According to the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, it is defined as the following:
“Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the term used for a group of psychological treatments that are based on scientific evidence. These treatments have been proven to be effective in treating many psychological disorders.
Some people have an inaccurate view of what psychological therapy is, perhaps because of the old-fashioned treatments shown on TV or in the movies. For example, on TV, psychotherapy may seem to involve dream interpretation or complex discussions of one’s past childhood experiences. This type of psychotherapy is outdated. In fact, very few psychotherapists (e.g., psychologists, social workers, or psychiatrists) use this type of treatment.
Cognitive and behavioral therapies usually are short-term treatments (i.e., often between 6-20 sessions) that focus on teaching clients specific skills. CBT is different from many other therapy approaches by focusing on the ways that a person’s cognitions (i.e., thoughts), emotions, and behaviors are connected and affect one another. Because emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are all linked, CBT approaches allow for therapists to intervene at different points in the cycle.”