Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps a person understand the thoughts and feelings that influence behaviours. CBT is commonly used to treat a wide range of disorders, including phobias, addiction, depression and anxiety.
CBT is generally short-term and focused on helping patients deal with a very specific problem. During the course of treatment, people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have negative influences on behaviour.
CBT is also empirically supported and has been shown to effectively help patients overcome a wide variety of maladaptive behaviours. The therapy may focus on what is going on in the present rather than the past. However, CBT may also look at your past and how your past experiences impact on how you interpret the world now.
how effective is cbt?
Clinical trials have shown that CBT can reduce the symptoms of many emotional disorders. For some people it can work just as well as drug therapies at treating depression and anxiety disorders. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NIHCE) recommends CBT for common mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety, MIND (2010).
is cbt for me?
CBT is more likely to be helpful to you if you can relate to its ideas around thought and behaviour patterns, its problem-solving approach and the need for homework. People tend to prefer CBT if they want a more practical treatment – where gaining insight isn't the main aim.
The underlying concept behind CBT is that our thoughts and feelings play a fundamental role in our behaviour. The goal of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is to teach a person that while they cannot control every aspect of the world around them, they can take control of how they interpret and deal with things in their environment, BABCP (2005).