What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Unlike traditional Freudian psychoanalysis, which probes childhood wounds to get at the root causes of conflict, CBT focuses on solutions, encouraging patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behavior.

Recent posts on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

How Mentally Strong People Think (It's Not Always Positive)

There's a lot to be said for positive thinking, but it won't make you mentally strong. Here's how to train your brain to think differently.

Seven In-the-Moment Tools to Lessen Anxiety

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on December 12, 2017 in Friendship 2.0
Are your tools for managing your stress and anxiety getting stale? It's time to try something new.

Considering a Career in Mental Health Counseling?

Explore the opportunities of the helping relationship. See if a career in mental health is right for you.

The Neurochemistry of Smartphone Addiction

By Christopher Bergland on November 30, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Teens with problematic habits may have an imbalance of specific chemicals in the brain.

Let Worry Motivate Your Next Move

By Reid Wilson Ph.D. on November 29, 2017 in All about Anxiety
Worry motivates us to act on our plans, to stay on task, and to solve problems. It can trigger planning, preparation, and action—but worrying in itself is not acting.
Toa Hifteba, Unsplash

A Radical Alternative to New Year's Goal-Setting

By Jeffrey Davis M.A. on November 24, 2017 in Tracking Wonder
Setting goals can be depressing. But what if we had a proven set of factors to motivate us to set and attain meaningful goals?
Shutterstock

A Holiday Recipe for Better Focus

Turkeys. Stuffing. Pie. Is the hustle and bustle of the holidays getting to you? Get the Attitude of Gratitude—it goes a long way towards helping you focus!

Boosting Executive Functions May Harness Unbridled Anxiety

By Christopher Bergland on November 22, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Beefing up the executive control of a specific region in the prefrontal cortex may help those at risk for anxiety disorders, according to a new Duke study.
Omelchenko/Shutterstock

Relieving Severe Anxiety in Children

By Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D. on November 20, 2017 in Brain and Behavior
Behavioral therapy should be combined with medication for childhood anxiety.

The Truth Shall Set You Free

By Russell Grieger Ph.D. on November 20, 2017 in Happiness on Purpose
The purpose of all psychotherapy is to free people from the ravages of misery. But first, they must think and act truthfully. Find how with this 5-step process to find happiness.
Kat Jayne/Pexels

Selling Bad Therapy to Trauma Victims

It takes more than 20 sessions, or about six months of weekly therapy, before therapy patients start to improve.

Change Your Brain With Cognitive Therapy

Ever question the touchy-feely techniques recommended by your therapist? Here's why you should take their advice!

Prehab vs Rehab Mindsets for People with Cancer

If you are looking for antidote to cancer recovery through rest, consider adopting the prehab mindset.

Making the Best Treatment for Insomnia More Available

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on November 10, 2017 in Think, Act, Be
Insomnia affects millions, yet the number-one treatment often remains out of reach. Now apps make CBT-I available through web and mobile platforms.

Understanding Depression

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on November 10, 2017 in Think Well
Clinical or major depression is a potentially deadly illness that affects many millions of people at any given time. Here's how to gain a better of understanding of it.

Empowering Your Anxious Tween

Anxiety is a beast that can be contained, if not completely slain.

To Guilt or Not to Guilt, That Is the Question

By Yael Schonbrun Ph.D. on November 06, 2017 in Moderating
Do working parents have a guilt mandate?

Is Pain Being Treated Properly?

A common reason for referral is “my primary care can no longer or does not feel comfortable with continuing to prescribe me my pain medications."

The Meaning of Regret

By Bruce Grierson on October 31, 2017 in The Carpe Diem Project
Should we try to mine our mistakes for positives or just let them go? The complicated emotion of regret holds clues about when to look forward and when to look back.

Brain Imaging Shows We Can Unlearn Chronic Pain

By Eric Haseltine Ph.D. on October 27, 2017 in Long Fuse, Big Bang
New hope for previously untreatable pain.
Dora Calott Wang

Can Digital Health Rescue Health Care?

By Dora Calott Wang M.D. on October 24, 2017 in The Kitchen Shrink
Former executives of Coursera, Trulia, and LinkedIn turn their focus to behavioral health startups.

10 Reasons Why People Refuse to Talk to Therapists

By Loren Soeiro, Ph.D. ABPP on October 23, 2017 in I Hear You
It's easy to come up with a reason not to seek help through psychotherapy -- but not every rationalization really holds up.
Fotolit2/Purchased from Deposit Photos

An Often Forgotten Approach to Helping You With Fear

By Pamela D. Garcy Ph.D. on October 20, 2017 in Fearless You
Are fearful fantasies scaring you? Revising what you imagine might help.

Self-Soothing Skills Learned in Childhood

Here are some curious childhood stress relievers that will help you identify your own. Your early habits are pathways in your brain that you can build onto today.

How to Train Your Brain to Think Differently

Studies show you can physically change your brain by changing the way you think. Here are three strategies that will train your brain to think differently.

How To Approach Anxiety with Cleverness, Part 2

By Reid Wilson Ph.D. on October 06, 2017 in All about Anxiety
We “act as though” all day long—that the coffee we purchased is uncontaminated, and that gravity will keep our feet planted to the ground. When stuck, let it help you take action.

Depression and Mood Disorders

Most of us have learned to cope with mood swings but at any one time almost 10 percent of the U.S. adult population experience depression. Look for the signs and seek help.

The Talking Cure

By Bruce Grierson on September 28, 2017 in The Carpe Diem Project
What does it take to conquer a phobia? Maybe just 12 hours of insane courage.

Enough Already with Syndromes

By Steven C. Hayes Ph.D. on September 25, 2017 in Get Out of Your Mind
Lists of signs and symptoms is not telling therapists or people in need of help want they need to know. But what is the alternative? Stefan Hofmann and I have a proposal.

Theoretical Orientations as Straw Men

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on September 25, 2017 in Feeling Our Way
The appeal of reviling other therapists' approaches.