CBT or cognitive behavior therapy is a therapy that was developed by Aaron Beck and focuses on how your thoughts impact your behaviors as well as your emotions. The C or cognitive focuses on your thoughts. This means any sort of thought that might come into your head at any given moment. For example, if I bumped into someone on the street, I may have the thought, oh, that person hates me. When I think about that thought a little more, I may realize, oh, they look like they were in a rush. Maybe they don’t hate me. The behavior refers to any actions or physical feelings you might have as a result of that thought. So for example, if someone bumps into me, I may turn around and look at them funny. Finally, emotions are the result of the thought as well as the behavior. The emotion that comes out of thinking someone hates me can be very defensive or insecure. However, if I’m able to reformulate that thought, I then have a different emotion of more security and confidence. CBT is typically short term and structured. Your CBT therapist will typically assign you homework assignments for you to do over the course of the week so that when you come back to therapy, you can pick up where you left off. Research shows that CBT therapy is one of the most effective forms of therapy and should be considered in a wide variety of settings including anxiety, depression, and ADHD. CBT is a skills-based therapy, so if you feel like I really need to learn more skills to cope with and deal with my anxiety, CBT might be right for you. CBT is typically useful when you have an acute problem or specific issues that you want to deal with. If you are coming into therapy thinking, I just want to talk about myself, CBT might not be right for you. But if you have something that is going on in your head, maybe a bunch of thoughts racing and you want to learn how to control those thoughts, CBT might be the right fit. CBT focuses on automatic negative thoughts, which are automatic thoughts that pop into your head, but that involve a negative evaluation of either yourself or the situation. These thoughts can be very problematic because they can color the way you interpret a situation. Oftentimes, CBT therapists will recommend breathing exercises or mindful meditation to help you get in that state where you can finally evaluate your automatic thoughts and maybe even restructure them and come up with a more helpful and useful thoughts.