A Guide To Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that integrates techniques derived from cognitive and behavioral therapy. It assumes that cognitive, emotional, and behavioral variables are functionally interrelated. CBT is based on principles such as psychological problems are based on faulty ways of thinking, and believes that people with psychological problems can learn better ways of coping with them thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in the functioning and quality of life. It focuses on symptom reduction, improvement in functioning, and remission of the disorder.

Cognition and behavioral therapy are mostly used for anxiety and depression, but also for a range of mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, OCD, panic disorders, PTSD, schizophrenia, and even alcohol misuse

There are several principles on which CBT works. The core idea is that people's emotional reactions and behavior are strongly influenced by cognition. This means that when people react differently to an event, it is because they are seeing things differently and this illustrates the cognitive principle, that different cognitions give rise to different emotions. CBT also believes that behavior can have a strong impact on thought and emotion, and changing what you do is a powerful way of changing thought and emotion.

CBT has been proven to be as effective or even more effective than other forms of psychological therapy or psychiatric medications. It has ample scientific evidence that the methods which are used can produce significant change.

Advantages of CBT

  • It helps us gain control over our thoughts-  Cognitive-Behavioral therapy gives patients ways to handle these circumstances. Instead of holding their emotions inside, they learn to express themselves.
  • It helps people relax- Using relaxation techniques, CBT helps us to learn how to regulate our responses to triggers and reduce symptoms

  • Increases self-esteem- It helps increase self-esteem by focusing on the problems and working towards the solution

  • Improve communication skills- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works on rewiring and reworking unhealthy thinking styles and helps patients to learn how to communicate their feelings to others.

  • It usually requires a lower number of sessions as compared to other therapies and is done in a structured way.

What can you expect

CBT therapists actively engage with the client and talk more than in some other forms of therapies. The problem-focused and structured nature of CBT requires the therapists to work with the client to maintain structure in the sessions. CBT sessions are brief which means somewhere 6-20 sessions but it is also influenced by the specifics of the problem and the client, as well as available resources. It can be done in groups with people having similar concerns or also individual sessions. 

In these sessions, you will discuss what you are thinking and feeling with your therapist, bring the problems you would like to overcome and the situations you find stressful, and then create an action plan. You may boost your self-esteem and build confidence by being open and honest about your circumstances. Effective reduction of symptoms is best done by using the techniques throughout the week, and this homework may include relaxation exercises, keeping a journal, or seeking out situations to try the new approaches.


Before choosing the therapist, check their qualifications and their specialization. To get the most out of the sessions, you need to be honest and open about your thoughts feelings, and experiences, and it is most effective when it is a shared partnership and when you play an active part in decision making. And most importantly, stick to the treatment plan and don't expect instant results, you may need several sessions before you began to see improvement.


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