Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an empirically supported psychotherapy approach that focuses on altering an individual’s negative thoughts, beliefs and emotions. The therapeutic technique stems from a combination of behavioral therapy (in which the focus is to develop behavioral regulation strategies in order to increase the frequency of positive behaviors while extinguishing negative behaviors) and cognitive therapy (in which the entire focus of therapy is on an individual’s thinking and mental beliefs). Research has indicated that CBT is an appropriate and effective intervention for a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression/mood concerns, tic disorders and eating disorders.
History of Cognitive Behavior Therapy:
Aaron Beck, MD, whom is considered to be the founder of CBT, created the therapy in the 1960’s after conducting extensive research on the limitations of psychodynamic therapy. Dr. Beck developed this strategy as a means for patients to be able to develop appropriate solutions for a variety of obstacles that they may face.
What is the Focus of Cognitive Behavior Therapy:
The focus of CBT is on the therapist being a guide in order to help the patient identify an appropriate response to specific situations. The premise of the therapy is that the way someone thinks may lead to the way that person feels, which ultimately leads to how the person will act. The point of change is not on the individual’s actions or feelings, but rather on how the individual thinks about a specific situation. Essentially, the therapist works with the individual to help identify that there are multiple ways to think about a situation. As a result, this would lead to multiple ways to think and finally act on the situation.