Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to help individuals with self-destructive tendencies better recognize negative thought patterns and work to change them, as stated by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Cognitive behavioral therapy may be able to help those with anxiety disorders, eating disorders, depression and various other mental illnesses. Cognitive behavioral therapy should only be administered by a qualified mental health professional.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is considered a type of psychotherapy and can be thought of as a more practical type of therapy where the patient is focused on identifying and finding solutions to problems. The therapy normally begins with the mental health professional talking with the patient over the course of several sessions to identify negative thoughts and behavior patterns and the motivations behind them.
Once those have been identified, the patient works with the therapist to determine alternative strategies. Depending on the thoughts or behaviors the patient is working on, the strategies could include positive self talk, attention-diversion tactics or refusing to engage in destructive thinking.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is an integrated therapy where the patient must do some of the work and practical applications outside of the sessions. Patients are often given particular tasks to practice as homework between sessions.