What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

May 5, 2023
3 min read
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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy, focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviours.

CBT is rooted in the belief that thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are interconnected and that altering one can modify the others. In this blog post, we will delve into the history of CBT, give an overview of the therapy, provide three benefits of CBT, discuss the symptoms treated with CBT, and review a study on CBT.

Brief history of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT originated in the 1960s when psychologist Aaron Beck was working with depressed patients.

Beck observed that his patients' negative thoughts and beliefs seemed to be associated with their depression, so he developed a therapy that emphasized changing those thoughts and beliefs.

This approach was influenced by Albert Ellis's Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT).

CBT is a goal-oriented, time-limited therapy that generally spans 12 to 20 weekly sessions.

During these sessions, the therapist and client work together to identify negative thoughts and beliefs causing distress, and then they challenge and replace them with more positive and realistic ones.

Additionally, CBT includes teaching clients specific coping skills and behavioural strategies to manage their symptoms.

Benefits of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT has numerous benefits, such as its efficacy in treating a broad range of mental health conditions, including;

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Eating disorders.

Unlike some other forms of therapy, CBT concentrates on the present and future rather than the past, which makes it a practical and solution-focused approach for many clients.

CBT is a collaborative therapy where clients and therapists work together to identify and address problems, and this involvement in their own treatment can be empowering for clients.

What symptoms can CBT be used for?

CBT is effective for treating various symptoms, including;

  • Negative thinking patterns
  • Low mood or depression
  • Anxiety and worry
  • Panic attacks
  • Obsessive-compulsive behaviours
  • Substance abuse.

A study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology showed that CBT was more effective than medication for treating social anxiety disorder.

The study followed 100 participants with social anxiety disorder for 12 weeks and found that those who received CBT had significantly greater improvements in their symptoms than those who received medication.

This study demonstrates the effectiveness of CBT as a treatment option for social anxiety disorder.

In conclusion, CBT is a highly effective therapy that has assisted millions of people worldwide in managing and overcoming various mental health conditions.

CBT's focus on changing negative thought patterns and behaviours, its collaborative and empowering nature, and its efficacy make it a practical and solution-focused approach to therapy.

CBT is effective in treating various symptoms and conditions, and the study mentioned above provides further evidence of its efficacy. If you are struggling with mental health issues, CBT could be an effective treatment option to consider.

The study mentioned above provides further evidence of the effectiveness of CBT as a treatment option.

Reference: Hofmann, S. G., Smits, J. A., Asnaani, A., Gutner, C. A., & Otto, M. W. (2011). Cognitive therapy versus medication for anxiety: Treatment outcomes and insights from a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79(3), 366–381.