Department of Educational Psychology


Date of this Version



Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural School Psychology, p. 226-229. Springer, 2010.


Copyright 2010, Springer, Used by permission.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the role of cognition in the expression of emotions and behaviors. CBT assumes that maladaptive feelings and behaviors develop through cognitive processes which evolve from interactions with others and experiences in the environment. The goal of therapy is to identify the maladaptive cognitive process and to learn new ways of perceiving and thinking about events. These new ways of thinking will lead to more positive behavioral and emotional responses.

CBT has rapidly increased in popularity over the last forty years. It enjoys strong empirical support, and the body of research into its efficacy is expanding with each passing year. Given symmetry between the time limited nature of CBT and the demands of cost containment and managed care, this growth seems likely to continue.

Also covers the history, applications, and principles of CBT.