What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy combines two very effective types of psychotherapy – cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. When combined into CBT, they provide clients with very powerful tools for decreasing their symptoms and getting their life on a more satisfying track.

The therapist and client work together as a team to identify and solve problems. In contrast to other forms of psychotherapy, cognitive therapy is usually focused on the present, time-limited, and is problem-solving oriented. Time Magazine (01/20/03) has stated that Cognitive Therapy is “… quick, practical, goal oriented.” It involves three primary activities: a) Education, b) Skill Building, and c) Problem Solving. During treatment, the client actively applies learned strategies to the problems that brought them to therapy in the first place. In addition, clients learn specific skills that they can use for the rest of their lives. These skills involve identifying distorted thinking, relating to others in different ways, and changing behaviors.

CBT is one of the few forms of psychotherapy that has been scientifically tested and found to be effective for many different disorders. The American Psychological Association has endorsed cognitive and behavior therapies as “well-established treatments” supported by research for depression, anxiety, stress, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), agoraphobia and other phobias; health problems such as headaches, bulimia, rheumatic pain and smoking cessation.