Cognitive Behavior Therapy | Cognitive Therapy | Behavior Therapy

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an action-oriented form of psychosocial therapy.

The cognitive behavior therapy focuses on changing an individual's thoughts (cognitive patterns) in order to change his or her behavior and emotional state.

Cognitive behavior therapy combines two very effective kinds of psychotherapy - cognitive therapy and behavior therapy.

Cognitive therapy

Cognitive therapyteaches you how certain thinking patterns are causing your symptoms - by giving you a distorted picture of what's going on in your life, and making you feel restless, depressed or angry for no good reason, or aggravating you into ill-chosen actions.

Behavior Therapy

Behavior therapy helps individuals to replace undesirable behaviors with healthier behavioral patterns. The undesirable behaviors are fear, depression or rage, and self-defeating or self-damaging behavior. It also teaches you how to calm your mind and body, so you can feel better, think more clearly, and make better decisions.

When combined into CBT, cognitive therapy and behavior therapy provide you with very powerful tools for stopping your symptoms and getting your life on a more satisfying track.

Conditions That Can Be Treated Wit Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive behavior therapy is a clinically proven breakthrough in mental health care. Hundreds of studies by research psychologists and psychiatrists make it clear why CBT has become the preferred treatment for conditions such as the following:

  • Post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSD and related conditions)
  • Shyness and social anxiety
  • Eating disorders and obesity
  • Chronic anxiety or worry
  • Insufficient self-esteem
  • Panic attacks and phobias
  • Difficulty establishing or staying in relationships
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Insomnia and other sleep problems
  • Problems with marriage or other relationships you're already in
  • Over-inhibition of feelings or expression
  • Feeling “stressed out”
  • Job, career or school difficulties
  • Inadequate coping skills, or ill-chosen methods of coping
  • Passivity, procrastination and “passive aggression”
  • Substance abuse, co-dependency and “enabling”
  • Trouble keeping feelings such as anger, sadness, fear, guilt, shame, eagerness, excitement, etc., within bounds

In any situation in which there is a pattern of unwanted behavior accompanied by distress and harm, cognitive behavioral therapy can be employed.

Mental Disorders That Can Be Cured With Cognitive Behavior Therapy

It is a recommended treatment option for a number of mental disorders, including personality disorders, social phobia, affective (mood) disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders, anxiety or panic disorder, agoraphobia, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Patients with sleep disorders find cognitive behavioral therapy a useful treatment for insomnia. It is also frequently used as a tool to deal with chronic pain for patients with illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and back problems.


For some patients, cognitive behavioral therapy may not be suitable. Those who don't have a specific behavioral issue they wish to deal with and whose goals for therapy are to gain insight into the past may be better served by psychodynamic therapy.

Patients must also be willing to take a very active role in the treatment procedure. Cognitive behavioral intervention may be unsuitable for some severely psychotic patients and for cognitively impaired patients such as patients with organic brain disease or a traumatic brain injury, depending on their level of functioning.


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