What Is Cognitive Therapy & Why Is It Important?

Cognitive therapy is a form of psychotherapy that has helped change so many people’s lives who have been struggling with various types of mental health concerns. In this article, you will learn about cognitive therapy, its history and principles, and how it left an enormous impact on how therapy is conducted.

Cognitive Therapy: An Overview

Cognitive therapy is a concept that was first introduced by a psychiatrist known as Aaron T. Beck in response to other techniques like the psychoanalytical approach or psychodynamics.

The technique is largely based on the idea that our thoughts and perceptions influence our lives, which is known as the cognitive model.

These thoughts and perceptions can happen automatically and spontaneously to any situation that you encounter and this can influence your emotions and how you react to them.

This is especially true when it comes from things that create distress, and the negativity that comes from them can distort our thoughts and beliefs.

According to Beck, there are three main elements in negative thinking patterns that people have and it involves the self, the world, and the future. This is known as Beck’s cognitive or negative triad.

These negative automatic thoughts must be addressed so that their thinking patterns can be corrected, and this will change how they see the world around them. Individuals who do so will typically notice that they feel less distressed, and therefore, their behaviors change alongside it

Essentially, by changing the way we think, we can change how we feel and behave.

This behavioral component is what led to cognitive therapy to be known as cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT, and it’s one of the most effective treatment methods for just about any mental health condition, including depression, anxiety, and OCD.

Why Cognitive Therapies Are Widely Used

Cognitive therapies, especially ones that are based on the CBT model, are evidence-based treatments with a lot of research to back them up.

The scientific and empirical evidence show that they are reliable and effective methods, and that they can be used on numerous mental health conditions.

Its versatility allows practitioners to be able to apply the techniques to many people and help them through whichever issue they may be having. Any condition that involves negative, unhelpful, and maladaptive thinking and behavioral patterns can benefit from a treatment method that is based on cognitive behavioral therapy.

How To Start Making A Change

Changing your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors is no easy task, especially if you’re unsure where to begin, but a therapist can help you identify the thoughts that lead to stress and other negative aspects of your life.

Because CBT is so popular and effective for so many people, there is an abundance of therapists who are trained in this technique, including the ones at BetterHelp.

BetterHelp provides online counseling and therapy services that strive to make it accessible to anyone by being a more convenient and affordable option to those who need assistance.

Once you find a therapist who is experienced in helping others through CBT, he or she will begin by using different strategies to help facilitate this change. In addition to recognizing the negative thinking patterns that are causing problems in your life, they may also provide you with ways to solve these problems and teach you to stop avoiding your stressors.


CBT is empirically supported, having thousands of studies that demonstrate its efficacy, and so do the millions of people who have changed their lives through the strategies they’ve learned. By committing to them, you can learn how to cope and become a happier and calmer individual, and over time, you can become your own therapist.