Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres
Store Icon

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

share icon
share icon

What is Cognitive Behaviour?

The mental action or method of gaining information and understanding through thinking, experience, and the senses is known as cognition. In essence, it is the ability to perceive and react, to process and understand, to store and retrieve information, to make decisions, and to respond appropriately.

As a result, cognitive functioning/behaviour is essential for day-to-day life, governing our thoughts and behaviours. Since the sensory input we obtain is vast and complex, cognition is needed to distil all of this information down to its essentials and help us understand information about the world around us and communicate safely with our environment.

What is Cognitive Therapy?

It is a brief type of psychotherapy focused on the idea that how we think about things influences how we feel emotionally. Cognitive therapy is a problem-solving technique that focuses on current thought, actions, and communication rather than past experiences. Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, fears, eating disorders, drug abuse, and personality disorders have also been treated with cognitive therapy.

What is Behavioural Therapy?

Behavioural therapy is a catch-all word for various forms of therapy used to treat mental illnesses. This type of counselling aims to recognise and assist in the modification of potentially harmful or dysfunctional habits. It is based on the notion that all habits are learned and those unhealthy behaviours can be changed.

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? Or What is CBT therapy?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapeutic treatment that teaches people how to recognise and alter harmful or troubling thinking patterns that affect their actions and emotions.

Cognitive behavioural therapy focuses on changing automatic negative feelings that can exacerbate emotional problems, depression, and anxiety. These unfounded negative emotions have a negative effect on one's mood.

CBT identifies these ideas, challenges them, and replaces them with more objective, logical ones.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy What is its Key Concept?

CBT is based on a number of fundamental principles, including:

  • Part of the cause of psychological disorders is incorrect or unhelpful thought.

  • Part of the cause of psychological disorders is learned habits of unhelpful behaviour.

  • People who are dealing with psychological issues will improve their coping skills, alleviating their symptoms and allowing them to be more successful in their daily lives.

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’s History?

CBT was developed in the 1960s as a result of psychiatrist Aaron Beck's observations that certain ways of thinking contributed to emotional problems. Beck coined the term "automatic negative thoughts" and developed the cognitive therapy process to address them.

Whereas previous behaviour therapies focused almost entirely on associations, reinforcements, and punishments to change behaviour, the cognitive approach focused on how thoughts and feelings influence behaviour.

CBT has since proven to be an effective first-line treatment for a variety of disorders and conditions.

What is CBT Used for?

CBT can be used effectively as a short-term treatment aimed at assisting individuals with a particular problem and teaching them to concentrate on their current feelings and values. CBT is used to treat a variety of issues, including:

  • Addictions

  • Anger issues

  • Anxiety

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Depression

  • Eating disorders

  • Panic attacks

  • Personality disorders

  • Phobias

  • Problems with stress

What happens in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Efforts to alter thoughts and habits are normally part of CBT therapy. These tactics may include the following:

  1. Learning to identify and analyse one's own thought distortions that are causing issues, as well as reevaluating them in light of reality.

  2. Developing a greater understanding of other people's motivation and actions.

  3. Dealing with tough problems by using problem-solving skills.

  4. Developing a greater sense of confidence in one’s abilities.

Efforts to alter behavioural habits are normally part of CBT therapy. These tactics may include the following:

  1. Rather than avoiding one's doubts/fears, one should confront them.

  2. Role-playing can be used to prepare for potentially unpleasant encounters with others.

  3. Learning to relax one's body and calm one's mind.

It is not necessary that all of these tactics/strategies are used in all CBT sessions. Rather, the counsellor and the patient/client work together to build an understanding of the issue and a recovery plan in a collaborative manner.

CBT therapists focus on the person's current situation rather than the events that led up to their problems. Although some information about one's past is required, the focus is primarily on moving forward in time in order to develop more effective coping mechanisms.

What is CBT Therapy’s Potential Pitfall?

During the course of cognitive behavioural therapy, people may face many difficulties.

  1. Change can be Challenging: 

Some patients initially claim that while they are aware that certain thoughts are not rational or healthy, simply being aware of them does not make it easy to change them.

  1. CBT Is Well-Structured

Other approaches, such as psychoanalytic psychotherapy, tend to focus more on underlying unconscious resistance to change than cognitive behavioural therapy. It is best suited for clients who prefer a structured and focused approach in which the therapist frequently acts as an instructor.

  1. People must be Willing to Change

Individuals must be willing to devote time and effort to analysing their thoughts and feelings in order for cognitive behavioural therapy to be effective. Although self-analysis and homework can be challenging, they are an excellent way to learn more about how internal states influence outward behaviour.


CBT has a long and complicated history, as well as a constantly shifting web of intellectual commitments and interests. It is difficult, if not impossible, to classify using a simple definition that enumerates a few key characteristics. Dissatisfaction with psychoanalysis in treating certain types of intractable, chronic psychiatric conditions led to the development of behaviour therapy. 

Despite the fact that it was highly effective in treating a number of clinical conditions that had eluded clinicians for decades, the first wave of behaviour therapy eventually reached its limits.

Want to read offline? download full PDF here
Download full PDF
Is this page helpful?

FAQs on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Q1. What Causes Cognitive Disorders?

Ans) Cognitive disorders, like most mental illnesses, are caused by a number of causes. Some are induced by hormonal imbalances in the womb, and others are caused by genetic predisposition or environmental influences. Lack of proper nutrients and interaction during vulnerable stages of cognitive development, especially during infancy, are common environmental causes of cognitive disorders.

Substance abuse and physical injury are two other common causes of cognitive disability. Cognitive dysfunction may result from neurophysiological changes in a region of the brain that determines cognitive function, such as those induced by excessive substance use, alcohol abuse, or physical trauma.

Q2. Mention the different Types of Cognitive Disorders.

Ans) In the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disabilities, cognitive disorders are classified as neurocognitive disorders (DSM-V). Any disorder that seriously impairs an individual's cognitive capacity to the point where normal functioning in society is unlikely without medication is known as a cognitive disorder. The following are some examples of common cognitive disorders:

  • Developmental Disorders

  • Dementia

  • Disabilities in motor functions

  • Substance-induced cognitive dysfunction

  • Amnesia.

Competitive Exams after 12th Science