Cognitive Behavior Theory

counseling.jpg

One of the most commonly used and most effective treatments for mental health issues, particularly anxiety disorders and depression, is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of psychotherapy focuses on our thoughts (cognitions) and the way they affect how we feel and act. There are a number of different techniques or approaches to cognitive-behavioral therapy, such as rational emotive behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and dialectic behavior therapy, but they are all rooted in one underlying theory: that our thoughts are what cause our feelings and behaviors. Working from this theory, a person can change the way they feel by changing the way they think, even if their external circumstances do not change.

Unlike a therapy like psychoanalysis, CBT emphasizes instruction and teaches specific techniques that will help patients achieve their particular goals. For example, someone using CBT to treat an anxiety disorder may learn techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization. Education is emphasized over just talking, with the goal of unlearning past methods of thinking and replacing them with more rational responses. The theory is that this relearning is both faster and longer-lasting than some other types of "talk therapy." Indeed, CBT does tend to produce long-lasting results, usually in under 20 sessions.

Not all approaches to CBT are the same, but the theory behind CBT--alleviating symptoms through education and specific techniques, leading to lasting changes in unwanted feelings and behaviors--is the same no matter what approach a particular therapist takes.

Related Articles

Diathesis Stress Theory

Cognitive Therapy for Depression

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

Anxiety Self Test

Do you or a loved one feel like you might have a problem with Anxiety? Take the Self Test now to get more information.

 

 

The information provided on livingwithanxiety.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of Llivingwithanxiety.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

LivingWithAnxiety.com Social