Cognitive Behavioral Therapy often referred to as CBT is a form of psychotherapy used by many clinicians because it is supported by scientific evidence as an effective treatment for depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance use problems, marital and couple problems, and even severe mental disorders.
Researchers have focused on two immediate triggers as partially responsible for some mental health problems:
1. Distorted and erroneous thinking can lead to or worsen mental health problems.
2. Habits or learned patterns of behavior can lead to or worsen mental health problems.
CBT appears to be effective when clients learn new ways to think about and cope with their problems.
Some strategies clients learn may include:
How to calm and relax when feeling distressed
How to analyze life problems to cope more effectively
How to identify and combat dysfunctional thoughts
How to identify and change dysfunctional behavior patterns
How to use role playing to prepare for difficult situations
Aaron T. Beck was the leader in the development of CBT based on his research at the University of Pennsylvania. Early on, he focused on the negative thinking linked to depression. Read more at the beckinstitute.org
CBT has been adapted by Christian clinicians. For example, see Michelle Pearce's book on CBT for Christians with depression.
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