Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is based on the scientifically supported assumption that most emotional and behavioral reactions are learned. Therefore, the goal of therapy is to help clients unlearn their unwanted reactions and to learn a new way of reacting.
Although cognitive-behavioral therapy does not tell people how they should feel, most people seeking therapy do not want to feel the way they have been feeling. Over the course of the therapy, the patient learns to recognize and replace self-defeating thoughts and actions with more realistic and positive ones.
When people understand how and why they are doing well, they know what to do to continue doing well. That’s why CBT therapists assign reading assignments and encourage their clients to practice the techniques learned. CBT is shown to lead to long-term results. This therapy is frequently used to treat anxiety disorders, certain mood disorders, and insomnia.