What is CBT?

Hey, my name is Woody. Today, we’re going
to talk about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It’s sort of a mouthful to say, so it’s usually
just abbreviated to CBT. If we break it down, the name Cognitive Behavioral Therapy gives
us a pretty good idea of what it’s about. CBT is a type of psychotherapy that deals
with our thoughts–that’s the “cognitive” part of the name–and our behaviors, which
is of course the “behavioral” part of the name. CBT has been thoroughly researched and
found to be an effective treatment for all sorts of disorders. Some of these are depression,
anxiety, trauma, phobias, addictions, eating disorders, and I can keep going on and on,
but you get the point. In some cases, the treatment can be effective in as few as 8
sessions, and the effects are long lasting. Alright, let’s talk about the theory that’s
underpinning all of this. CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts affect our feelings
and our behaviors. Something happens to us, we use thought to interpret the event, which
by the way, can happen so fast that we don’t always notice this happening. Then finally,
we react to our thoughts with emotions and behaviors. Here’s a quick example. You call
your friend and they don’t answer. Now, two different people could have two different
thoughts about the same situation. Person A might think: “My friend must be busy”. Person
B might think: “My friend doesn’t like me”. Person A is going to feel fine, and will probably
just send a text or something. Person B is gioing to feel sad, and they might dwell on
what they could’ve done to upset their friend. This is called an irrational belief. The irrational
belief happened when Person B thought that their friend didn’t like them, without actually
having evidence of that. All they know is that their friend didn’t answer the phone,
and they added more to it in their thoughts. During CBT a therapist will try to help their
client identify their own irrational beliefs. This can be more challenging than it sounds.
Remember what I said earlier, these thoughts can happen so quickly that we don’t even notice
them. When this happens, they’re called automatic thoughts, because they happen automatically,
outside of our awareness. Next, the therapist will help the client to challenge their irrational
beliefs. This doesn’t mean trying to make all of their thoughts be positive and happy.
It means making them less negative, and a bit less irrational. Usually when a client
is able to do this, they start to feel a bit better. CBT therapists also try to help by
directly addressing behaviors. Someone who’s anxious or depressed usually has some behaviors
that are contributing to their problems. For example, someone with social anxiety might
avoid going out with friends, which will in the long run, lead to them having fewer friends.
Things like this can often lead to thoughts such as: “I don’t have any friends, it must
be because I’m so awkward”, which will then worsen their social anxiety because of their
fear that they’re awkward. A therapist will help by trying to change these behaviors that
contribute to the negative thoughts and feelings. One final big question: Why do some people
have these irrational negative thoughts, while others don’t? Why did Person A think that
their friend was busy, while Person B thought that their friend must be upset with them?
One explanation is that everyone has different core beliefs. These are the beliefs that we
hold at the core of who we are that shape how we see the world. Imagine our beliefs as
a lens. Everyone has a slightly different shade. Person A’s lens says “people are kind”
and “I am a good person”. Person B’s says “I am unlovable” and “I am worthless”. When
Person A and B go out into the world, they experience everything through the lens of
their core beliefs. Oftentimes, these beliefs can be negative and self-defeating. CBT can
be used to get at these core beliefs and change the ones that aren’t beneficial. In summary,
CBT is a type of psychotherapy that addresses how a person thinks, and what they do in an
attempt to change how they feel and function in their life. CBT has been found to be very
effective as a treatment for all sorts of disorders. Thanks for watching. I hope you’re
leaving with a better understanding of cognitive behavioral therapy. If you like this video,
visit our channel and subscribe to see more videos like it. Our website, TherapistAid.com,
also has all sorts of tools like treatment guides, worksheets, things like that to help
you with mental health counseling. Again, thanks for watching.


  1. We've added a new video: "What is CBT?"
    This video gives an overview of the theory underpinning CBT, and an explanation of how it is actually applied by therapists. Let us know what you think! #CBT   #psychotherapy  

  2. I use CBT in my life coaching sessions. This is a great video that explains it well. Thank you

  3. Interesting video. I guess it was kind of enlightening. It probably explains a lot why CBT only made me worse.
    My sister has actually switched from CBD to mindfulness and seems to be doing much better. It's amazing what happens when you let go of your active thinking mind and immerse yourself in the passive feeling mind.

  4. This is very helpful to start training yourself to watch for these negative thoughts and  , identify why you think that, and then change the thought.  – Thank you for sharing this!

  5. Thank you so much for dumbing down everything for me! I was having a hard time understanding CBT and have to write 8 page paper about it. Now I understand. Thank you!

  6. I really enjoyed this video where now I know what major study will be once I receive my Masters in Mental Health Counseling.

  7. For some reason, I suspected that CBT involved machines that look this:

  8. Hello. This was great! May I use it on my website as a resource to my clients? I would be happy to create a link to your website if you would like.

  9. Your glasses should be the opposite. The expression "rose coloured glasses" means a positive outlook on life!

  10. oh I did something similar with my clinical phycologist where I had to write down my thoughts, feelings and behaviours for the past.

  11. I just got out of the hospital. One of my favorite group leaders "Marty" talked about CBT and "Pills and Skills" you can't have one without the other when you have severe mental illness. My new therepist does not know CBT. I hope he is open to learn or I can stay motivated to help myself. I really like your videos.

  12. Great video! I am writing a paper about CBT and your video helped a lot. What sources/books/articles would you recommend to look into about CBT?

  13. Thank you for sharing! loved the examples and definitions… you explained the important points in a basic language and enriched them with visuals, so it is an easy way to memorize it. 🙂 Good luck!

  14. I've had CBT therapy off and on for probably 20 years and then I quit going to the therapist for a while and then I have to go back so I made a mental health YouTube channel to stop the stigma and spread the awareness of different mental health issues like I suffer from myself this is by far the best CBT video I've seen on YouTube too bad you're not still making videos

  15. 3 years ago I went though this video and it helped me so much to come out of all my worries and struggle. Thank you so much for your service ❤️

  16. >what is cbt?

    Cock and ball torture (CBT), penis torture or dick torture is a sexual activity involving application of pain or constriction to the male genitals. This may involve directly painful activities, such as genital piercing, wax play, genital spanking, squeezing, ball-busting, genital flogging, urethral play, tickle torture, erotic electrostimulation or even kicking.[1] The recipient of such activities may receive direct physical pleasure via masochism, or emotional pleasure through erotic humiliation, or knowledge that the play is pleasing to a sadistic dominant. Many of these practices carry significant health risks.

  17. Fabulous! Simple and effective explanation. Please make more videos on your personal experiences with more examples of situations you address with your clients. You have a wonderful way to present and seems very respectful of CB in people.

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