Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is well established as an effective treatment for a range of disorders (e.g., anxiety, affective disorders) and is recognized as an evidence-based practice.
As the name suggests, CBT utilizes a combination of behavioral and cognitive techniques to target a patient's symptoms. The focus is on teaching clients how to control their symptoms, correct faulty thinking patterns and manage their own disorders. Ideally, at the end of treatment, clients should be able to use the strategies they have been taught to deal with any future problems and possible return of symptoms. The content of CBT should be determined according to client need and the duration should be time limited.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy combines two very effective kinds of psychotherapy — cognitive therapy and behavior therapy.
Behavior therapy helps weaken the connections between troublesome situations and habitual reactions to them. Reactions such as fear, depression or rage, and self-defeating or self-damaging behavior can be avoided by changing behavioral responses to certain stimuli. It also teaches clients how to calm the mind and body, so they can feel better, think more clearly, and make better decisions.
Cognitive therapy teaches how certain unhealthy thinking patterns are causing emotional and behavioral symptoms. Clients learn how their beliefs can create a distorted picture of what's going on in his or her life, making him or her feel anxious, depressed, or angry for no good reason, or leading to unhealthy or counterproductive behaviors. Gaining control of one’s thoughts and beliefs is a key to better emotional health.
CBT has been shown in clinical trials to help ease symptoms of various mental health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, psychosis, substance disorders, eating disorders). Research studies have shown that a course of CBT is just as effective as medication in treating depression and certain anxiety disorders. In addition, CBT has been proven to offer long-term benefits, as the techniques taught to the client can be utilized across a variety of difficulties over the course of a lifetime.
For further information on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, visit www.nacbt.org