What is cognitive therapy?

Cognitive therapy is a kind of psychotherapy that is based on the theory that negative thoughts and beliefs can lead to low self esteem and even depression. Cognitive theory says that certain situations can act as triggers for negative thoughts for some people. Once these negative thoughts arise, people become upset. Their thoughts directly affect their moods, which is translated into their behavior.

Cognitive therapy works by making people challenge these thoughts. Once people start thinking negatively, they tend to start leaping to conclusions. They think the worst without any kind of evidence to back up their conclusions. These thought patterns are known as cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions also include mental filters, where people filter out the good things in their lives and focus only on the bad ones, treating the positive things they have done like they don’t count, always thinking about how things should be instead of trying to deal with reality, and blaming themselves for things that are not their fault or out of their hands.

Studies have shown that cognitive therapy is very effective for treating several mental conditions such as anxiety, depression, and anger. It has also reduced hypertension and chronic pain.

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