What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

September 5

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most common types of therapy today. CBT aims to solve problems by focusing on the thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes that we hold (our cognitive processes) and how this relates to the way we behave, as a way of dealing with our emotions.

For example: A woman seeks help for problems dealing with her mother. When her mother yells at her, it triggers the automatic negative thought “I am worthless,” which triggers her to spend the following day withdrawn in bed. The therapist can help the client learn to:

1) Develop a plan about how often she is around her mother.

2) Evaluate the truthfulness of this thought and any possible arguments against this thought such as “I am valuable to my partner/boss/children”.

3) Develop a plan to take a different course of action even if she is feeling hurt by her mother’s behavior.

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