It was also found that the therapy was more successful than drug therapy and had a lower relapse rate, supporting the proposition that depression has a cognitive basis. These thoughts tended to be automatic in depressed people as they occurred spontaneously. The therapist also guides clients to question and challenge their dysfunctional thoughts, try out new interpretations, and ultimately apply alternative ways of thinking in their daily lives. Two of the earliest forms of were Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), developed by Albert Ellis in the 1950s, and Cognitive Therapy, developed by Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s. For example, someone anxious in social situations may set a homework assignment to meet a friend at the pub for a drink. For instance, becoming an overly protective parent can be a behavior stemming from certain thoughts and feelings.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy helps people identify their distressing thoughts and evaluate how realistic the thoughts are. The emphasis is also consistently on solving problems and initiating behavioral changes. Children and adults with various mental health conditions might benefit from CBT. However, certain individuals are more likely to see positive effects than others. Therapists must evaluate patients on a case-by-case basis to determine if the person is a good candidate for CBT.

International Patients

If CBT isn’t what’s best for you, there are various other types of therapy that may be a better fit. Reach out to a doctor or a licensed mental health professional for help navigating the options. It’s a short-term therapy that requires you to be actively involved in the process.

Despite being lauded as the gold standard of psychotherapy treatment for some mental health conditions, CBT will not work for everyone. A simple definition of CBT is that it is a goal-oriented, time-limited psychotherapy that identifies and changes maladaptive thought patterns. CBT aims to help the patient develop a more fluid and positive way of thinking and behaving and, therefore, experience positive emotional changes and better functioning in their daily life. In anxiety disorders, behavioral therapy often includes learning methods to help you calm down. For example, you can learn to reduce anxiety by consciously breathing in and out deeply so that your body and breathing can relax. When doing this you concentrate on your breathing instead of what is bringing on your anxiety.

What Happens During a CBT Session?

There is no particular certification or license required to practice CBT, but clients are advised to look for a credentialed mental health professional with specialized training and experience in cognitive behavioral therapy. In addition to confirming these credentials, it is important to find a therapist with whom one feels comfortable, as CBT is a collaborative process and a strong therapeutic alliance is critical to its success. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a structured, goal-oriented type of talk therapy. It can help manage mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, and emotional concerns, such as coping with grief or stress.

In, people are often taught new skills that can be used in real-world situations. For example, someone with a substance use disorder might practice new coping skills and rehearse ways to avoid or deal with social situations that could potentially trigger a relapse. Patients with mental health conditions related to chronic pain or illnesses, disabilities, or socially marginalized people may not benefit as much from CBT because their problems do not necessarily stem from negative thinking. Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to treat conditions such as depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders, and addictions. But it is also an option for treating physical conditions such as chronic pain, tinnitus and rheumatism. CBT is usually a short-term process that provides you with tools to solve problems you are currently going through.

REBT Vs. Cognitive Therapy

As in all types of therapy, it is important to work with a therapist with whom one can be open and candid. Typical CBT treatment often involves identifying personal beliefs or feelings that negatively impact your life and learning new problem-solving skills. Your therapist will work to help you gain confidence and better understand and appreciate your self-worth by facing fears and learning to use calming techniques during challenging situations. CBT can be used for a wide variety of mental health issues — as mentioned above — and including schizophrenia, insomnia, bipolar disorder, and psychosis. Some people even turn to CBT for help coping with chronic health issues, like irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. That said, some sources say CBT may not be for people who have brain diseases, brain injuries, or other issues that impact thinking.

While specific goals should be set by you and the therapist, the general goal of CBT is to reframe your negative thoughts into positive feelings and behaviors. Perhaps most important of all, CBT is for people who want to take a very active role in their own healing process. While the therapist helps to break down different thoughts and feelings in therapy sessions, each session likely involves getting some type of homework intended to apply different learned coping skills in everyday life. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you become more aware of your emotions, thoughts and behaviors. CBT can’t make stressful situations disappear, but you can respond to them more positively and feel better overall. Be sure that any therapist you’re interested in seeing is a state-certified and licensed mental health professional and that they treat your area of concern (for example, depression, eating disorders, substance use disorders, etc.).

It often helps you get better over time, but the process can be difficult. Don’t worry if you cry during a session — it can be a typical experience during therapy. It’s important to note that this comparison of therapeutic approaches, subtypes, and issues that each type of therapy is useful for addressing is not exhaustive. Each therapist will take their own approach when working with clients, and the type of therapy that works best for you will depend on a number of factors.

Therapy can only be successful if the patient actively takes part in the treatment and also works on their problems between sessions. This can be a considerable challenge, especially with severe conditions such as depression or anxiety disorders. That is why medication is sometimes used at first to quickly relieve the worst symptoms so that psychotherapy can be started.