CBT focuses on the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems and changing unhelpful patterns in cognitions (e.g., thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes), behaviours, and emotional regulation. It is used for several mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression.
CBT is based on the belief that thoughts, behaviours and emotions interact. Thus, thought distortions and maladaptive behaviours play a role in the development and maintenance of various mental health conditions. The emphasis is on teaching new information-processing skills and coping mechanisms.
The CBT model is based on a combination of the basic principles from behavioural and cognitive psychology. CBT is “problem-focused” and “action-oriented”, meaning it is used to treat specific problems related to a diagnosed mental disorder and the therapist’s role is to assist the client in finding and practising effective strategies to address agreed on goals and reduce symptoms.