Psychology & Psychiatry

Beyond remission: From alcohol dependence to optimal mental health

New research published online in the journal Substance Use & Misuse is good news for those struggling with alcohol dependence: the possibility of ending this dependency gets easier with age. Moreover, more than half of individuals ...

Health

A more effective at-home treatment for IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects up to 10% of the U.S. population and costs upwards of $1 billion a year in medical bills and lost productivity, according to Penn clinical psychologist Melissa Hunt, who has spent 15 ...

Health

Telemedicine improves access to high-quality sleep care

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently published an update on the use of telemedicine for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders to reflect lessons learned from the transition to telemedicine during the COVID-19 ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

A remote, computerized training program eases anxiety in children

Anxiety levels in the United States are rising sharply and have especially intensified in younger populations. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect 31.9 percent of children ...

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Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (or cognitive behavior therapy, CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach that aims to influence dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure. CBT can be seen as an umbrella term for a number of psychological techniques that share a theoretical basis in behavioristic learning theory and cognitive psychology.

There is empirical evidence that CBT is effective for the treatment of a variety of problems, including mood, anxiety, personality, eating, substance abuse, and psychotic disorders. Treatment is often brief, and time-limited. CBT is used in individual therapy as well as group settings, and the techniques are often adapted for self-help applications. Some CBT therapies are more orientated towards predominantly cognitive interventions, while others are more behaviorally orientated.

In recent years, cognitive behavioral approaches have become widespread in correctional settings. These programs are designed to teach offenders cognitive skills that may reduce criminal behaviors. In many countries, it has become commonplace to find cognitive behavioral program strategies in use in prisons and jails. In cognitive orientated therapies, the objective is typically to identify and monitor thoughts, assumptions, beliefs and behaviors that accompany and are related to negative emotions, and to identify those which are dysfunctional, inaccurate, or unhelpful. The aim is to replace or transcend them with those which are more realistic and useful.

CBT was primarily developed through a merging of behavior therapy with cognitive therapy. While rooted in rather different theories, these two traditions found common ground in focusing on the "here and now", and on alleviating symptoms. Many CBT treatment programs for specific disorders have been evaluated for efficacy and effectiveness; the health-care trend of evidence-based treatment, where specific treatments for symptom-based diagnoses are recommended, has favored CBT over other approaches such as psychodynamic treatments. In the United Kingdom, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends CBT as the treatment of choice for a number of mental health difficulties, including post-traumatic stress disorder, OCD, bulimia nervosa and clinical depression.

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