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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a psycho-social intervention that aims to reduce symptoms of various mental health conditions, primarily depression and anxiety disorders. CBT focuses on challenging and changing cognitive distortions such as thoughts, beliefs and attitudes and their associated behaviours to improve emotional regulations and develop personal coping strategies that target solving current problems. It is used to treat mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, marital problems and eating disorders.

CBT is a common form of talk therapy based on the combination of the basic principles from behavioural and cognitive psychology. CBT is a “problem-focused and action-oriented” form of therapy, and is used to treat specific problems related to a diagnosed mental disorder.

CBT alone to be as effective for treating less severe forms of depression, anxiety, post- traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), substance use disorders, eating disorders and borderline personality disorder.

Therapy Phases:

  • Assessment or psychological assessment

  • Reconceptualization

  • Skills acquisition

  • Skills consolidation and application training

  • Generalization and maintenance

  • Post – treatment assessment follow-up

The steps in the assessment phase includes,

  • Identify critical behaviours

  • Critical behaviours are excesses or deficits

  • Evaluate critical behaviours for frequency, duration or intensity

  • If excess attempt to decrease frequency, duration or intensity of behaviours. If deficits attempt to increase behaviours.

CBT therapy used in disorders like,

  • Depression and anxiety disorders

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Psychosis

  • Schizophrenia

  • Addiction and substance use disorders

  • Eating disorders

  • Autistic adults


  • Commitment to treatment

  • Crisis response and safety  planning

  • Means restriction

  • Survival kit

  • Reasons for living card

  • Model of suicidality

  • Treatment journal

  • Lessons learned

Skill Focus

  • Skill development worksheets

  • Coping cards

  • Demonstration

  • Practice

  • Skill refinement

Relapse Prevention

  • Skill generalization

  • Skill refinement

CBT mainly is focused on,

  • Psycho–education

  • Cognitive reappraisal

  • Emotion regulation

  • Changing behaviour