Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was developed by Aaron Beck in the 1960s and is supported by a large amount of research as an effective treatment for depression. As you can tell by the name, CBT looks at cognition, or ways of thinking, in addition to looking at behavior patterns. Beck and his colleagues found that people with depression often make errors in their thinking that fuel their depression, and as a consequence, they behave in ways that contribute to their depression, such as withdrawing from social activities or seeing only the negative aspects of situations. In the throes of this vicious cycle, people who are depressed often cannot see that there are other ways to interact with the world. CBT works by offering alternatives to negative and pessimistic thinking patterns and by supporting positive behaviors that, in turn, combat depressive thinking.
More Answers from John Preston, PsyD