What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

In many instances, health conditions can be treated through straightforward medical means, such as antibiotics or surgery. In other cases, such as when patients are dealing with loss, homesickness, or even mental illnesses, many doctors will recommend psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is a method of treatment for mental disorders and other diseases through psychological means rather than traditional medical means. It is also what many individuals are thinking of when they say ‘going to therapy’ and imagine lying on a couch, although the latter isn’t always a reality.

Psychotherapy, of course, is quite the umbrella term and there are many different types of it. Arguably the most effective and perhaps the most popularly practiced is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Though it is common among psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals, many others do not understand precisely what CBT is. Start reading to learn from the basic definition of cognitive behavioral therapy to its primary goal and where homework comes into play.

The Basics Of CBT


Cognitive behavioral therapy, as mentioned, is a type of psychotherapy. CBT is very much based on the cognitive model of emotional response as well as education and has a significant structure to each session. It is also brief and quite a bit more time-limited, unlike other forms of treatment for mental illnesses, such as psychoanalysis.

In CBT, a patient will work with a mental health professional, such as a psychotherapist or mental health counselor, for treating conditions such as depression, an eating disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. The design of cognitive behavioral therapy is to foster a collaborative relationship between the therapist and patient. This collaboration helps hone the effectiveness of the treatment, so it better addresses the patient’s situation and helps them get what they are looking for from their therapy.

Though CBT is quite popular in treating mental health conditions, this is not its only function. Continue reading to reveal other ways cognitive behavioral therapy benefits individuals.