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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a popular form of psychological therapy that works with our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. CBT is an integration of principles from behavior therapy with theory and methods from the cognitive therapies developed by Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis. The CBT that is practiced today has evolved with new developments in basic and applied research; it is grounded in empirical research and clinical practice. CBT is a broad church: the family of ‘cognitive and behavioral therapies’ encompasses many approaches including cognitive therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and compassion-focused therapy (CFT). Beck’s cognitive model identifies different levels of human cognitions: automatic thoughts are the most superficial level of cognition and describe the thoughts, words, ideas, and images that seem to pop into our minds; rigid and over-generalized core beliefs about ourselves, the world, and other people; and intermediate attitudes, rules, and assumptions that are influenced by our core beliefs. The cognitive model proposes that how we feel emotionally, and how we act, are determined by how we interpret and think about a situation. It argues that psychological problems and disorders are the result of dysfunctional thinking, and are maintained by self-defeating behavior influenced by inaccurate beliefs. Cognitive behavior therapists understand that by changing the way we think and act in the here-and-now we can change the way we feel, and CBT often begins with a focus on what is maintaining a problem in the present. For lasting change, CBT therapists often work with the deeper levels of their client’s beliefs and assumptions. Read more

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100 of 292 resources

Cognitive Distortions – Unhelpful Thinking Styles (Extended)

Cognitive distortions (or ‘unhelpful thinking styles’) are ways that our thoughts become biased. Different cognitive biases are associated with di ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-distortions-unhelpful-thinking-styles-extended

Cognitive Distortions – Unhelpful Thinking Styles (Common)

Cognitive distortions (or ‘unhelpful thinking styles’) are ways that our thoughts become biased. Different cognitive biases are associated with di ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cognitive-distortions-unhelpful-thinking-styles-common

How Your Past Affects Your Present (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) describes three levels of cognition – automatic thoughts, assumptions, and core beliefs – which are influenced ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/how-your-past-affects-your-present-cbt

Assertive Communication

Communicating and acting assertively is an interpersonal skill that helps people to maintain healthy relationships, resolve interpersonal conflict, an ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/assertive-communication

Window Of Tolerance

The window of tolerance concept was coined by Dan Siegel in his 1999 book The Developing Mind. Siegel proposes that everyone has a range of intensitie ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/window-of-tolerance

Therapy Blueprint (Universal)

A therapy blueprint is CBT tool which summarizes the work a therapist and patient have completed together. It represents the past (the problems, what ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/therapy-blueprint-universal

Embracing Uncertainty

Intolerance of uncertainty (IU) was first described in individuals suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Many behaviors associated with G ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/embracing-uncertainty

Thought Record (Evidence For And Against)

CBT Thought Records exist in multiple variants, depending on the needs and abilities of the client. This Thought Record (Evidence For And Against) is ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thought-record-evidence-for-and-against

Intolerance Of Uncertainty

Uncertainty is a normal part of life – we can never be 100% sure about what will happen next. Many people feel good about uncertainty and live lives ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/intolerance-of-uncertainty

Theory A / Theory B

Human beings actively try to understand their world and what happens to them. However, these understanding can be inaccurate or unhelpful. Worse, unhe ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/theorya-theoryb

Assertive Responses

Being able to communicate assertively is an essential skill for developing and maintaining healthy relationships and positive self-esteem. Individuals ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/assertive-responses

Activity Menu

Helping clients to choose which activities to target during behavioral activation (BA) can be accomplished in a variety of ways: activity monitoring c ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/activity-menu

Before I Blame Myself And Feel Guilty

Guilt is a common post-traumatic reaction and is often the result of cognitive bias. This CBT worksheet explores common cognitive biases that have bee ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/before-i-blame-myself-and-feel-guilty

Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (Second Edition): Client Workbook

The Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (Second Edition) comes in two volumes. This page is for the Client Workbook. ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/unified-protocol-for-transdiagnostic-treatment-of-emotional-disorders-second-edition-client-workbook

Unhelpful Thinking Styles (Archived)

NOTE: Two improved versions of this resource are available here: Cognitive Distortions – Unhelpful Thinking Styles (Common) and Cognitive Disto ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/unhelpful-thinking-styles-archived

Low Self-Esteem Formulation

Fennell’s cognitive behavioral model of low self-esteem proposes that negative beliefs about the self are maintained by biased information processin ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/low-self-esteem-formulation

Worry Flowchart

Worry is a cognitive process that involves thinking about problems that might happen in a way that causes anxiety. Not all worry is problematic – we ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/worry-flowchart

Examining Your Negative Thoughts

Cognitive restructuring is an evidence-based intervention that involves identifying, evaluating, and modifying maladaptive cognitions, including negat ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/examining-your-negative-thoughts

Social Anxiety Formulation

People suffering from social anxiety disorder (previously known as social phobia) experience persistent fear or anxiety concerning social or performan ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/social-anxiety-formulation

PTSD Formulation

This PTSD Formulation is designed for use in trauma-focused cognitive therapy for PTSD (CT-PTSD): an empirically supported treatment for post-traumati ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/ptsd-formulation

Prompts For Challenging Your Negative Thinking

Cognitive restructuring is an evidence-based intervention that involves identifying, evaluating, and modifying maladaptive cognitions, including negat ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/prompts-for-challenging-your-negative-thinking

Using Behavioral Activation To Overcome Depression

Using Behavioral Activation To Overcome Depression is a guide written for clients who are currently depressed. It provides clear information about dep ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/using-behavioral-activation-to-overcome-depression

Behavioral Experiment

Behavioral experiments are planned experiential activities to test the validity of a belief. They are one of the most powerful techniques available to ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/behavioral-experiment

Thought Distortion Monitoring Record

Thinking is often biased in particular ways and individuals often have their own characteristic patterns of bias. The Thought Distortion Monitoring Re ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thought-distortion-monitoring-record

Behavioral Activation Activity Diary

Behavioral activation (BA) is an effective treatment for depression. Different behavioral activation protocols include a variety of treatment componen ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/behavioral-activation-activity-diary

How Trauma Can Affect You (CYP)

Trauma can result in a wide variety of symptoms, experiences, and behaviors. As well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), prevalence rates of oth ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/how-trauma-can-affect-you-cyp

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is fundamentally concerned with the meanings which people make of their experiences. The insight of the CBT model i ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-cbt-worksheet-handout

Behavioral Experiment (Portrait Format)

Behavioral experiments allow individuals to test the validity of their beliefs and assumptions. They are a core experiential technique for therapeutic ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/behavioral-experiment-portrait-format

Anxiety - Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/anxiety-self-monitoring-record

Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (Second Edition): Therapist Guide

The Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (Second Edition) comes in two volumes. This page is for the Therapist Guide. ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/unified-protocol-for-transdiagnostic-treatment-of-emotional-disorders-second-edition-therapist-guide

Cross Sectional Formulation

Case conceptualizations (formulations) help therapists and clients come to a shared understanding of a problem. This Cross Sectional Formulation explo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cross-sectional-formulation

Health Anxiety Formulation

Health anxiety is characterized by a preoccupation with having or acquiring a serious illness, and a high level of anxiety about health. People with h ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/health-anxiety-formulation

Worry Postponement

Worry postponement ("worry time") is often prescribed as an exploratory or standalone intervention relatively early in the treatment of GAD, but  ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/worry-postponement

Fear Ladder

The Fear Ladder is a tool for exploring and ranking the contexts or situations in which a client experiences fear. It is designed to help the client a ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/fear-ladder

Self-Blame

The Self-Blame information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more effectively wi ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/self-blame

Compassionate Thought Challenging Record

Thought challenging records are commonly used in CBT to help people to evaluate their negative automatic thoughts for accuracy and bias. This Compassi ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/compassionate-thought-challenging-record

Friendly Formulation

Case conceptualizations (formulations) help therapists and clients come to a shared understanding of a problem. This simple CBT formulation worksheet ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/friendly-formulation

OCD Diary

Self-monitoring of thoughts, feelings and symptoms is an essential skill for clients engaged in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Clients will find ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/ocd-diary

What Keeps Generalized Anxiety And Worry Going?

The “What Keeps It Going?” series is a set of one-page diagrams explaining how common mental health conditions are maintained. Friendly and concis ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-keeps-generalized-anxiety-and-worry-going

Panic Formulation

The aim of a formulation is to help the client and therapist to come to a shared understanding of what a client is experiencing. The Panic Formulation ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/panic-formulation

Evaluating Unhelpful Automatic Thoughts

The Evaluating Unhelpful Automatic Thoughts guide is written for clients who struggle with negative automatic thoughts. It provides a comprehensive in ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/evaluating-unhelpful-automatic-thoughts

Exposure And Response Prevention

Exposure And Response Prevention (ERP, EX/RP) is an effective treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). This CBT worksheet guides therapists ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposure-and-response-prevention

Changing Avoidance (Behavioral Activation)

Behavioral activation (BA) is a structured psychotherapeutic approach effective for a range of disorders, including depression (Ekers et al., 2014), a ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/changing-avoidance-behavioral-activation

Decatastrophizing

Catastrophic thinking (magnification) is characteristic of many anxiety problems. This CBT worksheet for decatastrophizing is a tool for cognitive res ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/decatastrophizing

Audio Collection: Psychology Tools For Mindfulness

The Psychology Tools For Mindfulness Audio Collection is the perfect way to introduce your clients to the practice of mindfulness. Developed by a clin ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/psychology-tools-for-mindfulness-audio-collection

What Keeps Low Self-Esteem Going?

The “What Keeps It Going?” series is a set of one-page diagrams explaining how common mental health conditions are maintained. Friendly and concis ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-keeps-low-self-esteem-going

Understanding Generalized Anxiety And Worry

Our ‘Understanding…’ series is a collection of psychoeducation guides for common mental health conditions. Friendly and explanatory, they are co ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/understanding-generalized-anxiety-and-worry

"Should" Statements

“Should” statements (sometimes referred to as ‘musturbation’, ‘necessitous thinking’, ‘self-commands’, and ‘injunctions’) are char ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/should-statements

Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Our ‘Understanding…’ series is a collection of psychoeducation guides for common mental health conditions. Friendly and explanatory, they are ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/understanding-obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd

Catastrophizing

The Catastrophizing information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series. It is designed to help clients and therapists to work more eff ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/catastrophizing

Uncovering Your Deeper Beliefs

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) describes three levels of cognition: automatic thoughts, assumptions, and core beliefs. While CBT therapists do not ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/uncovering-your-deeper-beliefs

Exposure Session Record

The Exposure Session Record is a tool for recording clients’ use of exposure. The worksheet guides clients to identify a specific fear they are will ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposure-session-record

Longitudinal Formulation 2

Case conceptualizations (formulations) help therapists and clients come to a shared understanding of a problem. This longitudinal case formulation wor ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/longitudinal-formulation-2

Responsibility Pie Chart

The Responsibility Pie Chart exercise is designed to guide clients through the process of clarifying and re-evaluating their responsibility for negati ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/responsibility-pie-chart

Simple Thought Record

Self-monitoring of thoughts, feelings, and symptoms is an essential skill in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This Simple Thought Record is an exce ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/simple-thought-record

Habituation

The Habituation information sheets are designed to help clinicians to explain the concept of habituation and its role in exposure therapy. The handout ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/habituation

Treating Your OCD With Exposure And Response (Ritual) Prevention (Second Edition): Workbook

Exposure and Response (Ritual) Prevention for Obessssive-Compulsive Disorder comes in two volumes. This page is for the Client Workbook. Click on the ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/treating-your-ocd-with-exposure-and-response-ritual-prevention-workbook

Understanding Low Self-Esteem

Our ‘Understanding…’ series is a collection of psychoeducation guides for common mental health conditions. Friendly and explanatory, they are co ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/understanding-low-self-esteem

CBT Appraisal Model

The CBT Appraisal Model worksheet is a transdiagnostic formulation tool. The centrality of appraisals underpins all of the disorder-specific cognitive ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cbt-appraisal-model

Overcoming Depression (Second Edition): Workbook

Overcoming Depression – A Cognitive Therapy Approach comes in two volumes. This page is for the Client Workbook. Click on the following link to acce ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/overcoming-depression-workbook

What Keeps Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Going?

The "What Keeps It Going?" series is a set of one-page diagrams explaining how common mental health conditions are maintained. Friendly and concise, t ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-keeps-obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd-going

Managing Your Substance Use Disorder (Third Edition): Workbook

Managing Substance Use Disorder comes in two volumes. This page is for the Client Workbook. Click on the following link to access the Practitioner Gui ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/managing-your-substance-use-disorder-workbook

Activity Diary (Hourly Time Intervals)

Activity diaries can be used for activity monitoring during an assessment phase of therapy, symptom monitoring during therapy, correlating activity wi ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/activity-diary-hourly-time-intervals

Behavioral Activation Activity Planning Diary

Behavioral activation (BA) is an effective treatment for depression. Different behavioral activation protocols include a variety of treatment componen ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/behavioral-activation-activity-planning-diary

Core Belief Magnet Metaphor

Core beliefs (schemas) are self-sustaining. They act to 'attract' confirmatory evidence and 'repel' (or distort) disconfirmatory evidence. This inform ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/core-belief-magnet-metaphor

Understanding Social Anxiety

Our ‘Understanding…’ series is a collection of psychoeducation guides for common mental health conditions. Friendly and explanatory, they are co ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/understanding-social-anxiety

What Keeps Depression Going?

The “What Keeps It Going?” series is a set of one-page diagrams explaining how common mental health conditions are maintained. Friendly and concis ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-keeps-depression-going

Exposure Practice Form

Exposure is an effective treatment for many forms of anxiety. The Exposure Practice Form is a CBT worksheet which guides therapists and clients throug ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposure-practice-form

Nightmare Exposure And Rescripting

Imagery rescripting is an effective treatment for intrusive and unwanted memories. Nightmare Exposure And Rescripting employs similar techniques and c ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/nightmare-exposure-and-rescripting

Mastery Of Your Anxiety And Worry (Second Edition): Workbook

Mastery Of Your Anxiety And Worry comes in two volumes. This page is for the Workbook. Click on the following link to access the accompanying Therapis ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/mastery-of-your-anxiety-and-worry-workbook

Activity Planning

Research suggests that an activity is more likely to be completed if it is planned and scheduled in advance. The Activity Planning worksheet can be us ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/activity-planning

Managing Substance Use Disorder (Third Edition): Practitioner Guide

Managing Substance Use Disorder comes in two volumes. This page is for the Practitioner Guide. Click on the following link to access the Workbook.&nbs ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/managing-substance-use-disorder-practitioner-guide

Social Comparison

The Social Comparison information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more effecti ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/social-comparison

Safety Plan

The collaborative development of a safety plan is a brief psychosocial intervention for suicidal patients. The intent of a safety plan is to help ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/safety-plan

Thought-Action Fusion

The Thought-Action Fusion information handout forms part of the cognitive distortions series, designed to help clients and therapists to work more eff ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thought-action-fusion

Thought Record (Considered Response)

Thought records exist in multiple variants, depending on the needs and abilities of the client. This Thought Record (Considered Response) is a cogniti ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thought-record-considered-response

ABC Model

ABC is an acronym for Antecedents, Behavior, Consequences. It is used as a tool for the assessment and formulation of problem behaviors and is useful ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/abc-model

Interoceptive Exposure

Misappraisals of body sensations trigger emotional and physiological reactions of fear and heightened arousal. These feelings motivate behavioral resp ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/interoceptive-exposure

Intrusive Thoughts Images And Impulses

Intrusive Thoughts, Images, And Impulses that are experienced as distressing are a feature of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). They are also a com ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/intrusive-thoughts-images-and-impulses

Understanding Health Anxiety

Our ‘Understanding…’ series is a collection of psychoeducation guides for common mental health conditions. Friendly and explanatory, they are co ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/understanding-health-anxiety

Worry Thought Record

Anxiety stems from negative predictions about the future (and also from assumptions that one will not be able to cope with the magnitude of the threat ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/worry-thought-record

Understanding Depression

Our ‘Understanding…’ series is a collection of psychoeducation guides for common mental health conditions. Friendly and explanatory, they are co ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/understanding-depression

PTSD And Memory

Alterations in the way the brain processes 'normal' vs. 'traumatic' material are thought to be responsible for the intrusive nature of memories in con ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/ptsd-and-memory

OCD Hierarchy

Part of traditional CBT treatment for OCD is exposure to situations which trigger obsessions (classically accompanied by the prevention of the associa ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/ocd-hierarchy

Understanding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Our ‘Understanding…’ series is a collection of psychoeducation guides for common mental health conditions. Friendly and explanatory, they are co ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/understanding-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd

Worry – Self-Monitoring Record

The Worry – Self-Monitoring Record worksheet is designed to help clients capture information about situations where they engaged in worry. Consisten ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/worry-self-monitoring-record

Overview Of CBT

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for a wide variety of mental and physical health conditions. This information handout des ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/overview-of-cbt

Autonomic Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) automatically regulates the function of body systems outside of voluntary control. The Autonomic Nervous System han ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/autonomic-nervous-system

Thought Record – Courtroom Trial

Thought records are commonly used in CBT to help people to evaluate their negative automatic thoughts for accuracy and bias. The Thought Record – Co ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/thought-record-courtroom-trial

Managing Social Anxiety (Third Edition): Workbook

Managing Social Anxiety – A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Approach comes in two volumes. This page is for the Workbook. Click on the following link t ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/managing-social-anxiety-workbook

Negative Thoughts - Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/negative-thoughts-self-monitoring-record

What Is A Panic Attack?

Panic attacks are single episodes of intense fear or discomfort that begin suddenly and reach a peak within minutes. The cognitive behavioral model of ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-is-a-panic-attack

All-Or-Nothing Thinking

All-or-nothing thinking (often also referred to as ‘black and white thinking’, ‘dichotomous thinking’, ‘absolutist thinking’, or ‘binary ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/all-or-nothing-thinking

What Keeps Social Anxiety Going?

The "What Keeps It Going?" series is a set of one-page diagrams explaining how common mental health conditions are maintained. Friendly and concise, t ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/what-keeps-social-anxiety-going

Exposures For Fear Of Uncertainty

Fear of uncertainty is commonly associated with many psychological difficulties, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive di ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposures-for-fear-of-uncertainty

Exposure And Response (Ritual) Prevention For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Second Edition): Therapist Guide

Exposure and Response (Ritual) Prevention for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder comes in two volumes. This page is for the Therapist Guide. Click on the f ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/exposure-and-response-ritual-prevention-for-obsessive-compulsive-disorder-therapist-guide

CBT Thought Record Portrait

The CBT Thought Record is an essential tool in cognitive behavioral therapy. Thought challenging records help people to evaluate their negative automa ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/cbt-thought-record-portrait

Identifying Your Demanding Standards

Striving to meet demanding standards can be a rewarding process and lead to significant gains (e.g., praise, social status, financial rewards, etc.). ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/identifying-your-demanding-standards

Boundaries - Self-Monitoring Record

Developing self-monitoring skills teaches clients to systematically observe and record specific targets such as their own thoughts, body feelings, emo ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/boundaries-self-monitoring-record

Audio Collection: Psychology Tools For Overcoming PTSD

The Psychology Tools for Overcoming PTSD Audio Collection is designed for anyone with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This skills development p ... https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/psychology-tools-for-overcoming-ptsd-audio-collection

Links to external resources

Psychology Tools makes every effort to check external links and review their content. However, we are not responsible for the quality or content of external links and cannot guarantee that these links will work all of the time.

Assessment

Cognitive therapy competence / adherence measures

Case Conceptualization / Case Formulation

Information (Professional)

Presentations

  • The role of a case conceptualization model and core tasks of intervention | Donald Miechenbaum | 2014
  • Transdiagnostic treatments for anxiety disorders | Martin Anthony | 2013
  • The unified protocol for the transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders | Ellen Frank, Fiona Ritchey | 2015
  • Making CBT Work (Working with your CBT therapist / Making your CBT therapist work with you) | Paul Salkovskis

Treatment Guide

  • A manual of cognitive behavior therapy for people with learning disabilities and common mental disorders | Hassiotis, Serfaty, Azam, Martin, Strydom, King | 2012

Video

  • CBT case formulation | Jacqueline Persons

Recommended Reading

  • Hofmann, S. G., Asnaani, A., Vonk, I. J., Sawyer, A. T., & Fang, A. (2012). The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy: a review of meta-analyses. Cognitive therapy and research, 36(5), 427-440
  • Schema change processes in cognitive therapy | Padesky | 1994
  • Wright, B., Williams, C., & Garland, A. (2002). Using the Five Areas cognitive–behavioural therapy model with psychiatric patients. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 8(4), 307-315.
  • Williams, C., & Garland, A. (2002). Identifying and challenging unhelpful thinking. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 8(5), 377-386.
  • Garland, A., Fox, R., & Williams, C. (2002). Overcoming reduced activity and avoidance: a Five Areas approach. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 8(6), 453-462.
  • Williams, C., & Garland, A. (2002). A cognitive–behavioural therapy assessment model for use in everyday clinical practice. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 8(3), 172-179.
  • A provider’s guide to brief cognitive behavioral therapy | Cully, Dawson, Hamer, Tharp | 2021
  • Padesky, C. A., Mooney, K. A. (1990). Clinical tip: presenting the cognitive model to clients. International Cognitive Therapy Newsletter, 6, 13-14
  • Arch, J. J., & Craske, M. G. (2009). First-line treatment: a critical appraisal of cognitive behavioral therapy developments and alternatives. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 32(3), 525-547

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Assumptions of CBT

  • people actively process information;
  • our appraisals (the way that we think and interpret events) determine how we feel;
  • dysfunctional thinking and biases in information processing (cognition/​thinking) are responsible for the problems that people experience;
  • different problems are associated with different cognitive themes (cognitive specificity theory): depression is associated with loss and defeat; anxiety is associated with danger and threat; obsessive-compulsive disorder is associated with inflated responsibility; substance abuse is associated with permissive beliefs; eating disorders are associated with self-criticism; social anxiety is associated with fear of evaluation; and PTSD is associated with appraisals of immediate threat;
  • the thoughts that we have can be ‘distorted’ or biased. Common biases include over-generalization, arbitrary inference, selective abstraction, and catastrophizing;
  • changing how we think and act will impact how we feel: cognition, emotion, and behavior interact in a reciprocal manner;
  • psychopathology is a result of an interaction between stress and vulnerability;
  • cognition happens at multiple levels (Alford & Beck, 1997) and all can influence the way that we feel and behave: preconscious, unintentional, automatic (e.g., negative automatic thoughts); the conscious level (e.g., if a patient is asked to explain the meaning of an automatic thought); and the metacognitive level (beliefs about beliefs);
  • experiences, memories, thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs are encapsulated as ‘schemas’ and which may become activated and influence our perceptions and behaviors.

Principles of CBT

Judith Beck (1995) identified 11 principles of the practice of cognitive behavioral therapy, and these were expanded by Wills (2009):

  • cognitive behavioral therapists use formulation to focus their therapeutic work
  • cognitive behavioral therapists use formulation to tackle interpersonal and alliance issues
  • cognitive behavioral therapy requires a sound therapeutic relationship
  • cognitive behavioral therapists stress the importance of collaboration in the therapeutic relationship
  • cognitive behavioral therapy is brief and time-limited
  • cognitive behavioral therapy is structured and directional
  • cognitive behavioral therapy is problem- and goal-oriented
  • cognitive behavioral therapy initially emphasizes a focus on the present
  • cognitive behavioral therapy uses an educational model
  • homework and self-practice is a central feature of cognitive behavioral therapy (incorporating the use of CBT worksheets)
  • cognitive behavioral therapists teach clients to evaluate and modify their thoughts
  • cognitive behavioral therapy uses various methods to change cognitive content including thought records, behavioral experiments, surveys
  • cognitive behavior therapy uses a variety of methods to promote behavioral change including exposure, behavioral experiments, role-play.

Procedures and Techniques of CBT

  • Data gathering and symptom monitoring are used to understand problems and to measure change. CBT is an evidence-based approach that relies upon accurate data gathering regarding symptoms and experiences.
  • Behavioral activation is a set of techniques for encouraging engagement in meaningful activity and is an effective treatment for depression.
  • Case formulation is a method for understanding the origin and maintenance of a problem in cognitive and behavioral terms. CBT therapists may use a mixture of cross-sectional formulation to understand difficulties in the here-and-now, longitudinal formulation to understand the origins and precipitants of a problem, and cognitive behavioral models to understand the mechanisms underlying a problem.
  • Cognitive restructuring describes techniques for changing what we think. It often involves the use of thought records, behavioral experiments, data gathering, or psychoeducation.
  • Exposure is a technique from behavior therapy that is extensively used by CBT therapists, particularly for the treatment of anxiety. ‘Facing your fears’ is an essential behavioral component of CBT.
  • Problem solving describes a series of techniques that are often taught as part of a CBT intervention. Effective problem solving helps people to make adaptive choices.
  • Socratic methods are used by CBT therapists to help their clients explore what they know, and to form their own opinions on a topic. Aaron Beck encouraged the use of Socratic-like technique in his original treatment manual “use questioning rather than disputation and indoctrination … it is important to try to elicit from the patient what he is thinking rather than telling the patient what the therapist believes he is thinking” (Beck et al, 1979).

References

  • Alford, B. A., & Beck, A. T. (1997). The relation of psychotherapy integration to the established systems of psychotherapy. Journal of psychotherapy integration7(4), 275-289.
  • Beck, A. T., Rush, A. J., Shaw, B. F., & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford.
  • Beck, J. S. (1995). Cognitive therapy: Basics and beyond. New York: Guilford.
  • Wills, F. (2009). Beck’s cognitive therapy. CBT Distinctive Features Series. New York: Routledge.