Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence based therapy that operates on the principle that thoughts, feelings and actions are interlinked and helps the individual explore maladaptive thought patterns that result in and maintain negative emotional patterns and unwanted behaviours.
CBT is 'problem focussed' and 'action orientated', concentrating on conscious cognitive processes, seeking to find strategies to reduce symptoms. This approach is sometimes more effective and suitable for a particular individual than more historical approaches to psychotherapy such as hypno-analysis or psychodynamic therapy that seek to explore subconscious material.
CBT seeks first to identify maladaptive behaviours and the cognitions (thoughts and feelings) that generated those behaviours and then experiments with different thought processing skills to produce more efficient coping mechanisms and strategies. Maladaptive behaviours can be identified as those that are either in excess or deficit.
CBT can be particularly effective in helping those with anxiety, depression, stress, OCD, and eating disorders, they can help minimise unhelpful thought patterns such as catastrophic thinking, dichotomous thinking, overgeneralising, thereby minimising resulting self-defeating behaviours and enabling an individual to think in more flexible, adaptive ways.