Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a short-term, goal-oriented, psycho-educational approach that has been extensively evaluated. Research on CBT has provided solid empirical support for its use in many clinical conditions. CBT is the preferred mode of therapy in the treatment of many mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders and mood disorders. The CBT approach focuses on both cognitions (thoughts, beliefs, attitudes) and behaviours. The CBT approach views cognitions as the root of human psychological distress, asserting that beliefs and thoughts influence actions and behaviours. The aim of CBT is to assist clients to develop a greater understanding of their thinking processes and to challenge unhelpful and destructive thoughts and beliefs, thereby changing their emotions and resulting in better choices and actions/behaviours.
In CBT, the clinician actively assists clients to identify, challenge and move away from unhelpful thoughts and thinking patterns. Clients are also assisted and encouraged to engage in actions/behaviours that increase their experience of positive emotions and well-being. This approach also includes the provision of psycho-educational techniques and skills necessary for clients to feel that they are better prepared to meet life challenges and adversities.