Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a psychotherapeutic method to solve problems related to the dysfunction of behavior, emotions and cognition through a goal oriented and systematic procedure. CBT combines both basic behavioral aspects and cognitive research. Through CBT, the psychotherapists try to assess and monitor the changes in the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system and immune system to treat psychological problems especially those related to stress or depression.
CBT was primarily developed through a merging of behavior therapy with cognitive therapy. CBT is effective for the treatment of a variety of psychological problems like mood alterations, anxiety disorders, personality changes, eating habits, substance abuse, etc. CBT is recommended as the treatment for a number of mental health difficulties, like post-traumatic stress disorder, clinical depression, neurological conditions, chronic fatigue syndrome etc. CBT can be successfully used as a treatment for many clinical disorders, personality conditions and behavioral problems. It is highly effective for a number of mental disorders and psychiatric problems caused by drug or alcohol abuse.
CBT is used in individual therapy as well as group settings. Some Clinical psychologists use cognitive oriented methods like Cognitive restricting while some others use behaviorally oriented techniques like Exposure therapy. Imaginal exposure therapy combines both the methods. CBT includes a variety of approaches and therapeutic systems. Some of the methods include cognitive therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy and multimodal therapy etc.
In CBT, the particular treatment varies according to the kind of problems. Generally the CBT includes keeping of a daily record showing events and associated mental feelings, thoughts and behavior. This can be done through questioning and testing cognitions. Assumptions and constant evaluation will help to determine the kind of mental illness. The treatment includes relaxation techniques, distraction techniques etc. These methods can be employed in conjunction with the use of mood elevating medications. This is usually done in diseases like Schizophrenia. CBT requires openness between the patient and the therapist to achieve the result. Computer based CBT is now popular to interact with patients though online. This avoids face to face discussions so that the patients especially depressed patients can open their mind.
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