Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

By Mayo Clinic staff

"Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy based on the idea that your own distorted thoughts and beliefs lead to your negative moods and unhealthy behavior. Cognitive behavioral therapy says that other people, situations and events aren't responsible for your mood and behavior — you are.

According to the theory behind cognitive behavioral therapy, you have automatic but inaccurate thoughts or beliefs in certain situations. These inaccurate thoughts lead to unhealthy moods and behavior, such as anxiety and overeating. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you become aware of these inaccurate thoughts and beliefs. You learn to view situations more realistically. This allows you to behave and react in a healthier way — even if the situation itself hasn't changed.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common type of psychotherapy. It combines features of both cognitive therapy and behavior therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is helpful for numerous mental illnesses and stressful life situations."

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