CBT: Beware of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

By Dr. Aldo R. Pucci, President

Beware of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Now, you might wonder why the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists would make such a provocative, seemingly self-defeating statement.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy does not exist as a distinct therapeutic technique, such as there is no such thing as “medicine”. If you were to tell someone that you are taking medicine, they likely would ask you, “which one”. The word “medicine” in that regard refers to a category of substances typically thought to produce some positive chance in one’s health. But you cannot take medicine itself, because medicine does not exist.

Similarly, cognitive-behavioral therapy is only a label for a category of counseling or psychotherapy approaches with some similarities. Included in this category of therapies are: Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), Rational Behavior Therapy (RBT), Rational Living Therapy (RLT), and Cognitive Therapy (CT).

After reading this simple article, you now understand something that many mental health professionals do not. Unfortunately, because they do not understand this, they BELIEVE that they are practicing “CBT” when in fact they are not.

When seeking the services of someone who claims to practice “cognitive-behavioral therapy,” be sure to ask him or her, “what approach to cognitive-behavioral therapy to you utilize?” If they cannot tell you, consider the possibility that they might not be very knowledgeable of the approach.