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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Buzzle Staff Feb 23, 2020
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy, commonly perceived as a unified term for numerous psychotherapies. It works at changing and offering realistic optimistic thoughts to irrational beliefs, thus achieving great success in its results. Read some more information on this therapy.
Confidence plays a major role in any achievement or success; while feelings and emotions are the deciding factors of confidence. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a form of psychotherapy which can be used against numerous mental disorders by inducing positive emotions which lead to a more desired behavior.
In fact, this theory is visualized as an umbrella for different kinds of therapies which relates with each other having few common elements. Earlier form of this therapy was introduced by Albert Ellis as Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT).
Aaron Beck introduced another theory later called Cognitive therapy. Since then it has developed its technique by leaps and bounds. Today CBT stands as a premier psychological treatment, used effectively against various mental disorders.
Cognitive behavioral therapy has two basic parts. The first one is cognitive which means emotions and other one is behavior. Thus, this therapy is a culmination of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. The normal everyday thoughts are targeted and modified to get the desired behavior from the subject in this therapy.
The kind of treatment in this theory is relative, so the therapeutic techniques change from one subject to another. However, the emphasis is laid on keeping the records of significant incidences, emotions, and thoughts related to them.
After analyzing these instances and related thoughts, it is easier to get a clear idea about unwanted thoughts and psychotherapists find the way to modify them.
This therapy is normally used as a supplement theory with certain medications to counter numerous painful disorders. Also, Relaxation and distraction techniques are used quite effectively to get the desired results. It is an evidence-based, time proven, less expensive psychotherapy, adapted and accepted worldwide for self help manuals.

The Basic Concept

CBT addresses three important factors of paramount importance like cognition (way of thinking), emotion (way of feeling), and behavior (way of acting) together as these three factors are co-related with each other. Here is a simple example.
A person wishes to learn platform diving from a considerable height but fails in the first attempt, then he/she starts developing thoughts that he/she just can't do it. Further, thoughts of feeling useless start arising in the person's mind. Thus, a feeling of depression engulfs him which results in shying off from such activities in future.
Hence, success becomes more unlikely and self fulfilling prophecy can take place. To tackle such a problem, the therapist and subject have to sit together and act in a definite direction to change the scenario.
This can be achieved by the therapist when the subject is asked to jump from a considerable low height and then gradually increasing the height of platform.
In this way, that is, by boosting the confidence of the subject he would be able to eradicate the feeling of uselessness that the subject experiences. Thus, this therapy can be used effectively with cognitive shifting of a subject to get the desirable changes.


While feelings or emotions are considered as the outcome of our thoughts, the experts in this therapy act in a reverse direction to change the course in a desirable way and get results.
Hence, this therapy is targeted to locate, evaluate, and identify irrational thoughts which can be maladaptive or repetitive and which give birth to pessimistic feelings. Once identified, the psychotherapists try to replace such thoughts with other acceptable, alternative thoughts. The process is also known as Cognitive Shifting.
Here, we have to understand that the results of this therapy would not be achieved in a short time. It would require continuous focus and dedicated efforts to change our original thoughts with positive alternative thoughts. This therapy can be used with a typical kind of medication called mood stabilizing to get better success.

ABC Technique of Irrational Beliefs

This ABC technique of irrational belief has proven as the major tool in cognitive therapy. The main aim of this technique is to focus around the causes that develop irrational belief and has to be recorded during the therapy.
1. Activating Event - It is the first column of records and is related to the description of an incident which has triggered a specific kind of intense emotional response.
2. Beliefs- This is the second column where subject has to write his own pessimist thoughts which have occurred to him after that particular incident.
3. Consequence- The third and most important is the column of records which narrates the feelings and any malfunctioned behavior following thoughts.
All these columns are related to each other and the relation bridging them is of immense importance, which provides major aid while analyzing the issue. Depending on these three factors, the treatment is carried out by therapists.
Reframing- Once the belief has been identified, experts work with the subject to shift its cognitive on the basis of evidence and try to reframe these irrational beliefs into rational ones.


Research studies have shown that when this therapy is used with antidepressant medication therapy, it draws much better results than the psychotherapy alone. Nonetheless, this therapy alone can provide a good relief from depression and increase the positive responses of the subject.
The studies have shown that CBT success rate is around 60%. Even with children affected by trauma of abuse or stress, this therapy has offered real good results. In Dyadic Development Psychotherapy, children are treated with the help of cognitive therapy methods.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.