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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy...
is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the important role of thinking in "how we feel & what we do." 
Cognitive-behavioral therapists teach that when our brains are healthy, it is our thinking that causes us to feel & act the way we do.  If there should come a time when we are experiencing unwanted or negative feelings & behaviors, it's time for a new way of thinking!
It's  important for us to identify our process of thinking that's causing our unhealthy feelings &/or negative behaviors & educate ourselves as to how to replace the negative feelings, thinking & associated behaviors w/healthy, positive & empowering thoughts, feelings & behaviors that will lead to a better quality of mental & physical well being.


"To have an emotion is to feel the physical (bodily) consequences of our thoughts."

A fuller explanation of CBT

John Winston Bush, PhD


Cognitive-behavioral therapy, can include any of the following:

  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
  • Rational Behavior Therapy
  • Rational Living Therapy
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Dialectic Behavior Therapy

CBT's success revolves around the joint efforts of the therapist & the client; when each fulfills their part of a regimented clearly planned program to dispel the undesired behavior by replacing it with desirable behavior. To accomplish this:

  • The therapist listens, closely interacts with the client by asking pertinent questions, discussing problem behaviors, then offers to the client the individualistic/personal tools needed for the client to overcome their undesirable behaviors, emotions or thinking.
  • The client communicates progress w/the planned program & using the tools offered by the therapist for changing the negative behaviors into positive behaviors. The client then works the plan set out by the therapist. Some of this work is done at home by the client - independent of the therapist - as "homework" that is so important for keeping a timely schedule to meet specific goals.
  • slowly absorb the information....

    With CBT - you learn how to stop reactioning to undesirable situations w/fear, depression or rage & self-defeating or self-damaging behaviors.


    self help & homework
    a structured & directive program is set up by the therapist that on the average lasts about 16 weeks....
    the two enjoy a teacher/student type relationship, interacting w/questions & inquiries pertaining to the behavioral techniques previously practiced & new behavior techniques learned 
    • goals are set by the individual
    • after interaction w/the client the therapist sets up the agenda to achieve the set goals
    • the individual works the planned reading assignments, self- study & homework practicing the techniques learned in the sessions
    • with this type of plan goals can be achieved in a much shorter time span that other types of therapy


    certain thinking patterns cause uncomfortable symptoms - offering a distorted picture of what's going on in life - breeding  anxiety. depresseion or anger for no good reason, or inducing or provoking ill-chosen actions - sometimes self medication.....
    smoking, drinking alcohol, drug abuse, relationship sabotage, sexual promiscuity, over-eating - compulsive shopping .

    slowly absorb the information....

    cognitive behavioral therapy is based on:

    • the assumption that most emotional & behavioral reactions are learned
    • the goal of therapy is to help clients unlearn their unwanted reactions & learn a new way of reacting
    • this educational system tends to lead to the achievement of long term results
    • cognitive behavioral therapy relies on the Inductive Method


    John Winston Bush, PhD
    New York Institute for Cognitive & Behavioral Therapies
    offers an example in his pamphlet: "Overcoming your social phobia" (click the underlined link to read the information in its entirety - it's awesome material) 
    "....when someone is suffering from social phobia, he or she is feeling an exaggerated concern for public opinion - one that goes far beyond what we need in order to relate to other people for our mutual benefit."
    "In social phobia, we are aware of fear or gnawing anxiety - in the actual presence of other people, in anticipation of being in their presence, or when we imagine them being somewhere else but thinking of us. But though it might seem otherwise, it is not actually their physical presence or being in their thoughts that we dread, nor is it even being the direct focus of their attention. It is how they might judge us if we give them the chance by being in their presence, by calling attention to ourselves, or doing something to remind them of us."


    "Strictly speaking, it isnt even peoples judgments that we fear, but our own emotional reactions to their judgments, whether the judgments are real or imaginary. At bottom, what we are afraid of is the private (often quite secret) experience of feeling embarrassed, ashamed, guilty, disgraced, rejected or humiliated.

    These can be very painful, even crippling, emotions, and it might make sense to try to head them off when there is a real likelihood of their happening."

    "..... here are the things that (with one possible exception) you will need to do to become more comfortable with your fellow humans. Theyre grouped under five headings:

    • Cognitive - correcting some of your thoughts, beliefs and assumptions about how others see you, and about the stake you have in their opinions of you.
    • Behavioral - entering and remaining in the presence of other people long enough for your fears to subside. (Which they will do all by themselves if you go about it in the right way.)
    • Defusion & mindfulness - activities, to be described below, that will make it easier to carry out your cognitive and behavioral tasks.
    • Medication - another way for some people to help carry out their cognitive and behavioral tasks, but assumed unnecessary until shown otherwise.
    • Personal values - clarifying what it is you care about, and what you would want to work toward if given a chance. 

    Cognitive: Catching yourself in certain common
    errors and learning how to correct them

    Behavioral: Learning, day by day, to be courageous
    until it doesnt take much courage anymore

    Defusion - This is what happens when you discover (in your own direct experience, not just as an intellectual proposition) the difference between your cognitions, emotions and bodily sensations and the reality they are supposed to represent faithfully but often dont.

    Mindfulness:  One definition: bringing your complete attention to your present experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Another: paying attention in a particular way - on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.

    ....patients who rely on medications alone can expect a higher risk of relapse following the end of active treatment than those who make CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) the mainstay or sole component of their treatment.

    Everybody needs to have certain directions in life that he or she values above others. Without a clear sense of ones own values, it is hard if not impossible to choose specific goals and pursue them in a coherent way so that life becomes enjoyable, both when one is successful and when one is not. "

    this article is certainly worth reading if you are experiencing social phobia or anxiety or if you are considering treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy....

    simply click the underlined title above to travel over to his webpage - simply leave this window open and you can return when you are ready!



    NY Times interview with cognitive therapy pioneer Dr Aaron Beck

    NEW:Washington Post article on cognitive therapy

    NY Times article on cognitive therapy

    Quick help for bad moods

    Glossary of CBT terminology

    Treatment & test validity

    Comprehensive review of treatments supported by research evidence

    Does what you see in those inkblots mean anything?

    NEW: EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy debunked


    NEW: American Journal of Psychiatry article: CBT as effective as medication in treating severe depression

    Treating depression

    Anxiety disorders

    CBT for panic attacks

    NY Times article on fear and anxiety

    Anxiety disorders: all you'll ever need to know

    Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

    OCD Online

    NY Times article on children with OCD

    Phobias and their treatment

    NY Times article on kids with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

    Anxiety Disorders Association of America

    Anxiety treatment in Australia

    Shyness and Social Anxiety (Australia)

    NY Times article on social phobia


    NEW: NY Times article on uncontrolled anger

    Study debunks "catharsis" theory that aggressive action reduces anger


    Buddhist meditation: Vipassana

    CBT for bulimia nervosa

    National Institute of Mental Health public information Web site

    Alcohol and drug abuse: The Recovery Directory

    British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies

    Institute of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychology and Psychotherapy (Florence, Italy)

    learning the benefit of feeling calm when confronted w/undesirable situations vs. panic, anxiety or total loss of control....

    one of the goals usually sought after in ridding oneself of their previously learned negative behavior through CBT.....

    cbt emphasizes the rational facts that we all have our undesirable situations in life whether we are upset about them or not....

    what's important with CBT......

    is to learn how to deal w/undesirable situations in a healthy & productive manner so there's only the undesirable situation to deal w/instead of having to deal w/the results of our previous negative behaviors as well..

    By james p krehbiel
    People who suffer from panic attacks experience symptoms such as heart palpitations, sweating, loss of control, feelings of impending doom, disorientation, and feeling trapped. Although those who suffer from this disorder feel debilitated, it is one of the most manageable syndromes to treat through the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy.

    When people first come for cognitive-behavioral therapy, they may indicate that they have received prior counseling, have made innumerable visits to doctors, and have been treated in emergency rooms for symptoms associated with their anxiety. Patients are usually desperate for answers to alleviate their on-going struggle with panic. Patients are relieved to know that their symptoms are treatable through the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Often, patients feel that they are going crazy, although they need to be reassured that having “crazy” feelings is a cognitive distortion and is vastly different from those who might be considered clinically crazy.

    Most individuals know the time-frame when they first started experiencing panic attacks. There may have been triggering events that fostered the emergence of panic. The patient may be unable to make an association between the panic and a painful triggering experience. Factors such as a significant illness, job stress, family abuse/ trauma, losing a loved one, and lacking emotional expressiveness may create conditions ripe for panic. Once a panic attack erupts, further attacks usually follow if an individual is not aware of the cycle of self-defeating thinking and behavior which sustains the panic process.

    The key to curtailing panic is to help people understand that it’s the secondary symptoms that keep the panic alive. In other words, it’s the “panic over the panic” that sustains the panic pattern. With cognitive-behavioral therapy, recovery involves educating the sufferer on ways to respond to their self-defeating thought processes during the onset of their attack. For example, let’s say that you are taking a mid-term exam during college. You open up the test booklet and immediately react by saying, “Oh my God, none of this material looks familiar; there’s no way that I can pass this test; if I flunk this test, I might fail this course for the semester; if my parents find out, there’s going to be hell to pay!” In contrast, you can learn to respond rationally by saying, “Wow, some of this stuff doesn’t look familiar; just take some deep breaths and relax; I guess I better survey the whole test, answer the questions that I can and then go back and work on the other one’s; I can tackle this test, I just need to relax and be patient!”

    How one responds to panic determines whether it subsides. Those who fight with their panic by “awfulizing” about their symptoms, intensify their panic. They may say, “Oh my God, here come those unbearable feelings again – I feel like I’m going to die!” However those who accept their panic and respond rationally with thoughts like, “Here comes that panic again – just calm down and take those deep breaths and it will eventually subside. These feelings won’t last forever, they are time-limited – they’ll be gone soon.”

    Learning through cognitive-behavioral therapy to go “down stream” with panic is important to its eradication. Those who “catastrophize” about their symptoms intensify panic attacks. Learning to rationally respond to panic diminishes its effect. Trying to figure out what caused an individual’s panic is not necessary to treat it. What is essential is teaching those who suffer from panic to respond with positive self-talk.

    People who experience panic attacks tend to feel ashamed of their problem. It is important for sufferers to understand that they are not alone – anxiety is apart of the human condition. Anxiety and panic is not unusual and those who experience it need to learn to be more open and expressive with all of their feelings. Sharing a wide range of emotions with those you can trust is essential to the healing process. Those who hide panic as a shame-based pattern set themselves up to repeat it. When those we trust are aware of our authentic self, which includes our vulnerability, our anxiety problems tend to fade in significance.

    Paradoxical interventions can be helpful in dealing with panic disorder. Having a patient schedule a panic time and encouraging them to perseverate can bring humor and assist in breaking the panic cycle. A ruminating patient might be asked to conduct cardiovascular exercises during panic-related chest tightness to try to lighten the moment and break the cycle of suffering. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a structured, pragmatic approach which assists people in addressing the symptoms of panic by learning to respond to the disorder with a positive approach to their thinking.

    Cognitive behavioral therapies will have the following characteristics:

    • CBT is based on the Cognitive Model of Emotional Response.
    • Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the scientific fact that our thoughts cause our feelings & behaviors, not external things, like people, situations & events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel/act better even if the situation has not changed.

    CBT has become the preferred treatment for conditions such as these . . .
    • Depression & mood swings
    • Shyness & social anxiety
    • Panic attacks & phobias
    • Obsessions & compulsions (OCD/related conditions)
    • Chronic anxiety or worry
    • Post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSD/ related conditions)
    • Eating disorders (anorexia & bulimia) & obesity
    • Insomnia & other sleep problems
    • Difficulty establishing or staying in relationships
    • Problems w/marriage or other relationships you're already in
    • Job, career or school difficulties
    • Feeling stressed out
    • Insufficient self-esteem - accepting or respecting yourself
    • Inadequate coping skills, or ill-chosen methods of coping
    • Passivity, procrastination & passive aggression
    • Substance abuse, co-dependency & enabling
    • Trouble keeping feelings such as anger, sadness, fear, guilt, shame, eagerness, excitement, etc., w/in bounds
    • Over-inhibition of feelings or expression

    "Here's something else: our brains are physically altered by what we experience and thus learn. It is as if the chips in your computer were actually rewired somewhat every time you ran a program."
    John Winston Bush, PhD
    New York Institute for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies

    i really like this website....

    if you need to know more about cognitive behavioral therapy - this site is really informative, easy to read and understand - and really interesting!


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