Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. CBT is a short-term, goal-oriented form of therapy that helps people identify negative patterns in their thinking and behavior, challenge them with more realistic and helpful thoughts, and learn healthier coping strategies to better manage difficult situations. By changing unhelpful and distorted thinking patterns, people are able to gain control over their emotions and behavior, and ultimately improve their quality of life. CBT is often used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse, phobias or other mental health issues. It is also used as an adjunct to medication for those dealing with severe mental illness.
CBT works by helping clients understand their beliefs and how they influence their behavior. This commonly involves identifying negative thought patterns that may be causing distress and replacing them with more positive and realistic ones. CBT also typically includes skills training, such as practicing relaxation techniques or problem-solving strategies to help the patient manage stressors when they arise. Through this process, clients gain insight into themselves and learn how to better manage their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. In addition, CBT can also help individuals develop a greater sense of self-awareness as well as interpersonal skills such as empathy for others. Ultimately, the goal of this type of therapy is to create lasting changes in clients’ lives that will lead to improved mental health and wellbeing.