What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common type of talk therapy (psychotherapy). Working with a mental health counselor in a structured way, CBT helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way.
CBT can be a very helpful tool in treating mental health disorders, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or eating disorders. But not everyone who benefits from CBT has a mental health condition. It can be an effective tool to help anyone learn how to better manage stressful life situations.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to treat a wide range of issues. It's often the preferred type of psychotherapy because it can quickly help you identify and cope with specific challenges. It generally requires fewer sessions than other types of therapy and is done in a structured way.
CBT is a useful tool to address emotional challenges. For example, it may help you:
- Manage symptoms of mental illness
- Prevent a relapse of mental illness symptoms
- Treat a mental illness when medications aren't a good option
- Learn techniques for coping with stressful life situations
- Identify ways to manage emotions
- Resolve relationship conflicts and learn better ways to communicate
- Cope with grief or loss
- Overcome emotional trauma related to abuse or violence
- Cope with a medical illness
- Manage chronic physical symptoms
Mental health disorders that may improve with CBT include:
- Sleep disorders
- Sexual disorders
- Bipolar disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Eating disorders
- Substance use disorders