What does cognitive behavioral therapy do

Overview - Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.

It's most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.

How CBT works

CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a negative cycle.

CBT aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts.

You're shown how to change these negative patterns to improve the way you feel.

Unlike some other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current problems, rather than focusing on issues from your past.

It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.

Uses for CBT

CBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a number of different mental health conditions.

In addition to depression or anxiety disorders, CBT can also help people with:

  • bipolar disorder
  • borderline personality disorder
  • eating disorders – such as anorexia and bulimia
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • panic disorder
  • phobias
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • psychosis
  • schizophrenia
  • sleep problems – such as insomnia
  • problems related to alcohol misuse

CBT is also sometimes used to treat people with long-term health conditions, such as:

  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  • fibromyalgia
  • chronic pain

Although CBT cannot cure the physical symptoms of these conditions, it can help people cope better with their symptoms.

What happens during CBT sessions

If CBT is recommended, you'll usually have a session with a therapist once a week or once every 2 weeks.

The course of treatment usually lasts for between 6 and 20 sessions, with each session lasting 30 to 60 minutes.

During the sessions, you'll work with your therapist to break down your problems into their separate parts, such as your thoughts, physical feelings and actions.

You and your therapist will analyse these areas to work out if they're unrealistic or unhelpful, and to determine the effect they have on each other and on you.

Your therapist will then be able to help you work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.

After working out what you can change, your therapist will ask you to practise these changes in your daily life and you'll discuss how you got on during the next session.

The eventual aim of therapy is to teach you to apply the skills you have learnt during treatment to your daily life.

This should help you manage your problems and stop them having a negative impact on your life, even after your course of treatment finishes.

Pros and cons of CBT

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is effective in treating some mental health problems, but it may not be successful or suitable for everyone.

Some of the advantages of CBT include:

  • it can be completed in a relatively short period of time compared with other talking therapies
  • the highly structured nature of CBT means it can be provided in different formats, including in groups, self-help books and online
  • it teaches you useful and practical strategies that can be used in everyday life, even after the treatment has finished
  • it focuses on the person's capacity to change themselves (their thoughts, feelings and behaviours)
  • it can be as effective as medicine in treating some mental health problems and may be helpful in cases where medicine alone has not worked

Some of the disadvantages of CBT to consider include:

  • you need to commit yourself to the process to get the most from it – a therapist can help and advise you, but they need your co-operation
  • attending regular CBT sessions and carrying out any extra work between sessions can take up a lot of your time
  • it may not be suitable for people with more complex mental health needs or learning difficulties
  • it involves confronting your emotions and anxieties – you may experience initial periods where you're anxious or emotionally uncomfortable
  • it does not address any wider problems in systems or families that may have a significant impact on someone's health and wellbeing

Some critics also argue that while CBT addresses current problems and focuses on specific issues, it does not address the possible underlying causes of mental health conditions, such as an unhappy childhood.

How to find a CBT therapist

You can get talking therapies, including CBT, on the NHS.

You can refer yourself directly to an NHS talking therapies service without a referral from a GP.

Or your GP can refer you if you prefer.

If you can afford it, you can choose to pay for your therapy privately. The cost of private therapy sessions varies. It usually costs £60 to £100 per session, but lower rates may be available to those on lower incomes.

There is a register of all accredited therapists in the UK on the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) website.

There's also a directory of chartered psychologists on the British Psychological Society (BPS) website, some of whom specialise in CBT.

Video: talking therapies for stress, anxiety and depression

Animated video explaining self-referral to talking therapies services for stress, anxiety or depression.

Media last reviewed: 14 March 2022
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Cognitive behavioral therapy - Mayo Clinic


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common type of talk therapy (psychotherapy). You work with a mental health counselor (psychotherapist or therapist) in a structured way, attending a limited number of sessions. CBT helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way.

CBT can be a very helpful tool ― either alone or in combination with other therapies ― in treating mental health disorders, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or an eating disorder. But not everyone who benefits from CBT has a mental health condition. CBT can be an effective tool to help anyone learn how to better manage stressful life situations.

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Why it's done

Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to treat a wide range of issues. It's often the preferred type of psychotherapy because it can quickly help you identify and cope with specific challenges. It generally requires fewer sessions than other types of therapy and is done in a structured way.

CBT is a useful tool to address emotional challenges. For example, it may help you:

  • Manage symptoms of mental illness
  • Prevent a relapse of mental illness symptoms
  • Treat a mental illness when medications aren't a good option
  • Learn techniques for coping with stressful life situations
  • Identify ways to manage emotions
  • Resolve relationship conflicts and learn better ways to communicate
  • Cope with grief or loss
  • Overcome emotional trauma related to abuse or violence
  • Cope with a medical illness
  • Manage chronic physical symptoms

Mental health disorders that may improve with CBT include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Phobias
  • PTSD
  • Sleep disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Substance use disorders
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sexual disorders

In some cases, CBT is most effective when it's combined with other treatments, such as antidepressants or other medications.

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In general, there's little risk in getting cognitive behavioral therapy. But you may feel emotionally uncomfortable at times. This is because CBT can cause you to explore painful feelings, emotions and experiences. You may cry, get upset or feel angry during a challenging session. You may also feel physically drained.

Some forms of CBT, such as exposure therapy, may require you to confront situations you'd rather avoid — such as airplanes if you have a fear of flying. This can lead to temporary stress or anxiety.

However, working with a skilled therapist will minimize any risks. The coping skills you learn can help you manage and conquer negative feelings and fears.

How you prepare

You might decide on your own that you want to try cognitive behavioral therapy. Or a doctor or someone else may suggest therapy to you. Here's how to get started:

  • Find a therapist. You can get a referral from a doctor, health insurance plan, friend or other trusted source. Many employers offer counseling services or referrals through employee assistance programs (EAPs). Or you can find a therapist on your own — for instance, through a local or state psychological association or by searching the internet.
  • Understand the costs. If you have health insurance, find out what coverage it offers for psychotherapy. Some health plans cover only a certain number of therapy sessions a year. Also, talk to your therapist about fees and payment options.
  • Review your concerns. Before your first appointment, think about what issues you'd like to work on. While you can also sort this out with your therapist, having some sense in advance may provide a starting point.

Check qualifications

Psychotherapist is a general term, rather than a job title or indication of education, training or licensure. Examples of psychotherapists include psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed professional counselors, licensed social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, psychiatric nurses, or other licensed professionals with mental health training.

Before seeing a psychotherapist, check his or her:

  • Background and education. Trained psychotherapists can have a number of different job titles, depending on their education and role. Most have a master's or doctoral degree with specific training in psychological counseling. Medical doctors who specialize in mental health (psychiatrists) can prescribe medications as well as provide psychotherapy.
  • Certification and licensing. Make sure that the therapist you choose meets state certification and licensing requirements for his or her particular discipline.
  • Area of expertise. Ask whether the therapist has expertise and experience treating your symptoms or your area of concern, such as eating disorders or PTSD.

The key is to find a skilled therapist who can match the type and intensity of therapy with your needs.

What you can expect

Cognitive behavioral therapy may be done one-on-one or in groups with family members or with people who have similar issues. Online resources are available that may make participating in CBT possible, especially if you live in an area with few local mental health resources.

CBT often includes:

  • Learning about your mental health condition
  • Learning and practicing techniques such as relaxation, coping, resilience, stress management and assertiveness

Your first therapy session

At your first session, your therapist will typically gather information about you and ask what concerns you'd like to work on. The therapist will likely ask you about your current and past physical and emotional health to gain a deeper understanding of your situation. Your therapist may discuss whether you might benefit from other treatment as well, such as medications.

The first session is also an opportunity for you to interview your therapist to see if he or she will be a good match for you. Make sure you understand:

  • His or her approach
  • What type of therapy is appropriate for you
  • The goals of your treatment
  • The length of each session
  • How many therapy sessions you may need

It might take a few sessions for your therapist to fully understand your situation and concerns, and to determine the best course of action. If you don't feel comfortable with the first therapist you see, try someone else. Having a good "fit" with your therapist can help you get the most benefit from CBT.

During CBT

Your therapist will encourage you to talk about your thoughts and feelings and what's troubling you. Don't worry if you find it hard to open up about your feelings. Your therapist can help you gain more confidence and comfort.

CBT generally focuses on specific problems, using a goal-oriented approach. As you go through the therapy process, your therapist may ask you to do homework — activities, reading or practices that build on what you learn during your regular therapy sessions — and encourage you to apply what you're learning in your daily life.

Your therapist's approach will depend on your particular situation and preferences. Your therapist may combine CBT with another therapeutic approach — for example, interpersonal therapy, which focuses on your relationships with other people.

Steps in CBT

CBT typically includes these steps:

  • Identify troubling situations or conditions in your life. These may include such issues as a medical condition, divorce, grief, anger or symptoms of a mental health disorder. You and your therapist may spend some time deciding what problems and goals you want to focus on.
  • Become aware of your thoughts, emotions and beliefs about these problems. Once you've identified the problems to work on, your therapist will encourage you to share your thoughts about them. This may include observing what you tell yourself about an experience (self-talk), your interpretation of the meaning of a situation, and your beliefs about yourself, other people and events. Your therapist may suggest that you keep a journal of your thoughts.
  • Identify negative or inaccurate thinking. To help you recognize patterns of thinking and behavior that may be contributing to your problem, your therapist may ask you to pay attention to your physical, emotional and behavioral responses in different situations.
  • Reshape negative or inaccurate thinking. Your therapist will likely encourage you to ask yourself whether your view of a situation is based on fact or on an inaccurate perception of what's going on. This step can be difficult. You may have long-standing ways of thinking about your life and yourself. With practice, helpful thinking and behavior patterns will become a habit and won't take as much effort.

Length of therapy

CBT is generally considered short-term therapy — ranging from about five to 20 sessions. You and your therapist can discuss how many sessions may be right for you. Factors to consider include:

  • Type of disorder or situation
  • Severity of your symptoms
  • How long you've had your symptoms or have been dealing with your situation
  • How quickly you make progress
  • How much stress you're experiencing
  • How much support you receive from family members and other people


Except in very specific circumstances, conversations with your therapist are confidential. However, a therapist may break confidentiality if there is an immediate threat to safety or when required by state or federal law to report concerns to authorities. These situations include:

  • Threatening to immediately or soon (imminently) harm yourself or take your own life
  • Threatening to imminently harm or take the life of another person
  • Abusing a child or a vulnerable adult ― someone over age 18 who is hospitalized or made vulnerable by a disability
  • Being unable to safely care for yourself


Cognitive behavioral therapy may not cure your condition or make an unpleasant situation go away. But it can give you the power to cope with your situation in a healthy way and to feel better about yourself and your life.

Getting the most out of CBT

CBT isn't effective for everyone. But you can take steps to get the most out of your therapy and help make it a success.

  • Approach therapy as a partnership. Therapy is most effective when you're an active participant and share in decision-making. Make sure you and your therapist agree about the major issues and how to tackle them. Together, you can set goals and assess progress over time.
  • Be open and honest. Success with therapy depends on your willingness to share your thoughts, feelings and experiences, and on being open to new insights and ways of doing things. If you're reluctant to talk about certain things because of painful emotions, embarrassment or fears about your therapist's reaction, let your therapist know about your reservations.
  • Stick to your treatment plan. If you feel down or lack motivation, it may be tempting to skip therapy sessions. Doing so can disrupt your progress. Attend all sessions and give some thought to what you want to discuss.
  • Don't expect instant results. Working on emotional issues can be painful and often requires hard work. It's not uncommon to feel worse during the initial part of therapy as you begin to confront past and current conflicts. You may need several sessions before you begin to see improvement.
  • Do your homework between sessions. If your therapist asks you to read, keep a journal or do other activities outside of your regular therapy sessions, follow through. Doing these homework assignments will help you apply what you've learned in the therapy sessions.
  • If therapy isn't helping, talk to your therapist. If you don't feel that you're benefiting from CBT after several sessions, talk to your therapist about it. You and your therapist may decide to make some changes or try a different approach.

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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) what is it?

Psychotherapist Seregin Dmitry Alekseevich told about what cognitive-behavioral therapy is, how one can prepare for it and what can be done to achieve good results in therapy.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps people identify and change ineffective habits related to thinking, behavior, relationships with others and replace them with more beneficial ones. CBT works well in the treatment of anxiety and depression, for example, by helping you recognize and address negative thoughts and behaviors that make depression worse and stop them.
Benefits of CBT:

  • Cognitive therapy is one of the few forms of psychotherapy that has been found effective in hundreds of clinical trials for a wide variety of disorders.
  • CBT, unlike other forms of psychotherapy, is more specific, focused not on past traumas, but on current problems and ways to solve them. The patient is practicing new skills in real situations that he is facing right now.
  • The skills that the patient learns during the sessions, he can subsequently use on his own so that the condition does not recur.
  • CBT is a faster method than others. Sometimes 6-8 meetings are enough for the state to change for the better.

What is CBT based on?

It is based on a cognitive model that our emotions are influenced not only by the situation itself, but also to a large extent by how we perceive it. Often a negative way of perceiving reality becomes habitual, stereotyped. A person, experiencing another trouble, automatically thinks something like: “I never succeed,” and this, like a vicious circle, strengthens negative emotions, makes the mood even worse and reduces the ability to approach the situation constructively.

In fact, “it never works out” is not a reality, but a harmful cognitive distortion, a generalization.
Cognitive therapy helps to assess how realistic we think, identify distortions and learn how to correct them. When thinking becomes more realistic, the patient feels better, and it becomes easier for him to change his behavior and actively solve problems.

How to prepare for the first session of psychotherapy?

It is always easier to start if the patient has previously defined the goals of therapy. Think:

  • What is your goal, what would you like to change at work, in your personal life, relationships?
  • What symptoms, bad habits do you want to eliminate?
  • What useful habits, skills would you like to acquire?

At the first session, the psychotherapist will help you evaluate and clarify these goals, set priorities.
Before the session, the therapist may ask you to take experimental psychological tests to assess your mood. Test results will help you and your therapist objectively evaluate your progress.
Collaboration will then begin, which combines discussing and solving the issues you have on the agenda together and assessing the accuracy of your thoughts and beliefs about them. In the future, in the course of psychotherapy, the patient learns new skills. At each session, we check together how you feel compared to the previous weeks.

How long does a psychotherapy course last?

As a rule, it becomes clear in 1-2 sessions. The decision is made jointly depending on the patient's condition and the tasks set. Some patients stay in psychotherapy for only a short time, six to eight sessions. Others may wish to continue therapy for several months.

How often do you need to come?

Patients in acute crisis come twice a week, the usual frequency is once a week. Towards the end of the course, when the patient feels better, we arrange more rare meetings - there is a "narrowing" of sessions, when the patient comes every two, and then every three weeks. This "narrowing" allows you to practice the acquired skills, occasionally checking them with a psychotherapist.

How can I prepare for therapy sessions?

You can supplement psychotherapy by reading books on cognitive therapy that I can recommend, doing tasks in workbooks, brochures.
You can also reflect on what you learned in the previous session, write down everything you would like to discuss in the next session.
It is better to use the acquired skills in practice and analyze the difficulties encountered, and then discuss this with the therapist.

"When will I get better?"

This usually happens by 3-4 sessions if you visit them and follow the recommended appointments. You will notice an improvement both subjectively and in the tests we will run.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – what it is, how it works and who it helps

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective psychotherapeutic methods. It is aimed at correcting the distorted perception of current events and the environment, which leads to destructive behavior. The result of such abnormal reactions is the appearance of negative emotions - a person develops depression. In turn, depression creates an environment for the development of a number of psychosomatic diseases and pathological conditions.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Helps Correct Distorted Perceptions of Reality and Depression

The principle of treatment is based on the premise that psychological problems that have arisen in the past persist in the present, manifesting themselves in certain situations. The response to such situations is the emergence of negative automatic thoughts (cognitions) and behavior patterns (patterns). These thoughts and actions are closely related. And they arise when any circumstances remind a person of a previously experienced psychotrauma.

How is CBT different from conventional psychotherapy?

Classical talk therapy is based solely on identifying the source of problems in the past. CBT simultaneously seeks to find the distorted thought and behavioral patterns that are rooted in the subconscious mind and control our reactions in certain situations at the present time. Realizing their destructive effect, we strive to react differently to specific events, abandoning the established counterproductive patterns. This helps us to successfully cope with our problems - including those situations where it is impossible to change what is happening. And feel better - mentally and physically.

In many ways, CBT is a combination of psychotherapy and behavioral training that emphasizes the relationship between problematic thinking and behavior and the equal importance of correcting them to achieve the intended outcome.

Developed over 50 years ago by renowned American psychiatrist Aaron Beck, cognitive behavioral therapy:

  • has proven to be exceptionally effective;
  • is widely used;
  • is constantly developing, replenished with new types and techniques.

Properly applying CBT, you can quickly achieve a stable positive result in the treatment of a number of psycho-emotional disorders, disorders of thinking and behavior, including the most complex and neglected cases. The joint efforts of a person and a psychotherapist lead to an emotional breakthrough, help to overcome depression and anxiety.

Who is Aaron Beck?

Psychiatrist Aaron Beck, who lived to over 100 and died in the fall of 2021, was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He was engaged in the treatment of depression, using, among other things, psychoanalysis. Beck noticed that when analyzing or modeling certain problematic situations, some of his patients noted that they automatically had thoughts that were not justified by real events. People understood the illogicality of their perception, and this bothered them. Some patients shared their concerns with the doctor.

Aaron T. Beck - the founder of the concept of cognitive behavioral therapy

Having delved into the problem, Beck concluded that such distorted thoughts, not substantiated by real events, are characteristic of all people with depressive disorders. And what exactly they underlie illogical destructive behavior and the appearance of negative emotions in certain situations. Such reactions are fixed in the subconscious and become stereotyped, that is, they turn into stereotypes.

The professor coined the term "automatic thoughts". They have a pronounced emotional coloring and arise instantly, emerging in the mind without any complex processing of real events. Automatic thoughts can quickly change feelings and behavior. If they are not eliminated or even not recognized, the person remains in a bad mood. And he is worried, not understanding the reasons for the unpleasant feelings that appear in him.

Based on these postulates, Beck began to help patients "dig into themselves" and connect changes in their psychological state with the emergence of unwanted cognitions. And then eliminate the cause of psychological discomfort by changing your perception of events and reaction to them.

To emphasize the importance of correcting "wrong" thoughts in overcoming emotional distress, the term "cognitive behavioral therapy" has been coined.

In fact, the methodology developed by Aaron Beck is based on the philosophical ideas of the so-called "Socratic thinking". It is aimed at deepening into one's own thought processes in order to find the sources of prejudice and a distorted perception of reality.

How does CBT work and who can benefit from it?

The method is based on a cognitive model of emotions and behavior that explains the relationship between thoughts, feelings and reactions to an event. The more balanced and logical our thinking is, the better we feel psychologically, the easier it is to communicate with people, the more objectively and positively we perceive the environment.

Relationship between thoughts, feelings and behavior

People usually associate their experiences with difficult situations, but in fact, our reactions to these situations are to a greater extent responsible for the appearance of negative emotions. These reactions are based on distorted automatic thoughts that cause negative emotions and lead to maladaptive behavior. In other words, perception often dictates to us what we should feel and what we should do. If we want to feel and behave differently, we should start by changing our perception.

CBT can help people with a variety of neuropsychiatric illnesses and psychological problems, including:

  • depression caused by bereavement or other severe stress, unsettled daily life, chronic illness, trauma;
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD)*;
  • obesity associated with eating disorders - compulsive overeating, bulimia (pathological appetite), etc.;
  • insomnia and other sleep disorders;
  • chronic pain, generalized anxiety disorders, panic attacks, procrastination, etc.

Types of CBT

Based on the general principles of CBT formulated by Aaron Beck, his followers - scientists, practicing psychologists - have developed various methods of therapy. When working with you, the therapist may use one or more of these:

  • Acceptance and Commitment

Classical CBT most often focuses on changing thoughts that lead to unwanted feelings or behaviors. Acceptance and commitment therapy focuses on changing attitudes towards unwanted thoughts or feelings. By accepting them and passing through them, a person gets the opportunity to free himself from their power.

  • Cognitive processing

Cognitive Processing Therapy helps to cope with traumas, look at them differently and ensure that they do not have a negative impact on a person's life. The method shows high efficiency in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and therefore is most often used to help people with such disorders.

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy

The term "dialectical" means the coexistence of two opposing ideas or even their dependence on each other. In Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), these ideas are change and acceptance. DBT includes strategies for both accepting and changing unwanted thoughts and feelings. As part of this method, strategies are also used to help manage relationships with other people, conflicts.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a type of CBT that helps manage relationships with other people.

  • Motivational interviewing

Allows you to cope with conflicting feelings, uncertainty, uncertainty, lack of incentives to do something, to change. Helps to find motivation to change your behavior, make the right decision. A motivational interview usually only takes one or two sessions. It can be used alone or in combination with other types of CBT.

  • Problem Solving Therapy

True to its name, the method aims to improve problem-solving skills. Helps to identify and overcome stress factors, ranging from everyday household turmoil and ending with adaptation to a newly diagnosed disease or disability.

  • Long-term exposure therapy

Designed to help people cope with past traumatic events and overcome them. It is based on the idea that one should not avoid thinking or talking about what happened. This only increases anxiety, increases the fear of returning or repeating the situation. Rethinking and “talking out” the problem for a long time allows you to change your attitude towards it to a neutral one. The method is especially useful for PTSD.

How is the treatment going?

The course of cognitive behavioral therapy is always structured - and this is another of its fundamental differences from other psychotherapeutic methods.

CBT is structured, which makes it possible to achieve the goal faster

Treatment usually follows the following protocol:

  1. Treatment goals are identified, as well as cognitive and behavioral barriers to achieving them. These barriers will be deliberately removed from session to session. For example, the goal may be to get a promotion, and to achieve it, a person needs to be more active in meetings and not avoid communication with superiors. Following this, problems are identified and discussed that will be in the focus of attention of the client and the psychotherapist during the week, strategies for solving the identified problems are selected. When the action plan is drawn up, the person receives homework for the week.

During the first session of CBT, the therapist and client set goals and develop an action plan.

  1. The following week, the therapist and client review their homework and discuss progress.
  2. Taking into account the progress made, the therapist forms a new homework for the next week.

A standard session lasts 50 minutes - this time is enough to discuss intermediate results and form a new task. Ideas are realized by a person who has applied for help to a psychologist at home independently. Thus, homework is an important component of the success of the cognitive-behavioral model. And it is on the person himself that ultimately depends whether the goals defined during the consultation will be achieved.

At the same time, CBT is a team effort in which you and your psychologist will work together to find a solution to a problem and work on it. By playing an active role in your own treatment, you will be able to apply and practice the skills learned during the session when doing your homework. Sessions are structured in such a way that the specialist helps you understand how you can:

  • change your attitude to certain aspects of your life;
  • unlearn harmful and destructive reactions.

By acting step by step, you will have the opportunity to rethink your experience and process in your mind the events that disturb you, understanding why they disturb you. And, consequently, to increase the level of control over your personal perception of these events.

CBT will allow you to understand what is bothering you and change your perspective on the situation.

  1. CBT has another significant difference from conventional conversational psychotherapy: work with a psychologist is carried out mainly individually, group counseling is used very rarely.

    The high focus and pragmatism of the method makes it possible to reduce the duration of therapy to a minimum - it can be completed as soon as the symptoms of cognitive disorders decrease and the person acquires the skills necessary to normalize his life. While talking therapy can take several years, CBT usually produces the desired results within a few months.

    In each case, the terms are determined individually and depend on the nature and severity of violations, personality traits, intermediate results. The therapy continues until the goal is reached.

    Goals and outcomes of cognitive behavioral therapy

    The purpose of CBT can be to solve a wide variety of practical problems. For example, a person might want:

    • enjoy socializing;
    • get rid of problems with falling asleep;
    • do not eat at night;
    • feel more comfortable when talking or interacting with friends, colleagues, strangers;
    • easily build friendships or intimate relationships;
    • without embarrassment, anxiety and failures to speak in public;
    • become more assertive;
    • to overcome the consequences of psychotrauma;
    • get out of depression, etc.

Getting rid of insomnia is one of the possible goals

Because CBT is tailored to the individual's needs and abilities, the goals of each session are also unique.

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