Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a form of talk therapy that focuses on helping a person learn how to break patterns that lead to anxiety and depression. It concentrates on the connections between your thought patterns, emotional state and physical sensations. CBT guides you to evaluate, in an objective way, how you think about yourself, other people, and events in your life. This helps change your thinking and behavior for the better by giving you skills to recognize and combat negative patterns of thinking and behaving. It is like having a personal trainer for your mind. You will learn more about health and you will need to practice strategies to become more mentally fit.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is considered to be the gold standard for talk therapy. It is endorsed by the World Health Organization, the National Institute of Mental Health, and national psychiatric and psychological associations (i.e. in Canada, United States, Australia, United Kingdom).The main reason CBT is accepted by the psychological and medical communities is because it is “evidence based.” There are hundreds of well-designed research studies that have demonstrated its effectiveness with thousands of people. Unlike other forms of talk therapy, CBT research studies have randomly assigned people to different groups (i.e. CBT alone, medication alone, CBT and medication, placebo) and compared their outcomes. This is the most sophisticated type of study that can be performed.
For both depression and anxiety, most scientific research studies have found that CBT is 50-75% effective after 8-15 sessions.
The success rate of CBT alone is about the same as medication alone (i.e. 50-75%).
Research studies have found that the most effective treatment for both depression and anxiety is a combination of medication and CBT. Most studies report success rates of 75-90%.