CBT: The Meaning of Three Letters

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps identify and change unhealthy patterns of thought, behavior and response. It is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are interconnected. Therefore, if we want to change our thoughts or behaviors, we must change our attitudes about them.

The author of this “treatment”

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was created by psychologist Aaron Beck in the 1960s. He was working with patients who suffered from depression, and he wanted to find a way to help them change their thoughts and behaviors. He soon realized that the way people think about themselves and their situations can have a profound impact on how they feel about themselves and their lives.

Beck also noticed that negative thinking patterns can be very persistent, even if we tell ourselves over and over again that we’re not going to think those thoughts anymore. In CBT, we work together to identify negative thought patterns and then create new ways of thinking about them that are more helpful or realistic. 

Help area

CBT works by helping you understand the relationship between your thoughts and feelings and how those thoughts and feelings affect your behavior. CBT can help with:

  • Anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Pros and cons

There are several advantages of starting CBT:

  • CBT is a highly effective way to treat mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and phobias.
  • It tends to be a relatively short treatment, with effects lasting for years after the therapy ends.
  • Research has shown that CBT can be used on its own or combined with medication in order to treat a wide variety of conditions.

However, this therapy has some minuses:

  • It’s not always covered by insurance companies.
  • It can be hard to keep up with the self-monitoring required if you’re already feeling anxious, depressed or stressed out.

Where can I find the help

The CBT process involves working with a therapist to help you identify patterns in your behavior or thought process that are generally not helpful to you – such as when you repeat negative thoughts about yourself or others because it temporarily makes you feel better (but doesn’t actually solve any problems). 

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