Cognitive Behavioural Therapy was conceived by American psychiatrist Aaron Beck. He describes it as a structured, short-term, present-oriented psychotherapy for depression, directed toward solving current problems and modifying dysfunctional thinking and behaviour (Beck, 1964).
Since its conception in the early 1960’s, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has become a significant therapeutical practice for almost all therapists, guidance counsellors and psychiatrists. The method has gained such recognition that the Swedish government has decided to use it as an obligatory first step in treating depression.
The treatment aims to raise the individual’s awareness of his or her thought patterns and to subsequently modify them. In short term bouts of depression, this is done through a couple of sessions where the individual is taught the basics of CBT and is then expected to apply it to themselves. In longer cases where the problem is considered to be an underlying reason for identity and self esteem issues (such as ACT) the therapist guides the individual through the process.
Beck, A. T. (1964). Thinking and depression: II. Theory and therapy. Archives of General Psychiatry, 10, 561-571.