Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Positive Psychology in Action

The advent of positive psychology, as mentioned in my recent posts on happiness, is leading to a revolution in psychological counseling. As depression, anxiety and other ills seem to be largely caused by negative thoughts, psychologists have turned to cognitive behavioral therapy to teach patients how to focus on the positive and prevent negative thoughts from creeping into their minds.

Even better, patients rapidly show dramatic improvement and sessions typically end after 10 to 25 visits. CBT has been shown to work, often better than drugs, for depression, anxiety, insomnia and hypochondria. It seems to quell insomnia better than Ambien over the long term. It is as effective as Paxil for moderate to severe depression. Moreover, only 31% of CBT patients had a relapse versus 76% who stopped taking Paxil.

  • I didn’t pay to read the article above but this peaked my interest on another website…

    “CBT can be done individually or with a group of people. It can also be done from a self-help book or computer programme. In England and Wales two computer-based programmes have been approved for use by the NHS. Fear Fighter is for people with phobias or panic attacks, Beating the Blues is for
    people with mild to moderate depression.”

  • It looks like there are a number of websites offering CBT around the world. “It’s cheaper than prescription drugs” seems to be the motivation and why not?

    I’ve always liked the idea of communicating this sort of knowledge using software / websites.

    Especially if it can help people solve real life problems.

    I don’t think the execution is that hot. These things appear to have been launched by ‘technical minds’ through the healthcare systems without much commercial / consumer filtering.

    But i’m sure that will improve with time as the idea catches on. The concept of ‘knowledge and ideas’ as a prescription has certainly caught on in the UK already. I recently saw a ‘prescription’ for a self help book.

    That’s got to be a step in the right direction. To me, there is nothing more powerful than a good idea at the right time.

    I still have the ‘happiness’ PDF from the investment bankers on my mac desktop. There isn’t much in there that I havent read before, but there is one idea which was framed in a new way for me that I have found extremely useful.

    It’s those little gems that can change how you think and literally change your life.