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2499 pages added, reviewed or updated during the last month (last updated: 18/4/2021)


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cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)

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The basis of cognitive behavioural therapy is that psychological disease stems from faulty patterns of thinking and behaviour.

Faulty thinking originates in maladaptive attitudes and assumptions acquired early in life. Problems arise when these assumptions are challenged by a critical life event. If the attitudes are too extreme or rigidly held then the patient may develop irrationally negative thought patterns.

For example:

  • maladaptive attitude: happiness consists of career success
  • critical life event: failure to be promoted
  • negative thought process: I am a complete failure

Faulty behaviour exacerbates the problems caused by the cognitive disorder. Patients may become socially withdrawn, take less exercise and adopt avoidance behaviour.

Cognitive behavour therapy uses a range of techniques to challenge the faulty thought processes and behaviour.

Last reviewed 01/2018

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