Cognitive therapy is based on the concept that our thoughts, emotions and behaviors are all connected, meaning that the way we think affects the way we feel.
CBT requires you to work in collaboration with your therapist to develop skills to test and modify your thinking, beliefs and responses.
Examples of cognitive therapy techniques include:
- Activity scheduling
- Graded exposure assignments
- Mindfulness practices
- Skills training
- Cognitive restructuring
- Successive approximation
Typically, cognitive therapy involves 45- to 60-minute sessions every week for 3-6 months. Cognitive therapists may use any of the above techniques depending on the psychiatric illness or behavioral disorder they are trying to treat.
Examples of cognitive therapy in action
People with depression usually have lost interest in activities that used to give them pleasure. A cognitive therapist may schedule activities their patient used to enjoy, such as taking long walks or meditating, and encourage them to try engaging in them again. The patient may find these activities rewarding and feel better while doing them as part of their treatment.
Graded exposure assignments
Another cognitive therapy technique is the use of graded exposure assignments in people with anxiety disorders. Exposure is a type of CBT technique that helps people get systematically (step-by-step) exposed to what triggers fear or anxiety in them.
For example, a person may get stage fright and feel like running away from that situation when faced with it. Their therapist will try to expose them to stage-like situations with increasing difficulty and provide training to control their response.
Mindfulness and skills training
Cognitive therapy may benefit someone who has lost hope in trying new challenges. For example, let’s say someone feels like they are going to fail anything they try because they failed in the past. This incorrect assumption may hold them back from making progress in life, which only frustrates and depresses them more.
A cognitive therapist can help this person identify what’s wrong with their thinking and help them shift their thinking pattern. Using mindfulness and skills training techniques, they can help their patient live in the present instead of brooding over past experiences:
- Mindfulness focuses on disengaging the person from their constant negative thoughts and paying attention to the present
- Skills training technique helps the person develop skills like problem-solving. To do this, the therapist may give customized assignments to the person and encourage them to finish them.
What conditions is cognitive therapy used for?
Aaron Beck developed cognitive therapy in the 1960s. Since then, this therapy has been extensively researched and found to be effective for psychiatric disorders including:
- Anxiety disorders
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse
- Personality disorders
- Bipolar disorder
Additionally, cognitive therapy has been used to treat people with non-psychiatric disorders such as:
Latest Mental Health News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Cognitive Behavior Therapy Techniques. https://cogbtherapy.com/cognitive-behavior-therapy-techniques
Top What Is an Example of Cognitive Therapy? Related Articles
Antisocial Personality DisorderAntisocial personality disorder (ASPD) has many symptoms, signs, and causes. Therapy is one treatment option for antisocial personality disorder. It is closely related to other personality disorders (PD), such as borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.
Bipolar disorder (or manic depression) is a mental illness characterized by depression, mania, and severe mood swings. Treatment may incorporate mood-stabilizer medications, antidepressants, and psychotherapy.
Bipolar Disorder QuizWho is at risk for developing bipolar disorder? Are you? Take this Bipolar Disorder Quiz to learn more about bipolar disorder, if you're at risk, and what you can do about it.
Bipolar SlideshowBipolar disorder (once called manic depression) causes extreme mood shifts and can be disorienting. Our experts define bipolar disorder, discuss bipolar symptoms, and describe bipolar medications that can help.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)Borderline personality disorder is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual's sense of self-identity. Originally thought to be at the "borderline" of psychosis, people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) suffer from a disorder of emotion regulation.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treat Depression?Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) uses cognitive strategies to help people change patterns in the way they think and behavioral strategies to help people change behaviors that aren't helpful. CBT can help people with mild-to-moderate major depressive disorder.
DepressionDepression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. The principal types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disease).
Depression SlideshowWhat is depression? Get information on symptoms, signs, tests, and treatments for many types of depression including major depression, chronic depression, teen depression, and postpartum depression.
Depression QuizMany people do not recognize the symptoms and warning signs of depression and depressive disorders in children and adults. With proper diagnosis, treatments and medications are available. Take this quiz to learn more about recovery from depression.
Depression Tips SlidesThe right exercise, diet, and activities -- even playing with a pet --can help you recover from depression. Learn simple lifestyle changes you can do to improve your mood.
How is hypnotherapy performed?Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic technique to produce an altered state of consciousness (hypnosis) in a person by inducing deep relaxation. While the person in this state, the therapist makes suggestions for behavioral changes during hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is considered complementary or alternative care and does not have a robust body of scientific evidence for its effectiveness.
Narcissistic Personality DisorderNarcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a dramatic personality disorder that is characterized by a distorted self-image, preoccupation with success and power, and an abnormal love of self, which mask insecurity and a fragile self-esteem. Other symptoms include constantly seeking attention and admiration, setting unrealistic goals, exaggerating talents, self-centeredness, arrogant behavior, and an inability to recognize others' feelings. Though there is no known treatment for NPD, psychotherapy may be of some help.
PsychotherapyPsychoteraphy is often the first form of treatment recommended for depression. Psychotherapy helps depression by helping people understand the behaviors, emotions and ideas that contribute to their depression, regain a sense of control and pleasure in life, and learn coping techniques as well as problem solving skills.
SchizophreniaSchizophrenia is a disabling brain disorder that may cause hallucinations and delusions and affect a person's ability to communicate and pay attention. Symptoms of psychosis appear in men in their late teens and early 20s and in women in their mid-20s to early 30s. With treatment involving the use of antipsychotic medications and psychosocial treatment, schizophrenia patients can lead rewarding and meaningful lives.
Schizophrenia SlideshowWhat is schizophrenia? Learn about schizophrenia symptoms, signs, and treatment. Read about schizophrenia types such as paranoid schizophrenia, catatonic schizophrenia, and disorganized schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia QuizSchizophrenia is a complex psychiatric disorder. Learn more about the challenges of mental illness with the Schizophrenia Quiz.
What Are the Types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy. It helps people manage their emotional and behavioral problems by changing the way they perceive the world and react to it.