Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Table of Content


Cognitive behavioral therapy is commonly employed in treatment of psychiatric problems especially during the counseling sessions. This model lays emphasis on the power of the thoughts in influencing behavior and thus efforts to correct the dysfunctional behavior are normally focused on changing the thought process of the clients.

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Cognitive behavioral therapy better known as CBT is a psychotherapeutic model that is used in solving the problems associated with emotional dysfunctions in individuals through the established systematic procedures. CBT is a generalized terminology that includes various therapies which are similar in their implementation. CBT is usually based on the conceptualization that our feelings and behaviors emanates from the thoughts and not externally generated. This means that external influence on behavior such as people; situations; and events do not influence our behaviors and feelings. This paper shall elaborate my personal philosophy in regard to the cognitive behavioral therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

The key element of the CBT is that thoughts are central to the mediation between the stimuli and emotions, thus stimuli are responsible for eliciting a thought which in turn produces an emotion. Therefore the stimulus is not directly responsible for the emotional response but rather the evaluation/thought regarding that stimulus is the factor that is responsible for the emotion that is expressed. In cognitive behavioral therapy therefore, it is assumed that individuals are capable of being aware of their very own thoughts and are able to alter them. It is also assumed that the thoughts that are produced by the stimulus may at times fail to reflect the reality with accuracy thus leading to distortion (Mulhauser, 2010).

In conceptualizing human nature, it is important to have a positive approach towards the various emotional challenges that we encounter in the day to day life. This implies that our cognition, behaviors and emotions should positively be guided so as to be able to overcome the anxiety disorders that may arise. We need to learn new ways which can help us alter the old thinking patterns and habits. This is because the way we think always has an impact on the lives we lead for instance if we are always involved in negative thinking then we are bound to live in great suffering. Human minds can be conditioned to respond in various manners and thus they can be trained to either adopt the negative or healthy feeling. Thus CBT becomes crucial as it emphasizes on the premise of this argument (Richards, Ph.D. 2010).

Techniques in CBT:

For efficiency in employing the CBT, there is need for the therapy to be brief and have a time limitation. Unlike other forms of therapies including psychoanalysis which usually takes longer, CBT is time bound and usually highly instructive and employs the use of homework assignments. The therapist has to discuss with the client on the time when the process shall end. There is also need to establish a positive relationship with the client so as to enhance the therapeutic process. A good and trusting relation between the therapist and the client is crucial as it leads to collaborative effort between the two (Corey, G., Corey, M. S., & Callanan, 2007).

This is important as it enables the therapist identify the goals of the client and thus being in a position to assist him/her in achieving them. The therapist role is restricted to listening, teaching and encouraging whereas that of the client involves expressing concerns, learning and implementation of the learning. The therapist has to develop the CBT in a structured and directive manner tailor made to suit the specific demands of the client. Emphasis should be laid on the educational system since learning is the main concern here and that the therapist is to help the clients unlearn the unpleasant reactions while embracing the necessary way of reacting (National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists, 2009).

In counseling, assessment, diagnosis, and testing are common practices before a client is put on a counseling session. Since counseling is a form of treatment to the expressed behavioral and emotional problems, it becomes necessary for the treatment to be well guided by the facts about the patient. To unravel the facts on the clients, it is therefore important for the therapist or counselor to engage in assessment, diagnosis and testing procedures. These are crucial elements in the provision of therapy programs as they enable the counselor/therapist to get to the root of the problem and thus prescribe the best approach in alleviating the problem (Corey, G., Corey, M. S., & Callanan, 2007).

Cognitive therapy was first developed in early 1960s with the aim of providing solutions to problems that were related to dysfunctional thinking and behavior. In the recent past, cognitive therapy has been diversified to apply on various psychiatric disorders. Though there has been a variation in the approaches, the main stand point of the cognitive approaches has been that distorted or rather dysfunctional thinking is the root cause for the psychological problems (Beck, 1995). Cognitive behavioral therapy is therefore an important aspect of psychotherapy as applied in the modern world. According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists;

CBT has been shown to help with many different types of problems. These include: anxiety, depression, panic, phobias (including agoraphobia and social phobia), stress, bulimia, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and psychosis. CBT may also help if you have difficulties with anger, a low opinion of yourself or physical health problems, like pain or fatigue (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2010, para 3).


Cognitive behavioral therapy can be regarded as one of the most comprehensive theoretical approaches to counseling. Since it acknowledges the importance of the thought process in the behavior as exhibited by humans, it is important to analyze behavior from a cognitive angle so as to be in a position to understand and explain the psychiatric disorders emanating from distorted or rather dysfunctional thinking.


Beck, J. S. (1995). Cognitive therapy basics and beyond. New York [u.a.] Guilford Press.

Corey, G., Corey, M. S., & Callanan, P. (2007). Issues and ethics in the helping professions. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole

Mulhauser, G., (2010). An Introduction to Cognitive Therapy & Cognitive Behavioral Approaches. Retrieved on 8th July 2010 from;

National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists, (2009). Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Retrieved on 8th July 2010 from;

Richards, T. A., Ph.D. (2010). Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Retrieved on 8th July 2010 from;

Royal College of Psychiatrists, (2010). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Retrieved on 8th July 2010 from;

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. (2016, Sep 23). Retrieved from

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