Cognitive Behavior Theory

Cognitive behavior theory is the foundation for one of the most widely used types of psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is used to treat a wide variety of mental illnesses, from depression to schizophrenia, and many therapists use at least some elements of cognitive behavior therapy when treating patients.

Cognitive behavior theory is the blending of two approaches to psychotherapy: behavior therapy and cognitive therapy. Behavior therapy is based on the theory that problematic behaviors can unlearned and desired behaviors can be learned. Cognitive therapy, on the other hand, focuses on changing dysfunctional ways of thinking and emotional responses. It is based on the theory that problem areas can be addressed by challenging distorted or unrealistic patterns of thinking.

Put together, these two different but complimentary approaches make cognitive-behavioral therapy. CBT focuses on addressing and alleviating symptoms of mental health conditions through both cognitive and behavioral techniques. The theory, that symptoms can be improved by changing the way a person thinks and acts, is now widely used and accepted by mental health practitioners.

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