Cognitive-behavior therapy is a form of psychotherapy that has been shown to be effective in a large number of research studies. This treatment teaches people practical skills that can be powerful tools in fighting symptoms of depression, anxiety disorders, and other psychiatric problems. CBT is a problem-oriented therapy that helps people work out solutions to their difficulties. For depression and anxiety disorders, the treatment is often short-term, lasting 5-15 sessions; but for some persons with chronic or complex problems, the treatment may be extended or booster sessions may be suggested for ongoing care.
The main focus in treatment with CBT is helping people reverse negative or dysfunctional patterns of thinking and behaving. For example, in depression people often have excessively negative thoughts about themselves, the world around them, and the future. This style of thinking can lead to intense sadness and anxiety, discouragement, low self-esteem, and a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. When people begin to think and feel this way, a “vicious cycle” is created between negative thoughts and depressive behaviors such as persisting with tasks, pulling away from meaningful relationships and social activities, and procrastination. If these types of behaviors persist, it just makes the negative thinking worse.
CBT works to interrupt and modify both depressive thinking and behavior. If you are receiving CBT, the therapist will help you to identify and change negative or dysfunctional thoughts. You will also learn ways to breakout of the downward spiral of depressive behavior that is so common in depression.
The University of Louisville Depression Center has a number of clinicians who are highly experienced in performing CBT. The CBT treatment program is led by Dr. Jesse Wright, who was the Founding President of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, has written a number of books on this topic, and teaches and lectures widely on use of CBT for depression and other illnesses. His book “Learning Cognitive-Behavior Therapy: An Illustrated Guide” is being used as a standard text for teaching CBT to clinicians throughout the world.
The team of specialists in CBT at the Depression Center provide therapy for mood disorders and a variety of other conditions. Some of the other applications of CBT include: anxiety disorders; chemical dependency problems; eating disorders; psychoses; chronic pain; coping with medical disorders; insomnia; and problems of childhood, adolescence, and aging.
To learn more about CBT check the links below:
Disclosure: Dr. Jesse Wright, a developer of software for computer-assisted cognitive therapy, may receive royalties or other compensation from sales of the computer program “Good Days Ahead” described on the Empower-Interactive website. He also receives royalties from books on cognitive therapy published by American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc., Guilford Press, and Simon and Schuster.