October 12, 2020

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a popular type of psychotherapy used by mental health counselors and therapists to assist clients who are interested in overcoming mental health issues or substance use disorders. CBT allows individuals to become aware of their negative thinking patterns and readjust their focus so that they can engage in challenging situations in a more effective way.

For example, an individual may have negative thoughts concerning a feeling of failure and an inability to face their friends or loved ones. CBT can help you recognize these negative thoughts that are in fact predictions or interpretations of situations that you have no control over. Understanding why and how these negative thought cycles arise, allows you to recognize that perhaps these negative thoughts were actually misinterpretations.

CBT has been recognized as an effective therapy on the basis of both research and clinical practice. According to the American Psychological Association, there are three main principles of CBT that highlight the connection between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors:

1. Psychological problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.

2. Psychological problems are based, in part, on learned patterns of unhelpful behaviors.

3. People suffering from psychological problems can learn better ways of coping with them, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.

CBT is not one-size-fits-all solution. Clinicians can identify CBT interventions that are most appropriate for an individual client’s needs. Depending on specific diagnoses, clinicians can provide a personalized approach to achieve effective results.

CBT is one of the many modalities employed in Charlie Health’s intensive outpatient program (IOP), for teens and young adults who are in need of more support than traditional one-time-per-week therapy. While CBT can be helpful for some individuals, it’s not always right for everyone. It’s important to speak with a mental health professional to advise you on the most appropriate treatment modules for your needs.

Contact Us

If you’re interested in learning more about CBT, or finding a treatment option that's right for you, call Charlie Health today at (406)-361-3001. Charlie Health is here to support teens and young adults with accessible and effective treatment options all from the comfort of your home.


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Claire Ellison, LCSW

Laura Sebulsky, MBSR

Director of Admissions and
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