Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques – Explained

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( — November 1, 2019) — Are you familiar with cognitive behavioral therapy techniques? Almost every new psychological study is focused on this type of therapy and its efficacy in the treatment of certain psychological issues. Over the years, several cognitive behavioral therapy techniques have been developed and tested by psychologists and researchers in constant search for more effective solutions to psychological problems. Undergoing CBT can one of the advantages of seeing a counselor.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques

From depression to social skills issues (the most common reasons for therapy), CBT is believed to help clients improve. Among other modes of therapy of today, it is considered the highest standard of care in the field of psychotherapy. Let’s take a deeper look at the different cognitive techniques in counselling.

Activity Scheduling

This mode of therapy helps with anxiety and depression, activity scheduling helps clients engage in behaviors that they would usually evade. This is done by identifying a low-frequency behavior and reintroducing it into the client’s routine by scheduling it throughout the week to improve its frequency. The behavior to be scheduled should be rewarding for the client. Activity scheduling is a key element of Behavioral Activation, which is the most essential treatment for clinical depression.

Cognitive Restructuring 

A CBT technique that helps clients examine their discouraging thinking patterns, cognitive restructuring often involves the following:

– Keeping a record of one’s own thoughts to track dysfunctional thoughts

– Developing alternative responses to adapt to problematic situations

 Exercises implemented under cognitive restructuring include:

– Thought Investigation

– Cognitive Pie Chart Exercise

– Acceptance Exercises

– Constructive Worry

– Identification of cognitive distortions, such as fortune-telling, mind-reading, labeling, negative filtering, overgeneralizing, catastrophizing, and all-or-nothing thinking.

 Graded Exposure

The cognitive behavioral theory behind graded exposure is that the more we avoid the things we fear, the more anxiety and fear are increased. To minimize anxiety and fear, this CBT exercise involves systematically repeated contact with the object or situation that is feared. Graded exposure is shown to be effective in helping treat any psychological problem.


Problem-solving involves helping clients take an active role in searching for solutions to problems. Long-term mood problems and recurrent disappointments can make people take a passive role in handling challenging situations. Problem-solving strategies aim to help them regain control over such situations.

Relaxation Training 

Relaxation training is a CBT technique developed to help clients minimize their physiological symptoms of anxiety. These symptoms include dizziness, nausea, fast heart rate, and shortness of breath. Managing these symptoms will lead to clearer thinking and consequently elevated feelings of comfort and decreased anxiety symptoms.

Skills Training

Another CBT exercise implemented in different psychological treatments is skills training. It is developed to rectify skills deficits through direct instruction, modeling, and role-plays. Skills training commonly focuses on training assertiveness, communication skills, and social skills.


What are Behavioral Techniques?

Behavioral techniques are among the key components of many psychotherapies. These techniques are focused on modifying behaviors to improve mood and overall functioning. Behavioral techniques are often applied to treat psychological problems like depression and insomnia.

How is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Done?

Cognitive behavioral therapy works by modifying the attitude and behavior of people. This is achieved by paying attention to their beliefs, images, and thoughts and how these components relate to and impact the way they behave in response to difficult issues and situations. Sometimes, CBT is combined with homeopathy (you can do research on what are homeopathic remedies).

To Summarize 

You may ask, is psychotherapy effective, and how does psychotherapy work? Well, cognitive behavioral therapy as a form of psychotherapy is considered the most progressive treatment for psychological problems. It provides a simple way to understand challenging situations and the problematic reactions some people have to them. Although there are different cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, all of them emphasize three key elements – behavior, emotion, and thought. Separating these elements will help counselors and psychologists determine when, where, and how to intervene.