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The New CBT

Clinical Evolutionary Psychology

Mike Abrams (author)

ISBN: 9781516521623

Publication Date: May 2020

Format: Paperback

Filling a void in the clinical literature, this volume integrates new techniques of cognitive behavioural therapy with evidence-based evolutionary psychology and behavioral genetics. The text addresses the need for clinicians to be conversant with the burgeoning research that has linked evolutionary and genetic processes to psychological problems.

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Filling a void in the clinical literature, The New CBT: Clinical Evolutionary Psychology integrates new techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with evidence-based evolutionary psychology and behavioral genetics. The text addresses the need for clinicians to be conversant with the burgeoning research that has linked evolutionary and genetic processes to psychological problems. This text makes these essential elements accessible to both clinicians and their clients so they can develop a deeper understanding of crucial clinical topics, such as emotional feelings, cognition, and behavioral change. The New CBT explains the processes of the mind and provides solutions to many of the problems that arise when these processes lead to dysfunction or distress.

The text reviews how the application of evolutionary psychology and behavioral genetics provides both etiological insights and novel treatments for each of the major psychological disorders. Readers are offered evidenced-based explanations of how evolution and genetics can pragmatically resolve the enduring problem of nature versus nurture. Additionally, they come to understand how eons of environmental changes have guided the way people deal with distress, perceive their environment, and judge others as well as themselves. By viewing both normative and problematic behavior through an evolutionary lens, readers gain new perspectives in applying CBT that are thoroughly modern, effective, and take into consideration cutting-edge research.

The New CBT is an ideal text for upper-division courses in psychology, psychotherapy, and psychopathology, especially those with an emphasis on CBT. It is also an excellent resource for practicing clinicians who wish to update or reframe their understanding and use of CBT, evolutionary psychology, or behavioral genetics.


The New CBT is an absolutely terrific and ground-breaking book. It provides cutting-edge science about clinical evolutionary psychology, with profound implications for treatment. Incorporating an evolutionary perspective on psychological disorders gives readers, clients, students, and professionals a tremendously important lens for understanding and treatment. Simply put, it's the best book out there. Abrams has done a terrific job interweaving case studies with deep psychological understanding and the latest empirically-based evidence. I recommend this book in the highest terms and without reservation."
David M. Buss
Author of Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind

"Work in evolutionary psychology and genetics has been limited to explanations as opposed to applications. Mike Abrams' book is the first to systematically apply evolutionary and genetic principles to theory and treatment of psychological problems."
Dr. Robert Plomin, MRC Research Professor in Behavioral Genetics, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London
Author of Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are

"Most people will suffer from psychological distress at some point in their lives. Some will turn to psychotherapy for help with dealing with life's adversities. Cleverly integrating evolutionary psychology and behavioral genetics with basic principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychologist Mike Abrams provides us with new insights into how we might more effectively alleviate stress by changing the way people think and behave. Clinicians who hope to provide this much-needed help, and students who are learning to be clinicians themselves, will enjoy The New CBT, and be fascinated by the creative approach that Abrams has taken in this one-of-a-kind text."
Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, University of California, Irvine
Past President, Association for Psychological Science

"Where was this magnificent volume when I first began my practice? Dr. Abrams has skillfully woven a brilliant understanding of genetic and evolutionary psychology into diagnostic and treatment interventions for the beginning and experienced clinician. Bravo!"
Barry Lubetkin, Ph.D., ABPP
Past President, American Board of Behavioral Psychology

"Mike Abrams has written an important book with an impressive range of coverage: evolution, emotion theory, cognition, the history of psychotherapy, and current status of therapeutic approaches to numerous disorders. This will be a valuable resource not just for therapists but also for scientists who want relate their work on brain and behavior to mental problems and their treatment."
Joseph LeDoux, Center for Neural Science, NYU
Emotional Brain Institute at NYU and Nathan Kline Institute

"The New CBT: Clinical Evolutionary Psychology by Mike Abrams provides an evolution of our thinking about the mental health problems faced by many people. I highly recommend the book, which is both thoughtfully written and thought provoking. Most CBT practitioners are not well informed on the sciences of evolutionary psychology and behavioral genetics and Dr. Abrams makes a strong case that we should be. When we see a client who is struggling with traits or disturbances, such as aggression, that might have been advantageous at some point or in some circumstances, we tend to focus upon psychological explanations and forget about the adaptive nature of these traits as well as the heritability. ICT (Informed Cognitive Therapy) is an integration of evidence-based CBT with the sciences of evolution and heritability. Dr. Abrams provides an excellent and thorough overview of the history and research of both of these fields. Densely packed with research and theory, the text also provides many clinical examples and vignettes. It will be a book that I will refer to frequently in the future."
Deborah Dobson, Ph.D., Private Practice and University of Calgary
Author of Evidence Based Practice of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (2009; 2017) with K.S. Dobson

"Dr. Mike Abrams has written a book that is the culmination of his decades of experience practicing CBT alongside the founders of CBT. Informed Cognitive Therapy (ICT) tethers best practices in psychotherapy to principles from medicine and biology. Understanding innate functions, and their evolved purpose, has been an explicit goal in biology, but only recently has this explanatory power emerged in psychotherapy. With an experienced clinician's eye, Mike Abrams zeroes in on basic principles that contribute to emotional and psychological disturbances and offers a genuinely informed and comprehensive manual for their application."
Nando Pelusi, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Cofounder, Applied Evolutionary Psychology Society (AEPS)
Contributing Editor, Psychology Today

"One of the guiding principles of my approach to the psychological sciences has been that theories, techniques, and frameworks need to make sense and be coordinate with the basic principles of evolutionary biology. What Abrams has done in this seminal volume is drag the field of psychotherapy into this conceptual box. Building on earlier research by and with Albert Ellis, Abrams has outlined not just how the techniques used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and its offspring, Informed Cognitive Therapy, have come to be the most effective forms of psychotherapy, but why. And the why is because they are consonant with and supported by fundamental principles of evolutionary psychology. This move, in my view, is of considerable importance. I recommend the book enthusiastically, not just for psychotherapists, but anyone interested in the remarkable progress being made by mental health practitioners."
Arthur S. Reber, Ph.D., Visiting Professor, University of British Columbia

"Dr. Mike Abrams has provided a great service to the field and practice of clinical psychology. The New CBT: Clinical Evolutionary Psychology reframes CBT according to modern evolutionary psychological principles. In addition, Dr. Abrams' latest book advances the field and application of evolutionary psychology, documenting the further successful reaches of the discipline. The New CBT: Clinical Evolutionary Psychology will be appreciated by clinical psychologists, evolutionary psychologists, and most especially by those charting the future of clinical evolutionary psychology."
Dr. Todd Shackelford, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Psychology, Co-director of the Evolutionary Psychology Lab, Oakland University
Pages 502
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 May 2020
Publisher Cognella Academic Publishing
Subject/s Psychotherapy   Cognition & cognitive psychology   Cognitive behavioural therapy  
Mike Abrams is a practicing psychologist and clinical researcher with a specialty in cognitive behavioral therapy. He is an adjunct full professor in the M.A. program in psychology at New York University and Managing partner of Psychology for New Jersey, LLC a clinical research corporation. He is a board-certified diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology and a supervisor, fellow, and diplomate of the Albert Ellis Institute. Dr. Abrams studied and worked closely with Dr. Albert Ellis, with whom he published several books, chapters, and articles on REBT and CBT. Dr. Abrams has also authored four other books on psychology and has practiced or taught professional psychology for more than thirty years. His research into the evolutionary basis of sexual and trauma disorders led the publication along with David Buss of the first clinical protocol combining evolutionary psychology and CBT.

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