Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) is a scientifically tested, therapeutic orientation that is aimed at helping people achieve concrete, measurable goals. CBT is considered an evidence-based treatment, meaning it is proven to work in research studies. It involves a tailored approach that works on changing thoughts and behaviors to reduce distress, relieve symptoms, and improve overall functioning. It is effective for a wide range of concerns and can be adapted to suit people of all ages. It is an active, collaborative approach that prioritizes a supportive therapeutic relationship, measurable outcomes, and concrete skills.
In CBT, thoughts are seen as the cause of most feelings and behaviors. When we are experiencing a negative feeling, we try to trace it back to a thought and then evaluate the accuracy of that thought. CBT uses different techniques to test the accuracy of thoughts, including dysfunctional thought records, behavior experiments, functional analysis, and cognitive restructuring. These are technical terms, but the idea is to change the way you feel by changing the way you think.
CBT is one of the therapeutic interventions most researched by the National Institute of Mental Health. In general, research has demonstrated strong evidence for the efficacy and effectiveness of CBT for a number of mental health conditions (Hofmann et al., 2012).