CBT is a therapeutic intervention based on the idea that our thoughts and behaviours affect our emotions. Therefore, by modifying our thinking and behavioural patterns, we can improve our mood.
What does it look like?
With the aim of improving our mood, CBT seeks to challenge maladaptive and unhelpful thinking and behavioural patterns and replace them with more adaptive and helpful thinking and behavioural patterns. To challenge our maladaptive and unhelpful thinking patterns, CBT can involve recognising common errors in our thinking, considering the evidence for and against our thoughts, learning problem-solving skills or creating a behavioural experiment to test whether the predicted negative consequence occurs (or how bad it would be if this did happen).
To challenge our maladaptive and unhelpful behavioural patterns, CBT can involve scheduling in more of what we enjoy, gradually facing our fears and learning to relax our mind and body. CBT is typically provided over 5-20 weekly or fortnightly 50-minute sessions (or however many sessions you require), which include homework tasks, and can be used in combination with other interventions.
How effective is it?
CBT is one of the most researched therapies. It is the gold standard treatment for many disorders, including OCD and anxiety disorders. This means that CBT is a well-established therapy that is a highly effective and recommended treatment for these disorders.