What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Unlike traditional Freudian psychoanalysis, which probes childhood wounds to get at the root causes of conflict, CBT focuses on solutions, encouraging patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behavior.
CBT rests on the idea that thoughts and perceptions influence behavior. Feeling distressed, in some cases, may distort one’s perception of reality. CBT aims to identify harmful thoughts, assess whether they are an accurate depiction of reality, and, if they are not, employ strategies to challenge and overcome them.
When Should You Consider CBT?
CBT has been used to effectively treat:
Major Depressive Disorder
What to Look for in an Cognitive Behavioral Therapist
Look for a licensed, experienced therapist, social worker, professional counselor or other mental-health professional with additional training in CBT. There is no special certification for CBT practitioners. Skills are acquired through peer counseling, workshops, and other training programs. In addition to these credentials, it is important to find a therapist with whom you feel comfortable working.