Cognitive Behavior Therapy is an evidence-based psychological treatment proven to be effective through rigorous scientific research. Evidence-based treatment can increase the chance that a problem is identified accurately and treated effectively. Research has shown that CBT is an effective treatment for a wide range of problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, chronic pain, disordered eating, low self-esteem, anger problems, addiction, & personality disorders).
Cognitive behavioral therapy is grounded in the belief that it is a person’s perception of events—rather than the events themselves—that determines how he or she will feel and act. For example, if a person with anxiety strongly believes that “everything will turn out badly today,” then these negative thoughts may influence him or her to focus only on the perceived negative things that may happen while blocking out or completely avoiding thoughts or actions that may disprove that negative belief system. Afterward, when nothing appears to go right in the day, the person may feel even more anxious than before, the negative belief system may be strengthened, and the person is at risk of being trapped in a vicious, continuous cycle of negativity and anxiety.
The cognitive behavioral process is based on an educational model where people in therapy are helped to unlearn negative reactions and learn new, positive emotional and behavioral reactions to challenging situations. By breaking down overwhelming problems into small manageable parts, and then setting and reaching short-term goals, the therapist gradually adjusts the way the person in treatment thinks, feels, and reacts in challenging situations. Changing attitudes and behaviors can help people learn to address specific issues in positive and productive ways.
A Range of disorders are treated with CBT including the following:
- Disordered eating
- Persistent pain
- Erratic sleep patterns
- Sexual issues
- Mood issues
- Post traumatic stress
- Obsessions and compulsions
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Substance dependency