Cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach, or talking therapy, that aims to solve problems concerning disturbances of emotions, behaviors and cognitions(or thinking) through a goal-oriented, systematic method. The title is used in different ways to designate behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and to refer to therapy based upon a combination of basic behavioral and cognitive research.
There is empirical evidence that CBT is effective for the treatment of a variety of problems, including mood, anxiety, personality, eating, substance abuse, and psychotic disorders. Treatment is often manualized, with specific technique-driven brief, direct, and time-limited treatments for specific disorders. CBT is used in individual therapy as well as group settings and the techniques are often adapted for self-help applications.
CBT was primarily developed through a merging of behavior therapy with cognitive therapy. These two traditions found common ground in focusing on the “here and now” and on alleviating symptoms. Many CBT treatment programs for specific disorders have been evaluated for effectiveness. The current health-care trend of evidence-based treatment, where specific treatments for symptom-based diagnoses are recommended, has favored CBT (which in some circles is perhaps now seen as ‘politically correct’) over other approaches such as psychodynamic treatments.
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