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What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a research-based psychotherapy approach that focuses on helping individuals to master new and healthier ways of thinking and behaving. CBT focuses on examining the interrelations amongst thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Specifically, CBT highlights that it is our interpretations and perceptions of life events that determine our feelings, moods, and ultimately, our actions. Therefore, a universal goal of this therapy is to help people identify, understand, and modify maladaptive thoughts and behaviors in order to improve their capacity to think clearly and act effectively. CBT works by using a variety of teachable skills and techniques, including psycho-education, behavioral exposure and response prevention, cognitive restructuring, managing behavioral contingencies, habit reversal training, problem solving, goal setting, behavioral experimentation, mindfulness, acceptance-based exercises, behavioral scheduling, sleep hygiene, and more. Clients can expect to work actively within each session, as well as receive guided homework assignments to complete between sessions. CBT has been scientifically-proven to be effective for treating anxiety, depression, and other conditions in adults, adolescents, and children.

How is CBT different from other types of therapy?

CBT is a goal-oriented form of treatment that focuses on current problems and on finding solutions for them. Unlike other types of therapy, it deals with present difficulties and how to tackle them here and now, rather than with the past or what causes the problems. The most important goal of CBT is helping individuals to help themselves through teachable skills. This does not mean that CBT completely ignores the influence of past events; however, it mainly deals with recognizing and changing current distressing patterns of thought and behavior.

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