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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) (Procedure)
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) (Procedure)?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of talk therapy. This means that you discuss your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with a mental health professional. CBT focuses on how the way you think affects the way you feel and act.

Your therapist helps you identify negative thoughts and evaluates how realistic these thoughts are. Then, he or she teaches you to unlearn negative thought patterns and learn new, helpful ones.

CBT is a problem-solving approach. While you cannot control other people or situations, you can control the way you perceive and react to a particular situation. CBT teaches you the skills to change your thinking. It can also help you manage your reactions to stressful people and situations.

CBT is used to treat many health concerns. Some of these include:

  • Depression and mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Feelings of extreme shyness
  • Stress
  • Panic disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa , bulimia nervosa , and obesity
  • Insomnia and other sleep problems
  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic pain
  • Difficulty with relationships
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor coping skills
  • Uncontrolled anger

Managing Mental Health Concerns
Managing Mental Health Concerns
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Call Your Doctor

If the thoughts, feelings, or other difficulties that led you to seek therapy are returning or worsening, call your doctor. If you have thoughts of hurting yourself or others, call your doctor or 911immediately.