Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) deals with examining thoughts associated with uncomfortable emotion, especially recurring thoughts (often called automatic thoughts) that repeatedly come into a person's mind when particular types of situations occur. An example would be the individual who thinks, "I'm just not very smart", anytime they get less than an expected grade on a test, or when a project doesn't work out the way they planned.

CBT teaches ways to examine these thoughts for distortions (errors) like catastrophizing (thinking the worst), magnifying, or filtering (seeing only the negative). One then learns to reframe the thought in a more accurate way, for example, "I didn't do well on that test because I didn't allow enough time to study. When I study properly I usually get much higher grades". This more realistic thought will lead to different behaviour than the thought, "I'm not smart". The student can plan better study habits rather than "giving up" and settling for low performance.

Other behavioural aspects of CBT may be teaching a person specific skills for relaxation, anxiety or anger management.