Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychological treatment that helps people change their thoughts and behaviors. CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all connected. So, if we want to change our behavior, we need to change our thoughts and feelings.
CBT is a short-term treatment that can be used to treat a wide variety of mental health conditions, including:
Anxiety disorders – such as panic disorder, phobias (including agoraphobia and social anxiety disorder), and generalized anxiety disorder
Depressive disorders – such as major depressive disorder and dysthymia (a less severe form of depression)
Eating disorders – such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa
Obsessive-compulsive disorder – characterized by unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, images, or sensations (obsessions) and the urge to do something over and over again to try to control the obsessions (compulsions)
Post-traumatic stress disorder – which may occur after you experience a traumatic event, such as an assault, natural disaster, car accident, or military combat
Problems with substance abuse – such as alcohol or drug dependence
CBT is usually provided by a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker. CBT typically lasts for 12-20 weeks, although some people may need fewer or more sessions.
CBT can be used to treat children, adolescents, and adults. It is often provided in a group setting, but it can also be provided in a one-on-one format.
CBT is an evidence-based treatment that has been shown to be effective for many mental health conditions. If you are considering CBT, be sure to ask your mental health professional if they have experience treating your specific condition.
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