Cognitive Behavioral Therapy comes up often as a treatment for anxiety and depression, as well as other unpleasant conditions of the psyche, but what exactly is it? Stephanie Larsen, a psychotherapy provider, provides her definition of CBT below.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a theoretical orientation and intervention for various areas of mental health concerns. It is, in brief, the process of aiding the client in identifying their views of themselves, the world, and their perceived future. It is finding the core schemas or beliefs behind an individual’s thinking, evaluating their rationality/ use, and creating new, more realistic and helpful ways of thinking. It is not just making everything “sunshine and rainbows” but turning thoughts of “nobody loves me” into “Not everyone may love me but I have several family, friends, and supporters that do genuinely care about me.” Helpful throughout the process is identifying cognitive distortions or things such as all-or-nothing thinking, predicting, catastrophizing, emotional reasons (I feel so therefore it is true), etc.