Why CBT?

A treatment of choice
CBT is a scientific approach and is the evidenced-based treatment of choice for a number of mental health difficulties. It is recommended by The National Institute of Clinical Excellent (NICE) for many conditions. My practice is largely based on CBT. I do supplement CBT with other therapeutic approaches where this would be helpful for individual clients.
A bit of background
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) refers to a class of interventions that share the basic premise that mental disorders and psychological distress are maintained by cognitive factors. The core premise of this treatment approach, as pioneered by Beck (1970) and Ellis (1962), holds that maladaptive cognitions contribute to the maintenance of emotional distress and behavioral problems. According to Beck’s model, these maladaptive cognitions include general beliefs, or schemas, about the world, the self, and the future, giving rise to specific and automatic thoughts in particular situations. The basic model posits that therapeutic strategies to change these maladaptive cognitions lead to changes in emotional distress and problematic behaviors.

Since these early formulations, a number of disorder-specific CBT protocols have been developed that specifically address various cognitive and behavioral maintenance factors of the various disorders. Although these disorder-specific treatment protocols show considerable differences in some of the specific treatment techniques, they all share the same core model and the general approach to treatment.

Consistent with the medical model of psychiatry, the overall goal of treatment is symptom reduction, improvement in functioning, and remission of the disorder. In order to achieve this goal, the patient becomes an active participant in a collaborative problem-solving process to test and challenge the validity of maladaptive cognitions and to modify maladaptive behavioral patterns. Thus, modern CBT refers to a family of interventions that combine a variety of cognitive, behavioral, and emotion-focused techniques (e.g., Hofmann, 2011; Hofmann, Asmundson, & Beck, in press). Although these strategies greatly emphasize cognitive factors, physiological, emotional, and behavioral components are also recognized for the role that they play in the maintenance of the disorder.