Cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) is a psycho-therapeutic approach that aims to influence negative emotions, behaviours and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure. CBT can be seen as an umbrella term for a number of psychological techniques that share a theoretical basis in behaviouristic learning theory and cognitive psychology. Treatment is often brief, and time-limited.
In cognitive-orientated therapies, the objective is typically to identify and monitor thoughts, assumptions, beliefs and behaviors that accompany and are related to negative emotions, and to identify those which are dysfunctional, inaccurate, or unhelpful. The aim is to replace or transcend them with those which are more realistic and useful.
Most types of emotional and behavioral conditions can be helped including mood, anxiety, personality, eating, substance abuse, obsession and anger disorders. It can also help depression by teaching more compassionate self-accepting thinking; that negative thoughts are often symptoms of depression, and not facts, plus CBT can reduce old patterns of negative rumination by focussing on the here and now.