Cognitive behavioral therapy, also called CBT, is a short-term, goal-oriented treatment approach that centers on helping patients recognize and examine the thought patterns and behaviors that often underlie depression. The fundamental premise of CBT suggests that people often develop a pattern of automatic thinking and feeling in response to certain triggers, often without realizing it. In learning to recognize these patterns, patients can begin to make significant long-term changes. Treatment is typically short-term, the therapy is tailored for each patient, and operates very much as a partnership between patient and therapist. The ultimate goal of CBT is for patients to learn to be their own therapists with the ability to recognize emotional triggers and utilize new tools and techniques to better handle them.
CBT is effective in treating a wide range of issues. Some of the most common are:
Homework or experimental assignments between sessions may be integrated as a component of your treatment. Specific assignments may vary but the purpose of the exercises is to encourage patients to be active participants in the process and provides an opportunity to put what is explored or learned in the session to practical use in everyday life. Successes and challenges experienced in completing assignments are then discussed in the following treatment sessions.
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