Cameron, Amy Yule Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.
Last reviewed:May 2018
- History and background
- Modern CBT techniques
- Research on effectiveness
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A psychotherapy with roots in both cognitive science and behavioral science. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most widely used evidence-based psychotherapeutic practice for a variety of mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. It is considered an action-oriented approach to psychotherapy, focusing on understanding the relationship among emotions (feelings), thoughts, and behaviors that occur daily (Fig. 1). The therapist assists the client (patient) in recognizing this relationship and practicing effective CBT strategies to address symptoms, as well as working toward stated goals and behavior change, eventually to decrease and manage symptoms of a particular disorder more effectively. Early theories of CBT assumed that identifying and changing maladaptive thinking would lead to changes in behavior and affect (emotions); however, advances in psychological science suggest that the corrective mechanism is likely changing one's relationship to the maladaptive thoughts rather than attempting to change the actual thoughts. See also: Affective disorders; Anxiety disorders; Cognition; Depression; Emotion; Mental disorders; Psychology; Psychotherapy
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