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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Rationale and Overview
The overall goal in cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT] is to modify one’s thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions, and to change one’s usual pattern of behaving. Modifying the way in which you think can facilitate both emotional and behavioral change. Altering the way you act can result in cognitive and emotional change. Essentially, we want you to feel more in control of your own life.
CBT therapists believe that one’s perceptions of situations are important in the development of negative emotional states. Negative emotions are created when an individual interprets situations with a distorted bias. For example, depressed patients may hold a negative view of themselves, the world, and the future, which may cause or aggravate a depressed mood.
Behavior therapists believe that problem behaviors and skill deficits cause and/or maintain emotional distress. Behavioral changes can therefore facilitate mood improvements. For instance, learning relaxation skills leads to alleviation of anxiety.