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What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Updated on June 4, 2013

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT, is a system used to increase a person's ability to change negative thinking into positive and help those who have overwhelming anxious moments or overly strong emotions to think thoughts of peacefulness by using "wise mind."

With this program, one is taught they can change an overly active emotional mind so, allowing them to evolve into a very positive person by identifying bad thought patterns or behaviors and turning them into positive and healthy ones.

This type of therapy is not necessary for everyone, but has been proven to be helpful for some. Many people are in control of their emotions by self will and discipline, but for those with more of a challenge, CBT is used.

This therapy helps him/her create a new and positive way of thinking, therefore encouraging them to develop healthier relationships by avoiding assumptions for one.

Good communication is an important part of having healthy relationships and since all of us are so unique, it takes practice and some effort to get to know and understand one another. We are all so complicated and unique.

This course is used to be help those who want to improve dealing being overly emotional.

There are many seventeen terms used in Cognitive behavioral thinking.

Here are some of the most common ones:

  • All-or-Nothing Thinking You view events or people in black or white terms- for example, "I get rejected by everyone," or "It was a complete waste of time"

  • Blaming You focus on the other person as the source of your negative feelings, and you refuse to take responsibility for changing yourself.

  • Catastrophizing You believe what has happened, or will happen will be so awful and unbearable that you won't be able to stand it.

  • Fortune Telling You predict the future in negative terms involving failure or danger- for example, "I'll fail that exam" or "I won't get the job."

  • Mind reading (this was a big one for me) You assume that you know what people think without having sufficient evidence of their thoughts - for example, "He thinks I'm a loser."

  • Personalizing You attribute a disproportionate amount of the blame for negative events to yourself, and you fail to see that certain events are also caused by others, -for example, "The marriage ended because I failed."

Which one of these, if any, do you think you may have experienced the most? (Be honest!)

See results

Cognitive behavior therapy is generally used as a short-term program and focuses on helping clients deal with a very specific problem. During the course of treatment, people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behavior.



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    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Hi tillsontitan,

      Good question!

      I talked to a group leader who runs these groups, and her opinion was that everyone in the world would benefit. Even herself. Of course. I think that's one of the reasons why some enter the mental health field, because they know it will benefit them as well, not just helping others.

      The woman who wrote the manual for DBT, Dialetical Behavioral Therapy which is very similar, Marsha Linehan, Ph.D, came up and designed the therapy for herself. She is Borderline Persoality Disorder but this program is helpful for anyone and everyone struggling with emotions, which is most likely all of us to some degree or another. It's not about stigma, it's just a useful tool, to engage in.

      So, yes it's good to spread the information here, and glad you are interested and left a comment....I think it's helpful to share what we can with others....Yes most are aware of these "traits" and have difficulty and so this is where it comes in handy, yes many don't know about it....

      ;) Yes, you could use it I'm sure.....Well you already sort of answered that yourself right? ;) lol......I would just be happy that people learn about it and have it at their disposal if they wish. That's all I can say.

      Marsha talks about her own unique experience here

      It's pretty intense story, but all in all, there is a workbook people can buy, if they cannot take the class on amazon called "Skills Training Manual"

      So like I say, this is a self help course. I'm not ashamed to be a part of it. And neither is the staff who runs it. Wouldn't the world be a better place lol if everyone tried this??

      Thank you!!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      The sad thing is most people are aware of these "traits" but can't seem to do anything about them. I had no idea this therapy existed...does that mean I do or do not need it ;)

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thank you so much Eddy, I'm honored! :)))

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      You are a great writer schoolgirlforreal and thank you for sharing.


    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thank you very much kashmir, I was worried I had not done a good job ;)

      I appreciate it! I'm glad you learned something new. I do believe this is helpful and I have found it helpful.

      Some of us are not born with these capabilities or an illness takes over, or we may be confused having had a parent with schzophrenia, whatever the case it's important to identify what is true and not true!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Rose this is very interesting information within this well written article, i have not heard of this before so thanks for helping me learn more about it. Well done !

      Vote up and more !!!


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