Cognitive Behaviour in Psychology: Understanding the Basics
Cognitive Behaviour is a term commonly used in psychology to describe a type of therapy that helps people identify and change negative or destructive patterns of thinking. It is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are interconnected, and that by changing our thinking patterns, we can improve our emotional well-being.
What Is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that was developed in the 1960s by Aaron Beck. It is a short-term, goal-oriented therapy that focuses on the present rather than the past. The aim of CBT is to help people identify negative or distorted thinking patterns and replace them with more positive and realistic ones.
How Does CBT Work?
CBT works by helping individuals identify their negative or distorted thoughts and beliefs. These thoughts are often automatic and can be triggered by certain situations or events. Through therapy, individuals learn to identify these thoughts as they occur and challenge them using evidence-based techniques.
One common technique used in CBT is called cognitive restructuring. This involves identifying negative automatic thoughts and then challenging them with evidence-based reasoning. For example, if someone has an automatic thought like “I’m never going to succeed”, they may be asked to provide evidence for this thought, such as times when they have succeeded in the past.
Another technique used in CBT is behavioural activation. This involves encouraging individuals to engage in activities that they enjoy or find rewarding, even if they don’t feel like it at first. This can help break the cycle of negative thinking and low mood.
What Conditions Can Be Treated with CBT?
CBT has been found to be effective for a range of mental health conditions including:
- Anxiety disorders
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse disorders
The Benefits of CBT
CBT has been shown to be an effective treatment for a range of mental health conditions. It is often recommended as a first-line treatment for depression and anxiety disorders, and can be used alone or in combination with medication.
One of the benefits of CBT is that it is a short-term therapy. Most people complete treatment within 12-20 sessions, which can make it a more accessible option for people who may not have the time or resources to commit to longer-term therapy.
Another benefit of CBT is that it teaches individuals skills that they can use throughout their lives. By learning to identify and challenge negative thinking patterns, individuals can develop the tools they need to manage their mental health over the long term.
The Bottom Line
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that helps people identify and change negative or destructive patterns of thinking.
CBT has been found to be effective for a range of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety disorders, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, and substance abuse disorders. It is often recommended as a first-line treatment for these conditions and can be used alone or in combination with medication.
If you are struggling with your mental health or would like more information about CBT, talk to your healthcare provider or a qualified mental health professional. With the right support and treatment, it is possible to overcome negative thinking patterns and improve your overall well-being.