Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a psychological intervention that grew out of the work of Professor Aaron Beck, with as the name suggests, roots in both behavioural theory and cognitive theory. CBT is now the most widely studied psychological treatment with robust scientific evidence supporting its use in a huge variety of different settings.
In particular, randomized controlled trial evidence has demonstrated the effectiveness of CBT in treating a wide variety of psychological problems such as depressive disorders, anxiety disorders including panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, PTSD and OCD, psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, body dysmorphic disorder, and many disorders of substance abuse.
Many practitioners speak more broadly about `Cognitive Therapies` rather than CBT as a unitary treatment, and types of cognitive therapy have multiplied. Contemporary cognitive therapy can be divided into 3 broad ‘generations’ in terms of their evolution. What are often referred to as `third wave` cognitive therapies such as ACT and MBCT include popular techniques of mindfulness. For more information on CBT, see the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.