To understand cognitive behavioural therapy, you have to know what cognitive thinking is:
Definition of cognitive thinking:
Cognitive thinking is a process of conscious reasoning, evaluation and judgement, based on observation, knowledge, logic, deliberation and analysis to achieve rational understanding, in contrast to untested or volatile thoughts.
In simple terms, a cognitive thought is the opposite of hasty, untested or misleading thoughts.
Fast thinking helps us when a quick response is needed, while instinct, intuition, theory and emotion can guide our decisions. Though these serve us well in some situations, none of them are reliable. Sometimes they can even get us into trouble. Cognitive thinking, on the other hand, is based on proper consideration of realistic facts, bringing more clarity and better long-term solutions.
If we constantly allow self-defeating thoughts and negative assumptions to dominate our reasoning, we surrender ourselves to a lifetime of suffering.
Cognitive thinking is a pragmatic way to view a problem from a different angle, empowering us to feel better, take control and solve the problem more efficiently.
Although it seems simple, cognitive skills are not so easy to acquire or maintain. Our minds are powerful, yet vulnerable, and we can easily become emotionally compromised. In modern society, where exposure to high levels of frustration ensue, it is common to develop a pattern of pessimistic thinking and to start believing in misperceptions.
Negative thought patterns cause distressing emotions, which lead to a broad range of other problems. Many people try to cope with mental discomfort by adopting negative ways of dealing with it, such as taking drugs or exploring other unhealthy avenues to find temporary satisfaction or to escape from the anguish. Easy access to questionable temptations adds to the fray.