The term “Cognitive-Behavioral therapy” (CBT) is a very general term for a classification of therapies with similarities. There are several approaches to cognitive-behavioral therapy, including Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Rational Behavior Therapy, Rational Living Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
The primary goal of CBT is to identify and modify thoughts, feelings, and behavior that interfere with a desired outcome in life. Each individual’s therapy is unique; however, there are common components in CBT. It is brief and time-limited. To this end, CBT therapists assign reading assignments and encourage their clients to practice the techniques learned.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a useful tool to address emotional challenges. For example, it may help:
- Manage symptoms of mental illness, either by itself or with other treatments such as medications.
- Prevent a relapse of mental illness symptoms.
- Treat a mental illness when medications aren’t a good option, such as during pregnancy.
- Learn techniques for coping with stressful life situations, such as problems at work.
- Identify ways to manage emotions, such as anger, guilt, fear.
- Resolve relationship conflicts and learn better ways to communicate.
- Cope with grief, such as after the loss of a loved one.
- Overcome emotional trauma related to abuse or violence.
- Cope with a medical illness, such as chronic fatigue syndrome or cancer.
- Manage chronic physical symptoms, such as pain, insomnia or fatigue.
Mental health conditions that may improve with cognitive behavioral therapy include:
- Generalized Anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive disorder
- Sleep disorders
- Sexual disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse disorders
- Personality disorders