Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy based on the idea that your own distorted thoughts and beliefs lead to your negative moods and unhealthy behavior. Cognitive behavioral therapy says that other people, situations and events aren’t responsible for your mood and behavior Ñ you are.
According to the theory behind cognitive behavioral therapy, you have automatic but inaccurate thoughts or beliefs in certain situations. These inaccurate thoughts lead to unhealthy moods and behavior, such as anxiety and overeating. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you become aware of these inaccurate thoughts and beliefs. You learn to view situations more realistically. This allows you to behave and react in a healthier way Ñ even if the situation itself hasn’t changed.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common type of psychotherapy. It combines features of both cognitive therapy and behavior therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is helpful for numerous mental illnesses and stressful life situations.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of many effective ways to treat a wide range of mental illnesses and life stressors.
When to consider cognitive behavioral therapy Cognitive behavioral therapy may be used because:
- It’s your preferred treatment choice
- You don’t want to take psychiatric medications
- You’ve tried other treatments and they haven’t worked
- Other treatments aren’t appropriate for your situation Ñ for instance, you can’t tolerate the side effects from antidepressants
- You want to experience emotional growth and healing
- You’re having a hard time overcoming negative moods and self-destructive behavior
- You want to prevent a relapse of your condition after stopping other treatment
Conditions and issues cognitive behavioral therapy may help Conditions and problems that may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy include, but aren’t limited to:
- Medical illnesses, such as chronic fatigue syndrome
- Relationship problems
- Sleep disorders
- Work problems
- Sexual disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse disorders
- Personality disorders
- Psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia
In severe cases, cognitive behavioral therapy may be more effective when it’s combined with other treatments, such as psychiatric medications.
Cognitive therapy: A relatively short-term form of psychotherapy based on the concept that the way we think about things affects how we feel emotionally. Cognitive therapy focuses on present thinking, behavior, and communication rather than on past experiences and is oriented toward problem solving. Cognitive therapy has been applied to a broad range of problems including depression, anxiety, panic, fears, eating disorders, substance abuse, and personality problems.
Cognitive therapy is sometimes called cognitive behavior therapy because it aims to help people in the ways they think (the cognitive) and in the ways they act (the behavior). Cognitive therapy has, for instance, been used to help cocaine-dependent individuals become abstinent from cocaine and other substances. The underlying assumption is that learning processes play an important role in the development and continuation of cocaine abuse and dependence. These same learning processes can be used to help individuals reduce their drug use.