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

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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.

Therapy for Gambling Addiction

By Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP on September 24, 2017 in In Therapy
Gambling maintains the fantasy of success while denying some harsh, cruel realities.

Beat Your Anxiety by Correcting These Mental Miscalculations

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on September 22, 2017 in Think Well
Here are a few common, cognitive errors that cause anxiety and what you can do to correct them.

CBT Increases Cerebellum Connectivity to Other Brain Regions

By Christopher Bergland on September 22, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
A new UCLA study offers fresh insights into a previously underestimated link between the cerebellum, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
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10 Faulty Thoughts That Occur in Body Dysmorphic Disorder

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on September 18, 2017 in Science of Choice
Faulty thinking sheds light on the development and maintenance of BDD.
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Explaining Delusional Thinking

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on September 15, 2017 in Science of Choice
The dual-process framework of decision-making can provide some insights into the theory of delusional belief.
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Getting to Where You Want to Go

Don't beat yourself up; instead follow these five steps to pull yourself up and get back to making important progress.

Answer Me This: Why Are Americans So Depressed?

By Stanton Peele Ph.D. on September 14, 2017 in Addiction in Society
We are growing more depressed, with young people in the lead, and our pharmaceutical response is obviously not working. How about psychedelics?
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Your Two Choices: Presented to You Every Moment of Your Life

Are your habits taking you down the wrong road?

Want to Feel More Upbeat? Here Are 8 Natural Antidepressants

By Susan Heitler Ph.D. on September 07, 2017 in Resolution, Not Conflict
Try this formula to ease mild to moderate depressed moods.

Four Things Not to Do When You Feel Anxious

Trying to make the anxiety go away won’t work. Many of the common ways you react to anxiety are unhelpful and make things worse.
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Who Is the Crazy One?

Encounter behavior that seems to be absurdly out of place? Ever say, “that person is crazy!"? Here are some drivers you might interpret as negative or “crazy”.

Writing Your Own “Ulysses Contract”

By Bruce Grierson on September 02, 2017 in The Carpe Diem Project
In the gig economy, there's no mean boss standing in your doorway demanding the goods. YOU have to find the mojo yourself.
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Answering Life's Call

By Alex Pattakos Ph.D. on September 01, 2017 in The Meaningful Life
Do you recognize that you are being questioned by life? Here is some guidance to help you find answers.

Mindfulness Therapy Could Help ADHD, Studies Suggest

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on August 31, 2017 in Urban Survival
New studies suggest an important role for mindfulness cognitive behavioral therapy in ADHD treatment.

Think You're a Bad Parent?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on August 30, 2017 in Think, Act, Be
The work of parenting is even harder when we're constantly telling ourselves we're doing it wrong. Moms and dads can use the tools of CBT to fix overly critical thoughts.

How to Approach Anxiety With Cleverness, Part 1

By Reid Wilson Ph.D. on August 30, 2017 in All about Anxiety
Ali wasn’t victorious because he was stronger or more athletic. After all, Foreman was in his prime. He was a 3-to-1 favorite. Ali was victorious because he was cunning.

3 Negative Thinking Patterns to Avoid — What to Do Instead

Although you can’t always control what you think, you can learn to identify when you’re sinking into a negative pattern and reboot to a more constructive cognitive pathway.
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The Role of Motivation in Delusional Belief

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on August 27, 2017 in Science of Choice
Motivated delusions can have psychological benefits that might lead both to the formation or maintenance of delusions.

The Flip Side of Fertility Stress

By Joann P. Galst Ph.D. on August 26, 2017 in Fertility Factor
Great news for the fertility-challenged in that mindset has been found to alter one's response to stress.
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A Different Way to Treat Depression

Depression is a failure to learn. It's time to learn how to learn again.

A Back to School Stress-Management Toolkit for Teens

This time of year involves transition. Whether it's adjusting to high school, the new academic semester, or going off to college, teens need new coping tools to de-stress!

What Should You Do When You Don't Trust Your Therapist?

By Loren Soeiro, Ph.D. ABPP on August 21, 2017 in I Hear You
What's the right thing to do if you've started therapy, but you're not sure you feel a connection to your psychologist? Here's a tip that could get the treatment back on track.