Cognitive development and cognitive therapy
Beck's cognitive theory of psychopathology is integrated with Piaget's and Bowlby's structural cognitive-developmental theories. Automatic thought distortions, maladaptive assumptions, and early maladaptive schemas are formed at the preoperational level of intelligence and are marked by structural limitations of moral realism, imminent justice, dichotomous and intuitive thinking, and magical causality. The specific negative content of self-other schemas is based on early object representations reflecting pathology in the attachment process. Personality disorders are described as the persistence of preoperational structure and early object representations which are submitted to compensation and avoidance through maladaptive life-scripts. A case formulation based on this model is described.