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Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) can be used to treat behavior disorders.  Although cognitive behavior therapy is very successful in treating certain disorders it is not for everyone.  This article helps define cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT and it's key features. See if CBT is right for you.

Introduction to Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Therapy is a kind of psychological treatment that a professionally trained mental healthcare worker provides to clients or patients. Cognitive Behavior Therapy—also called Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and abbreviated CBT—is set of therapies that may be used alone or in combination with other methods by a mental health provider. It is used with individuals, with groups, and with ages ranging from teens to adults.

Different styles and approaches exist within what might be called the Cognitive-Behavioral Family of therapies. These include therapeutic approaches with the names Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Rational Living Therapy, Rational Behavior Therapy, Dialectic Behavior Therapy, and Cognitive Therapy. The reasoning behind some of these alternative names and approaches will become clearer as you continue reading.

Key Aspects of Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive Behavior Therapy has some key distinguishing features. Here is a summary of some of the most important qualities:

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy aims to help a client or patient understand the relationship between thinking, feeling, and action, as the basis for a focus on addressing thoughts that are—for one reason or another—interfering with thought or action. It locates responsibility for one’s thoughts (and as a result, one’s feelings) within the person, removing blame from externals. This allows the patient to deal more successfully with issues beyond the ones that brought him or her to therapy.
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy sees that, whatever else may happen to a person, the person can still control his or her thoughts, and through them, his or her feelings. This can help a person in the most difficult situation to remove the additional problem of feeling frantic/frustrated/distraught/etc., reducing—if only by a little—how difficult the situation is. In a calm state of mind, one is—additionally—better able to address whatever challenges come one’s way. Some, but not all, forms of Cognitive Behavior Therapy consider the practice of stoicism to be a key element. 
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy is meant to be practiced in a collaboration of patient and therapist making joint decisions about focus, treatment goals, etc. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is meant to be adapted to the patient and is not meant to be applied in a one-size-fits-all manner.
  • CBT is used successfully for a wide range of issues, proving to be effective in the treatment of anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, drug abuse, eating disorders, (ED) insomnia, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
  • Unlike psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy is designed as a relatively short-term intervention with a natural end. Average length of a program of treatment has been estimated at 16 sessions.
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy can be used in combination with other therapies, such as pharmacological therapy (medication) or psychotherapy, as appropriate to the patient’s situation.
  • As with other types of therapy, when seeking out a therapist, one should ask about his or her particular training and the form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy that he or she practices. Some of the comments here and the estimate of the length of treatment will not apply in every case.



Related Article: Parent-Child Interaction Therapy >>

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