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What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a short-term form of therapy that usually focuses on one problem at a time.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a short-term form of therapy that usually focuses on one problem at a time. The goal is to help clients see the how their relationships, thoughts, feelings, behavior patterns, and actions all affect each other. This way, the clients can see how their perceptions about different things affect their reactions to various situations. Cognitive behavioral therapy is not a single treatment technique. It refers to a group of therapies that share certain therapeutic methodology characteristics. Some of these therapies include: rational emotive behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy, among others.

How it Works

One of the core beliefs of cognitive behavioral therapy methods is the belief that how someone sees something, regardless of how things actually are, is what determines how they will react to a situation. Therapists who believe in this method believe that if their clients can adjust their thought processes, they can have a direct effect on their emotions and behavior. In the process of cognitive behavioral therapy, therapists help their clients to unlearn their negative reactions and replace them with more positive ones. Clients are taught to break down issues that overwhelm them into smaller, more manageable parts. By doing this, the therapist can set smaller, short-term therapy goals that will gradually adjust how their client thinks, feels, and reacts to the situations that they find challenging. Ultimately, the process of changing a person’s attitudes and behaviors will help them learn to address their issues in more positive and productive ways.


Cognitive behavioral therapy isn’t just a client sitting and talking to their therapist about whatever they think of. It is more structured and goal-oriented. Clients and therapists set a clearly defined goal for each session, which helps to make sure that the client’s time in therapy is productive. Some of the therapy techniques used in cognitive behavioral therapy are:

  • Journaling
  • Challenging beliefs
  • Mindfulness
  • Relaxation
  • Social, physical, and thinking exercises to make the client more aware of his or her emotional and behavioral patterns

Mental Health Conditions that Can Be Treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help clients with a variety of mental health conditions, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood issues
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Obsessions and compulsions
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  • Substance dependency
  • Phobias
  • Disordered eating
  • Chronic pain
  • Erratic sleep patterns
  • Sexual issues
  • Anger management issues

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy from the Family Service Foundation, Inc.

If you are struggling with daily mindfulness or the stresses of daily life and looking for someone to help you move forward, contact a professional at Family Service Foundation, Inc. We offer outpatient mental health clinic services from trained staff who are passionate about helping all of their clients. We are committed to encouraging growth, changing lives, and enriching the community around us. If you are looking for help, give us a call at (301) 459-2121 or visit us online. For more tips on maintaining your daily mindfulness practices, follow us on FacebookYouTubeTwitterPinterest, and Google+.