Cognitive behavioral therapy

What Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a solution-based form of psychotherapy. It is based upon principles of cognitive and behaviour therapy, with a goal of improving mental health and dysfunction.

Cognitive behavioural therapy works by helping people recognise and change patterns of thought and belief that lead to destructive or negative behaviour. It is recognised as one of the most popular forms of psychotherapy and is used extensively as a treatment worldwide.

History of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy was created in the 1960s by University of Pennsylvania psychiatrist, Dr Aaron T Beck. After conducting several experiments testing the psychoanalytic conceptions of depression, he found that patients suffering with depression experienced patterns of negative thoughts and behaviours.

He believed these thoughts stemmed from three different areas. These include a person’s ideas about themselves, their ideas about others and their perception of the world, as well as thoughts of the future. He helped patients to identify with and evaluate these thoughts and change their fundamental beliefs about themselves.

How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Works

Cognitive behavioural therapy is based upon the idea that the way we perceive situations affects our emotions. The way a person perceives something can either be negative or positive based on the way they perceive themselves and others.

It works by urging patients to identify negative thoughts when they arise, then evaluate how realistic these thoughts are. It works to change a person’s perception and begin to think and view things more realistically. CBT is a therapy rooted in solving problems and making changes to an individual’s behaviour.

In patients with anxiety, cognitive behavioural therapy offers methods and changes in behaviour that allow a person to calm down. It can help to refocus patterns of negative thought that lead to anxiety by focussing on the breath. It also works to redirect thought patterns that can escalate into anxiety or panic.

What Does It Treat?

Cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the most common treatments used in patients with anxiety. It is used to treat conditions such as depression, anxiety/panic disorder, addiction, bipolar disorder, fears and phobias, and other mental and emotional problems.

Is It Effective?

Cognitive behavioural therapy has shown to be extremely effective in treating a variety of different conditions. It is used worldwide and has proven to be widely beneficial. It has shown to be effective in helping with:

  • Dealing with anger
  • Identifying negative thought patterns
  • Addiction recovery
  • PTSD/Overcoming trauma
  • Sleep problems
  • Chronic pain management
  • Grief
  • Loss
  • Problems in relationships

How Long Does Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Take to Work?

Everyone responds to cognitive behavioural therapy differently. It is used to treat a variety of different problems and many different types of people. Some people will benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy after only a few sessions, while others may take months to see results.

The type of problem a person is experiencing, as well as the severity of their symptoms will determine how long it takes to work in their personal situation. Sessions typically last for one hour and are held in both individual and group settings.

External Links

History of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy,

National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists

Cognitive behavioral therapy, PubMed Health, 2016

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