What is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a group of evidence-based psychotherapies developed from experiments in behavioral laboratories. The most well-known experiment is the Parvolov dog to illustrate classical conditioning. The scientists rang the bell every time before feeding the dog. Over a period time, it was observed that the dog salivated by just hearing the bell ring. The phenomenon of salivation in response to the bell, not just food, described the concept of classical conditional. Later, the behavioral and cognitive researches bloomed over decades, including operant conditioning, and relational frame theories (RFT).

Parvlov’s dog

The application of behavioral or cognitive researches was extended to therapy rooms over the past decades. Different schools of psychologists eventually combined into cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). In order to study CBTs, the treatment protocols are usually manualized with 16-20 sessions to target symptom reduction. Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is one of the CBT protocol specifically developed for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Most recently, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) was developed based on relational frame theories (RFT).

Compared to other psychotherapies, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is goal-orientated, well-defined, and structured. CBT analyzes feelings and thoughts in certain context and fosters change of behaviors. In the collaborative therapeutic process, clients engage in value-guided committed actions despite those difficult thoughts and feelings. At the end of the treatment, CBT therapists and the clients go through this new and adventurous experiment to acheive goals of a more fulfilled life.

Case conceptualization of CBT

CBT is also a present-focused skill-based psychotherapy. Clients learn the nature of cognition and emotions from structured handout and experiential moment in the session. Other useful tools of CBT include skills to manage stress, to communicate effecitively with others, to regulate emotions, and to disengage with diffocult thoughts. CBT therapists tailor individual treatment plans with different emphasis of interventional components.

To date, CBT has been the most evident and effective form of psychotherapy for children and adults with anxiety, including panic attacks, phobias, slective mutism, social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder. For further information, please contact Remede Therapy.