Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the result of many years of research of how the human mind works. CBT works by changing people’s attitudes and their behavior by focusing on the thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes that are held (a person’s cognitive processes) and how these processes relate to the way a person behaves, as a way of dealing with emotional problems.
It all began with Freudian psychology theories, which basically stated that suppressed memories exhibits the control of a person. In order to get rid of negative thoughts, a person needs to analyze the suppressed memories and reflect upon them in order to understand and release them away.
However this has in general produced unsatisfactory and conflicting results in recent studies, which have led many researchers now questioning and critizising Freudian theories.
Aaron Beck was one of the people that criticized Freud and was the founder of Cognitive psychotherapy. In the 1950s, Aaron Beck released his book Cognitive Therapy for Depression which emphasizes positive thinking rather then to analyze negative thoughts.
Aaron Beck used scientific methods in order to show his hypotheses and eventually theories. Others like him came with their ideas and observations which gradually led to CPT in the 1980’s.
Now to the core of the subject. CBT is a psychotherapeutic treatment method which main idea is that behaviour is directly linked to thoughts. By analyzing and understanding the correlation of: actions – feelings – and thoughts and their effect on your psychology, one can improve their psychological well being.
Thereafter, work exercises will be implemented to help patients overcome their issues. Other attributes of the methods are that they are progressive, focused on the present (and not the future or the past), problem-solving and structured in their nature.