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Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2017 Dec;40(4):597-609. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2017.07.001. Epub 2017 Aug 18.

Basic Strategies of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

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Wenzel Consulting, LLC and University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1062 Lancaster Avenue, Suite #24, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010, USA. Electronic address:


Cognitive behavioral therapy's main strategies are active, problem-focused, and collaborative. Cognitive restructuring is a strategy in which clinicians help patients to identify, evaluate, and modify inaccurate or otherwise unhelpful thinking associated with emotional distress. Behavioral activation provides a framework for patients, particularly those who are depressed, to increase engagement in activities that provide a sense of accomplishment or pleasure. The goal of exposure is for anxious patients to experience an extinction of fear by having planned contact with feared stimuli and situations. Problem solving allows patients to systematically approach and address their life problems by using cognitive and behavioral techniques.


Behavioral activation; Cognitive restructuring; Exposure; Inhibitory learning; Problem solving; Strategy

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