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The term ‘cognitive behaviour therapy’ or CBT refers to a group of psychotherapeutic modalities united by common principles, including cognitive therapy (CT), rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT), problem solving therapy (PST), schema therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT).
CBT is an evidence-based psychological approach which operates on the basic premise that thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and behaviours are interconnected. Dysfunctional information processing is posited to lie at the heart of psychological distress or pathology. The aim therefore, of CBT is to change problematic emotions and maladaptive behaviours by modifying cognitive processes, which occur in the form of automatic thoughts (a private, involuntary ‘stream of consciousness’ specific to a particular situation), beliefs (tacit attitudes, rules and assumptions that influence automatic thoughts), and schemas or core beliefs (underlying global templates used for organising and processing information).