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Cognitive therapy

Cognitive therapy or cognitive behavior therapy is a kind of psychotherapy used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, phobias, and other forms of psychological disorder[?]. It involves recognising distorted thinking and learning to replace it with more realistic substitute ideas. Its practitioners hold that the cause of many (though not all) depressions are irrational thoughts. Cognitive therapy is often used in conjunction with mood stabilizing medications) to treat bipolar disorder.

With thoughts stipulated as the cause of emotions rather than vice-versa, cognitive therapists reverse the causal order more generally used by psychotherapists. The therapy is essentially, therefore, to identify those irrational thoughts that are making one unhappy and what it is about them that is irrational; this is done in an effort to reject the depressing thoughts and replace them with more accurate, but also more cheering thoughts.

Cognitive therapy is not an overnight process. Even once a patient has learnt to recognise when and where his thought processes are going awry, it can take months of concerted effort to replace an invalid thought with a more suitable one. But with patience and a good therapist, cognitive therapy can be a valuable tool in recovery.

While the cognitive therapist view of emotion has existed for millennia, cognitive therapy was developed in its present form by Albert Ellis and Aaron T. Beck[?] in the 1950s and 1960s.

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