Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

cbt

My previous blog post was about psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is basically talk therapy. An individual meets with a trained mental health professional in a private, confidential setting to discuss their current/past life experiences, emotions, relationships, and struggles (National Alliance on Mental Illness, https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Treatment/Psychotherapy). The therapist works with the person to make connections with these experiences and assists them in developing healthy coping skills and adapting to life changes. For individuals living with a mental disorder, a therapist enables them to better manage the symptoms of their illness and function at their best in life (National Institute of Mental Health, http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/psychotherapies/index.shtml).

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, or NIMH, cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT,  is a form of psychotherapy developed by Dr. Aaron Beck in the 1960’s (NIMH, http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/psychotherapies/index.shtml). It combines the thoughts of the two theories, Cognitive theory, developed by Dr. Jean Piaget, and Behavioral Theory, developed by B. F. Skinner. Cognitive theory focuses on an individual’s “thoughts and beliefs, and how they influence,” their moods and behavior. The goal of cognitive therapy, or CT, is to help the individual change their thinking, so they can better adapt to life experiences in a healthy way. Behavioral therapy examines an individual’s actions and assists them in changing unhealthy patterns in their behaviors. Therefore, CBT helps and individual “focus on his or her current problems and how to solve them.”

“CBT helps a person focus on his or her current problems and how to solve them. Both patient and therapist need to be actively involved in this process. The therapist helps the patient learn how to identify distorted or unhelpful thinking patterns, recognize and change inaccurate beliefs, relate to others in more positive ways, and change behaviors accordingly.”

CBT can be used for a variety of mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and eating disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health article at http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/psychotherapies/index.shtml shares more on CBT and how it works with each disorder.

CBT believes that the way a person thinks and feels impacts how they behave.

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