Cognitive Behavioral therapy techniques

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a treatment approach that helps you figure out negative or unhelpful thought and behavior patterns.

Its goal is to let you comprehend, recognize, and investigate the ways in which your feelings and thoughts might influence your behavior.

As you become aware of a pattern in your behavior, it is simple to alter it and create coping mechanisms. One of the most researched therapeutic modalities is CBT.

CBT emphasizes how having negative ideas can result in negative feelings and behaviors. CBT shows you to concentrate on fixing your current issue.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques

These are some of the techniques involved in Cognitive Behavioral therapy.

Goal setting

You can make changes to your health and quality of life as you recover from mental illness by setting goals. Your goal-setting abilities can be improved and strengthened during cognitive behavioral therapy.

Your therapist could assist you in creating SMART objectives that place equal weight on the process and the final result. SMART is the acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-limited.

Guided discovery and questioning

After questioning the assumptions you have about yourself or your current situation, your therapist can help you learn to challenge these thoughts and consider different viewpoints.


You might be asked to jot down negative beliefs that come up during the week and told to replace them with positive ones.


Your therapist may ask what you tell yourself about a certain situation or experience and challenge you to replace negative or critical self-talk with compassionate, constructive self-talk.

Cognitive restructuring

This involves looking at any cognitive distortions affecting your thoughts — such as black-and-white thinking, jumping to conclusions, or catastrophizing and beginning to unravel them.

Thought recording

In this technique, you’ll record thoughts and feelings experienced during a specific situation, then come up with unbiased evidence supporting your negative belief and evidence against it. You’ll use this evidence to develop a more realistic thought.

Positive activities

Setting a rewarding activity for each day can help increase overall positivity and improve your mood. In cognitive behavioral therapy, people are often taught new skills that can be used in everyday real-world situations.

Situation exposure

Taking the time to identify these thoughts can lead to self-discovery and provide insights that are essential to the treatment process.

Cognitive behavioral therapy types

There are various forms of therapy that fit under the CBT umbrella. While each type of cognitive behavioral therapy takes a different approach, all work to address the underlying thought patterns that contribute to psychological distress.

Your therapist will work together with you to find the type that works best for you and your goals. The Types of cognitive Behavioral therapy include:

Exposure therapy:

This type of therapy slowly introduces anxiety-inducing activities into your life for measured periods of time. This subtype can be particularly effective for people who deal with phobias or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT):

DBT incorporates things like mindfulness and emotional regulation through talk therapy in an individual or group setting. It addresses destructive or disturbing thoughts and behaviors while incorporating treatment strategies.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT):

ACT is therapy that involves learning to accept negative or unwanted thoughts. This subtype may be particularly effective for people who deal with intrusive thoughts or catastrophic thinking.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT):

MBCT uses mindfulness techniques and meditation along with cognitive therapy. This type can be particularly effective for people who deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT): 

REBT is the original form of CBT and focuses on negative thought patterns and how they influence issues with emotions or behaviors.

Rational emotive behavior therapy involves identifying irrational beliefs, actively challenging these beliefs, and finally learning to recognize and change these thought patterns.

This subtype can be particularly effective for anything from anxiety to depression, sleep issues to addictive behaviors, and more.

Conclusion on the Cognitive Behavioral therapy techniques

Each sort of therapy can be advantageous for you, your loved ones, or the general public. The therapy’s total duration is brief.

The purpose of CBT is to assist you in acquiring the ability to handle challenges on your own when they arise. Throughout therapy and after, these tools assist patients in gaining control over their problems.

If you’re seeking therapy that focuses more on the issues you’re currently encountering than those from the past, CBT can be a good option for you.

Many different techniques are applied when using CBT. Depending on the type of issue you want help with, your therapist will help figure out which CBT technique is best suited to your particular needs.


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