What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Unlike traditional Freudian psychoanalysis, which probes childhood wounds to get at the root causes of conflict, CBT focuses on solutions, encouraging patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behavior.

Recent posts on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Why It's So Hard to Resist Late-Night Eating

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on February 23, 2017 in Think, Act, Be
If you've struggled to limit your eating after dinner, you're not alone. Find out why the drive to keep eating can be so strong—and ways to rein it in.

“The Noise in Your Head” Video Series

By Reid Wilson Ph.D. on February 22, 2017 in All about Anxiety
Follow a young woman who struggles with anxiety & applies treatment principles to her everyday life. She engages Anxiety in a competition to win her life back.

Staying Centered and Calm in an Anxiety-Ridden World

Try these calming techniques to become more powerful when it seems that anxiety has you in its grip and you can’t release yourself.

The Working Parent and Too Much Choice

By Yael Schonbrun Ph.D. on February 12, 2017 in Moderating
For working parents blessed to have choices, the pressure to decide whether to prioritize one role over another feels never-ending. Learning to choose skillfully can help.

SHUTi: A New Insomnia Treatment Via the Internet

SHUTi, a promising new Internet-based therapy for treating insomnia, is offering hope to people who can't find or afford a therapist, and don't want to take medication.

Coping With Trump Anxiety

By Jeremy Clyman Psy.D. on February 09, 2017 in Co-Parent Problems
Concrete steps for managing a new and significant stressor in American life.

Living With Loneliness

By Robert L. Leahy Ph.D. on February 09, 2017 in Anxiety Files
Being alone doesn't mean that you have to feel miserable and lonely. Develop a strategy to cope with your feelings of loneliness and free yourself up to live independently.

Taking Melatonin but Still Can't Sleep?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on February 08, 2017 in Think, Act, Be
Understanding the role of melatonin in sleep helps explain its limited usefulness in relieving insomnia.

Why Soft Skills Mean Hard Results in Business

Have you ever learned how to roll with the punches or get along with others? It’s never too late to learn new tricks. Here are 5 steps you can take to sharpen your soft skills.

Research Suggests How to Declutter the Mind

Do the same thoughts keep rummaging through your mind, and not in a productive way? New research shows how to mentally declutter these troubling distractions and feel better.

Mental Illness and Violence: Would I Do That?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on February 03, 2017 in Think, Act, Be
Many people are plagued by violent thoughts they have no desire to act on. Fortunately treatment can help.
jaboardm / 123RF Stock Photo

Six Phrases That Weigh You Down on Game Day

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on January 31, 2017 in The Power of Prime
Imagine that, just before you enter a competition, someone forces you to put on a 50 lb. weight vest. How will you feel? Heavy and sluggish. And how will you perform? Poorly.

Dieting, Weight and Making Peace with Food

By Kari Anderson DBH, CEDS on January 31, 2017 in #BeHerNow
As a therapist who works with women with disordered eating, I wish Oprah Winfrey's “success” story wasn’t about the weight.

Religious & Traditional Healers for OCD: Helpful or Hurtful?

When there is a conflict between approaches, your client will not choose you, even with science on your side.

Do You Have the Winter Blues?

Do you know this difference between seasonal affective disorder and major depression and how you can feel better?

Making Life-Changing Decisions

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on January 23, 2017 in Science of Choice
We need to think differently about making big life choices.

Your Parents Weren't Supportive? Get Them Out of Your Head.

The voices you heard growing up can play a role in your negative self-talk. Take these four steps to shift them into something more positive.

A Framework for Understanding Anger Arousal

What really transpires internally during anger arousal? A framework for understanding anger arousal.

Why the Mind Is More Than the Brain

By Steve Taylor Ph.D. on January 18, 2017 in Out of the Darkness
The brain and the mind exist in a symbiotic relationship in which they both affect each other, but in which neither is entirely the other.

How Feelings Are Controlled When Flying

By Tom Bunn L.C.S.W. on January 11, 2017 in Conquer Fear Of Flying
Since cognition collapses when stress hormones rise too high, cognitive strategies fail when turbulence bombards fearful fliers with stress hormones.

Stop Making New Year’s Resolutions

It’s important when goal setting or defining a future state to first experience, right now, the “why?” behind what you want to do. Whose goal is it and why does it matter?

The Pain of Leadership Change

By Aneesh Singla M.D. on January 07, 2017 in Why It Hurts
Experiencing Post-Election Pain? You're Not Alone.

Do People Really Change?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on January 06, 2017 in Think, Act, Be
Personality characteristics like emotional stability and extraversion are by definition hard to change. Which traits are more responsive to therapy than we might have thought?

Build Yourself a Divorce Survival Kit

By Wendy Paris on January 03, 2017 in Splitopia
The immediate period of separation can feel like a natural disaster. Prepare a tool kit to stay afloat.

Why Discomfort Can Be So Good for You

By Reid Wilson Ph.D. on January 03, 2017 in All about Anxiety
If we’re truly interested in living in the real world, we must train ourselves to cope with the insecurity of not knowing and the sensations that come with awkwardness.

Why Breaking Out Beats Resolutions This Year

Are you overwhelmed by new years resolutions? Focusing on what you've done in 2016 to break out of your comfort zone may help.

New Book: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

By Jennifer Haupt on December 27, 2016 in One True Thing
Caring less can actually lead to more happiness, better relationships, and greater success. Here's how.
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I Just Want to Wake Up on January 3rd

Check out these 5 tips for survival through ACTing mindfully over Christmas and the holidays.

For Depressed Teens, Therapy Shows No Edge Over Routine Care

By Peter D Kramer on December 22, 2016 in In Practice
In a major new study, two standard psychotherapies—cognitive-behavioral and brief psychoanalytic—did no better than routine psychiatric care for adolescent depression.

It Really IS All About You

5 things you can do to turn your attention outward and give yourself and your gifts to others.