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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment that helps patients become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so they can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way.

It is a more structured approach to therapy that focuses on a patient’s perceptions and narratives. It emphasizes the way people think about events and how this affects their feelings and behaviors. By identifying how the patient interprets life events, the therapist and patient can work together to reframe the patient’s thoughts to positively influence how they feel and respond.

A large part of CBT involves helping patients “unlearn” their problematic thinking and set goals to practice outside of therapy sessions. The aim of CBT is to help patients develop successful coping strategies to feel better and act in more positive ways.

CBT can be a very helpful approach ― either alone or in combination with other therapies ― for treating mental health disorders such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders and anxiety. CBT can provide effective strategies and tools to help anyone learn how to better-manage stressful life situations.