CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? It seems to be a very popular approach to therapy these days for anything from depression to anxiety to trauma. Insurance companies seem to love it and are more willing to compensate therapists for using it. So what is it and why is it so popular?


Cognitive Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) was pioneered by Aaron Beck in the 1960s while he was a Psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania. What made it different from previous forms of therapy is that it focuses on problem solving and challenging current negative thinking rather than delving into client's childhood memories and traumas. CBT allowed clients to take charge of their current lives in a faster way than an previous therapy had been able to. It's main premise is that our thoughts, feelings, and actions are all connected and influence each other. The idea behind CBT is that if we can control what we think, we can control what we feel, and what we do.


In the years since it's creation, this style of therapy has become more and more popular amongst mainstream therapy and insurance companies. In the past decade, there has been a huge push towards evidence-based practices in the mental health and medical fields. Evidence-based practices are interventions that have been studied through experimental trials and have shown effective in reducing negative symptoms while improving overall life satisfaction.


In the weeks to come, we will introduce you to some of the most effective CBT interventions available. These are all interventions that we regularly use in our work with our clients in Illinois (Chicago), California (Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Sacramento), and outside of the USA (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Mexico).

Written by Linda Meier Abdelsayed, LMFT

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