Dr James Korman, PsyD, ACT
Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a focused form of psychotherapy that targets the dysfunctional thoughts that underlie most psychological disorders. CBT begins by helping people to identify the negative automatic thoughts that precede strong emotional reactions. It then focuses on evaluating those ideas and assumptions to determine whether they are really true or not. If they do not appear to be true, CBT helps individuals think more clearly and realistically about their situation or issue. If the ideas appear to be true then CBT works to help find solutions and to problem-solve.
CBT research has also shown that people tend to only focus on information that supports their anxious or depressed thinking. They also behave in ways that reinforce and support their negative thoughts. To help with this, CBT teaching ways to look at all the available information related to ones ideas and not just the subset of data that supports them. This way people learn to have more accurate perceptions and views about themselves, their world and others. They also learn how to behave in ways that support their realistic views and not in ways that inadvertently reinforce their negative misperceptions.
CBT tends to be short term in nature and much more structured than other forms of psychotherapy. CBT therapist set mutual goals with their patients and work together to achieve them in the shortest amount of time possible. CBT also has hundreds of randomized controlled research trials showing its effectiveness with many different types of disorders. You may learn more about CBT by visiting the Academy of Cognitive Therapy www.academyofct.org.
© 2012 James Korman