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COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY

CBT is a cognitive therapy focused on identifying and modifying thoughts, feelings and behavior.

Based on the cognitive model, CBT is a psychotherapy approach that recognizes that an individual’s reactions, either emotionally or behaviorally, are a result of how they perceive a given situation. One important part of CBT therapy is helping clients notice their automatic thoughts in order to change their unhelpful thinking and behavior. Once clients become aware of their automatic thoughts and how those thoughts lead to negative emotions and behavior, they can begin to experience lasting improvements in their mood and functioning (Beck, 2016).

CBT is outlined as follows:

  • Is based on the cognitive model where thoughts effect feelings and behavior.

  • Is briefer and time-limited.


  • A sound therapeutic relationship is necessary for effective therapy, but not the focus.


  • Is a collaborative effort between the therapist and the client.


  • Uses the Socratic Method which means a CBT therapist will ask a lot of questions.

  • 
Is structured and directive, where CBT therapists, along with the client, will establish an agenda and work towards meeting the goals established in the agenda.

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Is based on an educational model where the client and therapist work toward unlearning unwanted thoughts and behaviors.


  • Theory and techniques rely on the Inductive Method where a client and therapist challenge thoughts using worksheets and homework in order to learn new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.

Dr. Jesse Wright Interview

Dr. Jesse Wright is the Kolb Endowed Chair of Outpatient Psychiatry and Director of the Depression Center at the University of Louisville, the Founding President of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and the President of the Kentucky Psychiatric Association. He is a Fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists and his research interests include the development and testing of computer-aided psychotherapy programs and the interaction between pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy.  Dr. Wright created a popular software application that is used to help people learn cognitive-behavior therapy skills to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety and his book, Learning Cognitive-Behavior Therapy: An Illustrated Guide, which includes a DVD with video demonstrations of key treatment methods, is being used in training programs throughout the world.  Dr. Wright’s book, Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Severe Mental Illness, presents advanced strategies for treating challenging conditions. This volume was chosen as the “Mental Health Book of the Year” for 2009 by the British Medical Association. I highly recommend Dr. Wright’s first book written for the general public, Getting Your Life Back: The Complete Guide to Recovery from Depression, which was chosen by Self Magazine as one of the eight best self-help books. His most recent book, also written for the public, is titled Breaking Free from Depression: Pathways to Wellness and has also received rave reviews.

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Click the links below to find out more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.