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What is the significance of cognitive-behavioral therapy as the standard psychological treatment?

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Cognitive-behavioral therapy predominates in international standards for psychological and social treatment, serving as a first-line treatment for many diseases due to its clear support for research.

This is mentioned in a new research published in the online journal Frontiers of Psychiatry, in which this sort of therapy is approached, arguing why it is considered the reference psychological treatment.

What Is A Psychotherapist? Definition & Types of Therapy

As the authors point out, this essay arose as a result of an increase in professionals advocating for pluralism into psychotherapy and questioning cognitive-behavioral therapy as a standard treatment.

Contrary to this claim, they claim that CBT happens to be the psychological treatment of choice for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • It is the most extensively researched type of psychotherapy.
  • No other method of psychotherapy has been demonstrated to be consistently superior to CBT, and
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) models/theoretical change mechanisms have received the greatest attention and are consistent with the present prevalent paradigms of the human mind and behaviour (for example, information processing).

As they state in their text, current CBT is a catch-all phrase for empirically supported treatments focused at precisely defined psychopathologies and accompanied by specific treatment procedures. It has recently embraced a more trans-diagnostic / process-based and customised approach, with the ultimate goal of connecting the therapy technique to the process and to the individual client.

According to the article, cognitive-behavioral therapy for adults in California is integrated into the general information treating paradigm, where the fundamental role of implicit or explicit cognitions in the development of emotions and behaviours happens to be well established already. In this regard, the authors argue that “there are no other psychological treatments with more research support to justify their underlying notions” at the moment.

They also state that CBT was the first type of psychotherapy to be assessed using the most stringent standards of the evidence-based framework utilised in the health industry (similar to those used in the case of pharmacotherapy). As a result of their clear support for research, the authors conclude that cognitive-behavioral therapy dominates international guidelines for psychological and social treatments, making it a first-line treatment for many disorders, as it appears in National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and American Psychological Association guidelines.

Last words

According to the authors of this article, cognitive-behavioral therapy is, in fact, the reference model in the field of Psychotherapy, which is included in the main clinical guidelines based on its rigorous empirical basis, not for a variety of reasons policies, as some colleagues appear to suggest.