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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach which is used by psychologists and therapists to help promote positive change in individuals, to help alleviate emotional distress, and to address a myriad of psycho/social/behavioral issues. Cognitive Behavioral therapists identify and treat difficulties arising from an individual's irrational thinking, misperceptions, dysfunctional thoughts, and faulty learning. The therapy can be conducted with individuals, families, or groups. Problems such as anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, low self esteem, adjustment difficulties, sleep disturbance, and post-traumatic stress are addressed.


What are the goals of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

The goals are to restructure one's thoughts, perceptions, and beliefs. Such restructuring facilitates behavioral and emotional change. During therapy, coping skills and abilities are assessed and further developed.


What kinds of techniques are used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Some specific techniques that the therapist may use include, but are not limited to:

  • Challenging irrational beliefs

  • Relaxation education and training

  • Self monitoring

  • Cognitive rehearsal

  • Thought stopping

  • Communication skills training

  • Assertiveness skills training

  • Social skills training

  • Bibliotherapy

  • Homework assignments


How is the therapy conducted?

Clients are first evaluated to obtain a thorough history and background information to better understand the nature of the difficulties for which treatment is being sought. Clients may also be asked to complete assessment tools or questionnaires. Treatment usually takes place on a weekly basis, focusing on current issues. A Treatment Plan is completed to set goals and to monitor progress. The number of sessions varies with the type of difficulties being treated. Clients are expected to be active participants in their own therapy.

Read: Drs. Moser and Zebrowski talk about the “shoulds” in our lives
in Princeton Magazine.

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