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What Is Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Erik J.J. Goserud
Erik J.J. Goserud

Computerized cognitive behavioral therapy refers to the application of cognitive behavioral therapy in a computerized fashion. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a commonly utilized method of psychotherapy, drawing from many different principles of psychology. Simply put, it deals with the awareness of one's thoughts and actions to help a person through a troubling circumstance, thought pattern, or condition.

Just like cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, can encompass many different methods or meanings, so can the word computerized. At its base, it means to make something digital. This can range from software, to on-screen displays, to interactive programs or games. When you put two very broad terms into one, the umbrella only broadens. This is how computerized cognitive behavioral therapy has come to mean so many different things.

Woman posing
Woman posing

Cognition in psychology is used to refer to awareness, or the "knowing of what you are doing." Behavioral therapy deals with using actions or changes in actions to help aid in the therapy of an ailment. Cognitive behavioral therapy embodies many Eastern principles, including the cliched phrase of living in the present.

Living in the present is at the heart of cognitive behavioral therapy. This phrase, although open to many different interpretations, pertains to focusing on the current, or what is right in front of a person. The human mind tends to stray away from the present, allocating attention to past events or daydreams. Living in the past prevents future progress, and focusing on the future neglects the tasks and important things in front of a person. Living in the present is sometimes regarded as the holy grail of the mind, leading to ultimate happiness and relieved stress and anxiety.

Applying this principle to cognitive behavioral therapy means to focus on one's actions, or what the individual is currently doing. A person must develop an awareness of habits and thought processes to hopefully keep them in a healthy alignment with one another. Most psychologists are very familiar with these techniques; however, there are also specialists who deal almost exclusively with such endeavors.

Computerized cognitive behavioral therapy takes these principles and makes them into something digital. There may be computer programs, for example, that help teach cognitive behavioral therapy to patients. Other examples may include a computerized presentation of CBT or something displayed on a computer that is relevant to this type of therapy. Computerized cognitive behavioral therapy is certainly growing as the world becomes more and more digital.

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