Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behavior and emotions
Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on changing the automatic negative thoughts that can contribute to and worsen emotional difficulties, depression, and anxiety. These spontaneous negative thoughts have a detrimental influence on mood
Through CBT, these thoughts are identified, challenged, and replaced with more objective, realistic thoughts
CBT is about more than identifying thought patterns; it is focused on using a wide range of strategies to help people overcome these thoughts. Such strategies may include journaling, role-playing, relaxation techniques, and mental distractions
Types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT encompasses a range of techniques and approaches that address thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. These can range from structured psychotherapies to self-help materials. There are a number of specific types of therapeutic approaches that involve CBT
- Cognitive therapy centers on identifying and changing inaccurate or distorted thinking patterns, emotional responses, and behaviors
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) addresses thoughts and behaviors while incorporating strategies such as emotional regulation and mindfulness
- Multimodal therapy suggests that psychological issues must be treated by addressing seven different but interconnected modalities, which are behavior, affect, sensation, imagery, cognition, interpersonal factors, and drug/biological considerations.
- Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) involves identifying irrational beliefs, actively challenging these beliefs, and finally learning to recognize and change these thought patterns
While each type of cognitive behavioral therapy takes a different approach, all work to address the underlying thought patterns that contribute to psychological distress.