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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), developed by psychiatrist Aaron Beck in the 1960s, is based on changing negative core beliefs and thought patterns into positive ones. More than 1,000 outcome studies have been performed on the use of CBT as a primary and adjuvant therapy for psychiatric disorders and substance abuse.

CBT is a time-sensitive, structured, present-oriented psychotherapy based on the cognitive model. Emotional and mental problems can cause normal information-processing abilities to break down due to a consistently negative bias introduced into thinking, thereby perpetuating an ongoing cycle of negativity. The therapeutic approach used in CBT helps people learn to look at things from a fresh perspective and incorporate newly learned behaviors into daily living.

How CBT Helps

CBT helps people learn to identify, challenge and transform distorted beliefs and negative, irrational thoughts into ones that are empowering, realistic and positive. It also teaches people healthy coping skills, replacing maladaptive behaviors like substance abuse. When people change the way they perceive themselves, this changes the way they react to and view the world around them. As a result, depression, anxiety and even physical pain no longer rule their lives.

Benefits of CBT

CBT helps clients identify negative thoughts and emotions, assess past responses and develop and evaluate more productive and positive solutions to use moving forward. A cognitive approach enables people to change the way they think, feel and react, even when challenging life situations or triggers still exist. Benefits include:

  • Improved relationships
  • Addiction relapse prevention
  • Decreased anger, anxiety and depression
  • Coping mechanisms for grief and loss
  • Enhanced management of chronic pain
  • Improved methods for overcoming trauma
  • Resolved sleep disorders

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