Cognitive behavioral therapy

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CBT redirects here. If you are looking for the other meaning of this acronym, we're not "E-N dot Wikipedia dot org".

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a term for a set of psychotherapeutic techniques and its various derivatives, including dialectic behavioural therapy (DBT) and Brief cognitive behavioral therapy (BCBT). Rather than trying to repair the root causes of the patient's problem, CBT attempts to fix reactions to perceptions and the associated thought patterns — it focuses on alleviating behavioral symptoms.


In the UK, CBT is the recommended treatment of choice for problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder, OCD, bulimia nervosa, and clinical depression. Randomised controlled trials have even shown computer-based CBT to be beneficial.


It is not effective for everyone; in particular, its form doesn't completely manage bipolar disorder or schizophrenia; they are best treated with psychoactive medication. However, it can help some, but by no means all, bipolar patients as an add-on treatment with to prevent relapses in mood stability.[1]


It's getting criticism in the UK from non-CBT psychotherapists suspicious of the NHS and NICE having swooped upon it with great glee on account of it being relatively cheap and somewhat effective, because it is not in fact the answer to everything. (That said, the waiting list is typically measured in months to years.)