Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that assists people in understanding how their thoughts, feelings and behaviors are interconnected. It focuses on helping individuals find new ways to alter their thought processes and behaviors, improving their quality of life. The underlying principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy emphasize the idea that how we think affects how we feel, and our behaviors can be changed to improve our mental and emotional well-being.
The 10 Principles of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- CBT requires a sound therapeutic relationship.
- CBT is goal-oriented and problem-focused.
- CBT encourages a collaborative, two-way communication process.
- CBT focuses on thought patterns, feelings and behavior.
- CBT utilizes structured practices that increase the attention and skills of the individual.
- CBT emphasizes an individual’s current life, rather than what has led up to their difficulties.
- CBT encourages people to become independent learners through coaching and problem-solving.
- CBT identifies and modifies thought patterns to optimize behavior.
- CBT encourages the practice of new behaviors and skills.
- CBT strives to focus on the present, rather than dwelling on the past.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been found to be an effective treatment for a wide variety of mental health and behavioral problems including anxiety, depression, anger issues, substance abuse, relationship difficulties and eating disorders. The principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy provide a framework for therapists to work with their clients to modify negative thought patterns and behaviors, and to build helpful skills that can be used for a lifetime.
If you think you or a loved one would benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapy, talk to a mental health professional. They can provide more information about the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy and help you determine if it is the right form of treatment for you.