ZocdocAnswersWhat is cognitive therapy?

Question

What is cognitive therapy?

I have a 16 year old daughter who is exhibiting aggressive behavior. Can cognitive therapy help her? She's always so angry over everything, even very small things.

Answer

Cognitive therapy can be a very effective type of psychotherapy for some people, but it requires matching both the patient's symptoms with the appropriate professional. This is because all therapies are not effective for all patients, and being with the right person has been noted to account for nearly a third of the effectiveness of a given therapeutic choice. For this reason, you should speak to your psychiatrist in detail about which choice of therapies might work best for your daughter and her specific condition. Cognitive therapy, for example, works under the assumption that faulty logic is the cause of a patient's anxiety or other mental health concerns. By working together with the therapist, patients are taught to think rationally about the situations that confront them, and to recognize when an unrealistic fear or understanding is the root of their concerns. Obviously, this is not effective in all situations. Psychotherapy should be considered as part of the puzzle for helping those with mental health concerns, but you should speak to your primary care doctor or psychiatrist about optimizing the treatment (possibly including medications as needed) so that your daughter has the best opportunity to respond well.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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