Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
CBT is a form of psychological treatment developed based on scientific research. It is recommended by guidelines such as APA and NICE for the treatment of several mental disorders (depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, PTSD, BPD, schizophrenia, bulimia nervosa). CBT is often considered the first line of treatment for anxiety disorders and moderate depression.
Research on CBT:
There has been extensive research on CBT. It has a robust empirical base used with different populations and contexts. The published research on CBT far outnumbers those of any other psychotherapeutic approach, and numerous studies provide strong support for the efficacy of CBT across a broad range of disorders. More than 250 meta-analyses have been amassed on various forms of CBT (McMain et al., 2015).
What are the core principles of CBT?
The overall goal of CBT is to improve the patient’s current functioning and wellbeing by helping the patient change their thinking in a way that has a helpful effect on their behavior and mood. It’s problem-oriented, with an emphasis on the current difficulties. It is considered short term, time-limited therapy, especially compared to other types of therapy. CBT typically lasts anywhere from 6-20 sessions. Even though CBT is very present focused, it is still important to understand the impact and influence that our past experiences have on how we see ourselves, others and the world around us.
CBT requires active participation by the patient, and homework is an important aspect of the therapeutic process. It is essential for the patient to practice the new skills they learn and apply these skills to their daily life. CBT employs a number of different strategies to empower the patient to try out things differently, breaking problems down into smaller components. CBT ultimately aims to teach patients to think like a therapist. It, helps patients to understand their current difficulties and to develop skills to address those difficulties.