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

Biscuits Before Breakfast: Recovery in Microcosm

By Emily T. Troscianko on September 30, 2016 in A Hunger Artist
Eating a plain biscuit reminds me of how different healthy eating needs to be during recovery.

4 Ways to Stop Putting Your Joy on Hold

By Susan Biali M.D. on September 30, 2016 in Prescriptions for Life
Do you complain a lot about your life, or frequently wish that it could be different? Shift your perspective and discover how to enjoy your life now, no matter what's going on.
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Secrets of Napping

By John Cline Ph.D. on September 27, 2016 in Sleepless in America
Naps can improve alertness and productivity without needing to use energy drinks to get through the day. Proper timing and correct duration are the secrets to successful napping.

Happy Birthday Albert Ellis PhD !

By Debbie Joffe Ellis on September 27, 2016 in Tried and True
Albert Ellis PhD - Pioneer, maverick - creator of unique wit and know-er of wisdom, changed the lives of millions through his innovative works, huge body of writings, and example.

Why TSA Agents Need Therapy Skills Training

By Goal Auzeen Saedi Ph.D. on September 24, 2016 in Millennial Media
In the age of TSA, travel has become more stressful than ever before. Could training agents in basic therapy skills such as empathy and thought distortions help?

The (Lost) Art of Self-Reflection

If you are tired of the blame game and want to get real answers, consider engaging in a little self-reflection with these nine steps.

Learning From Chris Sharma

By Reid Wilson Ph.D. on September 21, 2016 in All about Anxiety
What a no-ropes rock climber can teach us about tackling our Anxiety.

Detox Your Relationships

By Ralph Ryback M.D. on September 19, 2016 in The Truisms of Wellness
Toxic people can damage and leave long-lasting effects on others, so it's important to determine when it's time to either sever or mend the relationship.

Diversity and Inclusiveness Is Good For Your Well-being

Being intolerant of people who are different to you may be bad for your well-being; results for 8 different aspects of well-being.
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Simple Ways to Improve Sleep

By Matthew J. Edlund M.D. on September 17, 2016 in Getting Healthy Now
Lots of people can't sleep. What can they do?

Setting Effective Treatment Targets for Angry Patients

The truth that I believe we must integrate is that people don’t change for their mental health counselors. They change because their behavior impacts those they love.

How Scientists, Too, Can Be Stubborn and Wrong

Ever been troubled by a reversal in scientific opinion? Psychological biases may be part of the problem.

The Pluto Effect

If there’s a chance that you might be affected by an ending or transition, consciously anticipating that it might happen might help.

5 Ways to Tell if You Have Cyberchondria

With the surge in online health websites, cyberchondria may be reaching epidemic proportions. New research shows how to tell if you’ve got this increasingly common ailment.

Therapy Without a Therapist?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on September 13, 2016 in Think, Act, Be
Learning and practicing new skills is at the heart of CBT—whether you're working with a therapist or on your own.

What Your Back Pain Is Telling You

By Shawn M. Burn Ph.D. on September 11, 2016 in Presence of Mind
Your back pain carries some important messages. Maybe it's time to listen.

A Productive Way to Think About Social Anxiety

By Joel Minden, PhD on September 09, 2016 in CBT and Me
Most concerns about social anxiety are unproductive. Here's what to do instead.

Happiness and Habits: Make Small Changes, Get Big Results

By Linda Esposito LCSW on September 08, 2016 in From Anxiety to Zen
Are you coming up short in the happiness department? A few tweaks to your daily routine can go a long way.

21 Common Reactions to Trauma

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on September 07, 2016 in Think, Act, Be
While everyone's reaction to trauma is unique, recovery can feel more manageable when we know what to expect in the aftermath—including opportunities for growth.

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Given all of the misinformation out there about how much sleep we need, it's easy to understand why this topic can be so confusing. This article sets the record straight.

Fear of Sudden Infant Death

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on September 06, 2016 in Fighting Fear
An example of the treatment of an exaggerated fear—of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Surprisingly, the very quick cure of this fear was followed by a lessening of other fears.

Remembering Mother Teresa: Now Saint Teresa of Calcutta

By Debbie Joffe Ellis on September 05, 2016 in Tried and True
People who inspire us by their efforts in helping others remind us of the privilege and fulfillment of providing care, compassion, kindness, and helpful deeds for people in need.

A Nation in Pain

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on September 02, 2016 in Think, Act, Be
With alarming rates of chronic pain and opioid-related deaths in the US, how can we more effectively treat chronic pain?

You Get 10 “Do-Overs” – What Would You Do Differently?

By Karl Albrecht Ph.D. on August 30, 2016 in BrainSnacks
Suppose a magic genie came to you and said, "You get ten ‘do-overs’ – ten revisions of your personal history." What ten choices would you make differently?

Stop Anxiety by Adjusting Expectations

Your brain relies on the pathways it has, so it will keep reactivating your anxiety pathways unless you create a new place for your electricity to flow.

Sleep With Arianna Huffington, and Others

By Debbie Joffe Ellis on August 28, 2016 in Tried and True
Getting sufficient sleep is important, and many people feel anxious when unsuccessful at doing so. Thinking in healthy ways to reduce anxiety allows better sleep, and waking life!

Don’t Bee Afraid

By Jeffrey Lockwood Ph.D. on August 26, 2016 in The Infested Mind
Not only are bee stings painful, but they can be deadly—and we all know this! So why would a beekeeper wear shorts and work without a veil?

The Problem With Positive Thinking

By Joel Minden, PhD on August 25, 2016 in CBT and Me
Does positive thinking lead to greater happiness? If only it were that simple. When negative thinking gets you down, here’s what to do instead.

How Happy Are You?

If researchers really wanted to know how happy people are, they’d ask those people’s colleagues, neighbors, and family members, not the people themselves.

Can This Marriage Be Saved?

How I failed at psychotherapy and why.