Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological treatment that has been proven through research to be highly effective at addressing a range of mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders, and severe mental illness. Several studies suggest that CBT can significantly improve functioning and quality of life, and others demonstrate that CBT is as effective as, or more effective than, other forms of psychological therapy or psychiatric medications.
CBT is based on the following core principles:
CBT treatment generally involves making changes to thinking patterns with strategies that may include:
This form of treatment usually also involves efforts to change behavioral patterns with strategies that can include facing fears instead of avoiding them, preparing for potentially problematic interactions with others, and learning to calm the mind and relax the body.
CBT treatment places an emphasis on helping individuals learn to become their own therapists. Through various exercises during the treatment session as well as through ‘homework’ outside of sessions, individuals develop coping skills intended to change their own problematic thinking, emotions, and behavior.