation are necessary to create a sound, effective, ethical educational experience for the student. Some forms of therapy including the varied CBT models assume that the main reason people get better in therapy is because of the positive relationship between the therapist and client. Cognitive behavioral therapists for example, believe it is important to have a good, trusting relationship with their clients. CBT therapists also believe that the clients change because they learn how to think differently and they act on that thinking. Therefore, CBT therapists focus on teaching rational self-counseling skills. CBE modifies this concept and takes the benefits one step further than CBT. CBE is neutral with respect to the thoughts of its students. It neither invokes nor encourages any particular thought. CBE provides an opportunity for its students to make their own judgments (thoughts) about their lives, 100% of the time. The curriculum, unlike any type of therapy, does not have a control feature such as a therapist. In contrast, the CBE instructor, when following non-controlling option presentation based education methods, cannot tell the student how or what to think, thus it eliminates the power or control aspects of therapy. CBT relationships invariably develop into a conventional therapeutic relationship. This Parent-Child relationship between the therapist and patient is a natural and predictable trapping of therapy. For instance the term therapist implies the “knowing, healthy party” and the term patient implies the “unknowing” or “sick” party. That being true, there is no therapist/client relationship in CBE. By making option presentation education the focus, CBE spends less time developing a relationship between the instructor and student, and more time finding creative solutions and options to problems. The long term effect of CBE is no need for continued education or support self-help meetings, because self-efficacy has been learned by the student, and a physical brain based supportive neuroplastic change will have occurred. This neuroplastic change then makes it much easier for the student to remain focused on creating their own options without an instructor present in the future, thus gaining greater confidence and healthy independence as a function of time. In summary, the student is 100% responsible for their results, which is diametrically opposed to CBT or any conventional therapy known today.

4. CBE is not collaborative; it is instructional.
CBT therapists seek to learn what their clients want out of life (their goals) and then help their clients achieve those goals. CBE however, knows that an instructor cannot actually help anyone achieve their goals, as each individual is an independent being capable of making their own decisions from their own unique perspective. In CBE, when a student struggles with creating, working on, and attaining self-determined goals, the instructor simply offers possible options to help the student find creative ways to problem solve. With that, the student can make the decisions necessary to achieve the goals that they have selected for themselves. This is the only way that a student can truly learn to be self-efficacious and confident. The instructor’s role is simply to present options, and encourage, while the student’s role is to self-direct, and implement that which has been learned through making choices and being adaptive to life’s natural changes.

5. Because CBT is based in aspects of stoic philosophy and therapy, it once again falls prey to the therapist/patient power based relationship. In contrast CBE’s option presentation education presents concepts based on Universal Axioms that are time tested positive truths are not dependent on the personality of those teaching them. Once learned, the student applies these axioms in their own way. Because there is no therapist, the student immediately can apply the axioms and build self-efficacy, and at their own speed, and with their own unique private perspective.

6. CBE instructors may ask questions but not in a therapeutic manner. The CBT therapist can easily lapse into baiting questions as a means of coercion convincing the patient into believing what the therapist thinks is in the patient’s best interest. To alleviate this inherent problem with therapy, Certified Baldwin Research Institute Instructors work around principles rather than directives. Once the student understands the five universal axioms, as well as the Thought and Emotion Chart, as well as other educational tools, they can apply these principles in all of their goal setting exercises, etc.

7. CBE is structured, but not directive. Like CBT, CBE’s education is devoid of what a person’s goals “should” be. However, unlike CBT, the CBE instructor does not show clients how to think and behave.  CBE instructors do not tell students “how” to reach their goals or how to behave. Rather students learn how to rally their native intelligence with which they discover their own unique approach as to how to reach their goals.  The difference between CBT and CBE is not semantics. Those who develop their own paths, intrinsically, understand every detail of their decisions. Thus, they have, personally, committed, not only to their newly established goals, but also to their self-developed process to achieve their goals. CBE’s curriculum is based on information and principles that are Universal and not instructor specific, therefore, students apply options and principles that are not the creation of someone else’s thought process. Once again this removes the inherent Parent/Child relationship that exists in all therapy models, including CBT.

8. Unlike CBT that is distinguished by its “educational emphasis,” CBE does not have an educational emphasis, CBE is only educational. There is no therapy involved. The goal of CBE is for the student to self-create a positive neuroplastic change in their brains with three basic components: motivation, repetition, and understanding. These three components of self-change are enhanced significantly by the option presentation method, because it places all the positive and negative results in the hands of the creator of the choices made. Learning then, occurs at a rapid pace.

9. CBE is not based on “fact,” because we know from history that personal “facts” change at the speed of thought. Based on this, the only truth is that which lies within the individual at any moment in time. From this non-judgment position, the instructor simply asks questions like, “Is this where you want to be?” “Is drinking helping your life or hurting it?” etc. By applying the Freedom Model® principle that all humans have the right and desire to pursue personal happiness, the student analyses situations and then can begin to apply Universal Axioms to those situations and circumstances. (Axioms are poles apart from judgments made by a therapist on what is factual in someone else’s life.)

10. The success of CBE is based on personal change and the ability to adapt positively to change. The “homework” in CBE is life itself. By understanding the Universal Axioms as well as the Freedom Model® students know that they are the absolute master of their destiny, and are given the tools and social environment to apply those tools. By applying these tools into their lives the student/guest can actually change their physical brains and thus, better support their own desires and new lifestyle.


Cognitive Behavioral Education