Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a powerful form of psychotherapy with many applications. It focuses on helping people identify and modify maladaptive thoughts and emotions to reduce distress.
CBT is an evidence-based technique involving therapist and client collaboration. It centers around the idea that our thoughts and emotions can shape our behavior and that we can make positive changes in our lives by targeting these.
CBT is typically a short-term treatment, with therapist and client working together to identify, challenge, and modify self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings. During therapy, the client gradually learns to identify and change the beliefs and attitudes that make life difficult.
CBT is useful for helping people with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, anger management, substance abuse, chronic pain, and phobias. It can also help people improve relationships with others and manage daily stress.
By recognizing and replacing irrational beliefs and distorted thinking patterns with more accurate thoughts, clients can better understand themselves and their behaviors. They can develop useful coping skills and learn to recognize and challenge irrational beliefs more effectively.
CBT views problems as the result of dysfunctional thinking patterns rather than external factors and encourages problem-solving strategies to devise practical solutions to everyday challenges.
CBT often includes education, growth-focused strategies, psychoeducation, relaxation techniques, and guided discovery and combines with other therapies such as mindfulness, dialectical behavior therapy, and meditation.
An essential element of CBT is homework assignments, in which clients can apply what they’ve learned in therapy to real-life situations.
CBT is beneficial for long-term conditions, as it can help people become more resilient and better equipped to manage their symptoms in the future.
Through CBT, clients can gain insight into their beliefs and the factors contributing to their reactions and work to change their thinking, emotion, and behavior positively.
CBT can benefit people of all ages and is often used in clinical settings such as hospitals, schools, and private practice.