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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a psychological therapy that recognizes the relationship and complex interaction between thoughts, emotions and behaviors using this principle to make changes aimed at psychological well-being. It is widely validated, meaning at present there are many contributions and scientific studies that have demonstrated its effectiveness in the treatment of a wide range of psychological disorders.

CBT initially places emphasis on the present, on the "here and now", in other words it focuses on the person's current problems and specific painful situations with the aim of reducing the symptom and, therefore, promoting immediate relief from suffering psychological. This, however, does not mean that personal history and past experiences are neglected. Contrary to what is thought, CBT enhances the individual's entire life history, considering it fundamental to understand how and when the dysfunctional patterns and behaviors that create discomfort in the present developed. In this way it offers the individual the possibility of making sense of what they are experiencing, reducing their state of confusion and encouraging a more understanding and accepting attitude towards themselves and their suffering. 

 

CBT starts from the assumption that each person has a different thought associated with each circumstance in life.

For example:

a) A person can fail a university exam and think: "oh well, next time I'll try to study better, never mind!"

b) Another person can easily get discouraged and say: "how incompetent I am! I can't even pass an exam... I'm worthless!"

c) Another may panic and say: "What do I do now? I've wasted too much time, I won't be able to finish my exams on time and graduate! If I don't move, I won't go anywhere. Work doesn't wait." not me!"

These different responses have different effects on an individual's mental, emotional states and behavioral reactions; these are interpretations and predictions of events that can literally influence and dictate the course of life.

According to the cognitive-behavioral model, mental distress arises from dysfunctional thought patterns and ways of responding to problematic situations that are counterproductive, or ways that, instead of alleviating the distress, are unsuccessful and fuel it, like fuel on a fire.

Being able to restructure certain thoughts and modify behavioral strategies in a more functional way with respect to one's personal goals will also influence and promote changes in the emotional and social area, thus promoting psychological well-being.

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