Cognitive Behavior Therapy: What and How of CBT


Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a general term for various psycho-therapeutic approaches to behavior modification and emotional management.

In essence, most CBTs share the following features:

a) Identifying the child's thinking style as the source of dysfunctional emotions and behavior. The focus is on thoughts, rather than on external events, as the source of feelings and behavior.

b) Developing alternative responses through collaboration between the child and therapist. The goal is to help the child develop skills for self reliance and self-directed counseling.

c) Consistently practicing alternative responses so that new neural pathways can replace old circuitry in the brain.

Achievement of goal is predicated on the child's ability to unlearn old patterns and replacing them with new responses.Practicing (and re-practicing techniques) learned is crucial for success.

Use of journal entries, self-assessment of belief system, evaluation of techniques used, mindfulness training and relaxation practice are all part of CBT.

Video Explanation of CBT

More recently, computerized software has assisted children and adult clients in CBT. These are therapy session in which the client interacts with a computer program through a PC or activated phone voice. There is no face-to-face contact between client and therapist.

Computerized CBT can help clients who feel uncomfortable about revealing his problems to another person,even a professional therapist.It also helps in situations when agencies are understaffed.

Video games have also been developed that provide positive neurofeedback for both adult and child clients. These games allow them to monitor their body responses to stress, responses like heart rate, pulse and blood pressure.

Children with anxiety disorders and stress tend to do very well with special video games that teach them how to manage their stress levels. We are only beginning to explore the benefits of video games for children.

Getting kids to listen

Children with ADHD can benefit from Neurofeedback for ADHD. Research evidence shows that Cognitive Behavior Therapy is helpful not only for children with mood disorders, but also patients disabled by chronic pain.

By helping patients manage negative thoughts, CBT helps patients reduce pain by changing their behavior and thought patterns. After reviewing 40 trials of cognitive Behavior Therapy that included close to 5000 patients in total, researchers concluded that the range of treatment and assessment procedures used in CBT showed an appreciable effect on mood, pain and sense of disability.

More information can be found here.

Kids Anger Management is better served with practices like cognitive behavior therapy. They have shown to be relatively effective in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and teen substance abuse. Many teens who have substance use disorder also suffer from depression.

In one study which focused on adolescents with substance use disorders, researchers found that CBT alone can be useful in treating these teens in both substance abuse and depression; however, in those adolescents whose depression does not seem to improve during the early course of treatment, adding an antidepressant seems to be an viable course of action.

Other studies have also shown that CBT can help patients with irritable bowel syndrome, adult ADHD , obsessive compulsive disorder and Tourette's Syndrome.


JAMA and Archives Journals (2007, November 5). Behavior Therapy Plus Medication May Help Teens With Depression And Substance Use Disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 28, 2012, from­


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