What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive therapy is another widely used method for treating anxiety disorders. Cognitive therapy is based on Beck’s tri-part model of emotion which proposes that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interrelated. Aceording to this theory, changing maladaptive thoughts is proposed to alter the patienfs maladaptive affect and behavior. In treating anxiety disorders, cognitive therapy is most often used in conjunction with behavioral techniques, which may include exposure exercises. Cognitive therapy is typically time-limited to about 20 sessions or less, and is problem-focused on the issues the patient identifies as of primary concern. The results of this review demonstrate the effieacy and effectiveness of using CBT methods to treat anxiety disorders as well as revealing areas in need of additional research.

CBT can also teach you how to use positive self talk to challenge automatic negative thoughts that contribute to negative feelings such as depression, fear, anxiety, and anger. However, sometimes after trauma, or when you’re feeling depressed or stressed, self-talk can become relentlessly negative, and you wind up blaming yourself for anything that goes wrong. CBT helps identify these instances of negative self-talk and teaches healthier patterns of thinking that can lead to more constructive ways of coping with problems. CBT can be a very helpful tool — either alone or in combination with other therapies — in treating mental health disorders, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or an eating disorder. CBT can be an effective tool to help anyone learn how to better manage stressful life situations. The imaginal exposure thereby disconfirms the patienfs expectation that thinking about the obsessional thought and not engaging in a compulsion would lead to the anticipated harm.

What is cognitive behavioral therapy?

When doing this you concentrate on your breathing instead of what is bringing on your anxiety. These kinds of techniques can help you to calm down instead of getting all worked up with anxiety. Children and adults with various mental health cbt interventions for substance abuse conditions might benefit from CBT. However, certain individuals are more likely to see positive effects than others. Therapists must evaluate patients on a case-by-case basis to determine if the person is a good candidate for CBT.

how does cognitive behavioral therapy work

The two were pioneers in changing the therapeutic landscape to offer patients a new treatment option—one that is short-term, goal-oriented, and scientifically validated. Yes, many studies have documented the benefits https://ecosoberhouse.com/ of CBT for treating depression. Research shows that CBT is often equally as effective as antidepressants; patients who receive CBT may also be less likely to relapse after treatment than those who receive medication.


Exposure can take several forms including imaginal, in vivo (in real life), and interoceptive. Imaginal exposure occurs when the patient vividly imagines the feared situation/consequences and does not avoid their subsequent anxiety. In vivo exposure involves graduai approach to places, objects, people, or situations that were previously avoided although they are safe. Interoceptive exposure, which is mostly used in treating panic disorder, involves deliberately inducing the physical sensations the patient fears are indicative of a panic attack.

  • People come to therapy for a variety of reasons, so the individual goal will vary by person.
  • Mental health professionals are experts in their field and have up-to-date knowledge on research and therapy strategies that can help you.
  • The standard therapy, called CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), which uses a machine to keep airways open, can be cumbersome and hard to stick with, but most patients can adjust over time, experts said.
  • By the way, in Germany, most psychotherapists who are trained in cognitive behavioral therapy call themselves behavioral therapists.
  • While the therapist helps to break down different thoughts and feelings in therapy sessions, each session likely involves getting some type of homework intended to apply different learned coping skills in everyday life.