Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a short-term form of psychotherapy directed at present-time issues and based on the idea that the way an individual thinks and feels affects the way he or she behaves.
The focus is on problem-solving, and the goal is to change clients' thought patterns in order to change their responses to difficult situations. A CBT approach can be applied to a wide range of mental health issues and conditions.
When It's Used
CBT is appropriate for children, adolescents, adults and for individuals, families, and couples.
It has been found to be effective in the treatment of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, general stress, anger issues, panic disorders, agoraphobia, social phobia, eating disorders, marital difficulties, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and childhood anxiety and depressive disorders.
What to Expect
In CBT you will first learn to identify painful and upsetting thoughts you have about current problems and to determine whether or not these thoughts are realistic. If these thoughts are deemed unrealistic, you will learn skills that help you change your thinking patterns so they are more accurate with respect to a given situation. Once your perspective is more realistic, the therapist can help you determine an appropriate course of action. You will probably get “homework” to do between sessions. That work may include exercises that will help you learn to apply the skills and solutions you come up with in therapy to the way you think and act in your day-to-day life.