We talk a lot here at BrightMind LABS about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – and we’re often asked what exactly is CBT? Here’s a quick reply to that most frequently asked of questions:
CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach that aims to influence emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure. CBT can be seen as an umbrella term for a number of psychological techniques that share a theoretical basis in behavioristic learning theory and cognitive psychology.These two traditions found common ground in focusing on the “here and now” and symptom removal. Many CBT treatment programs for specific mental health difficulties have been developed and evaluated for efficacy and effectiveness.
In the United Kingdom, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends CBT as the treatment of choice for a number of mental health difficulties.
So what then is Computerized CBT?
In CCBT, the user interacts with computer software instead of face to face with a therapist. There is a growing movement in this direction as there are simply not enough trained therapists in any country in the world to meet the need for therapy by traditional face to face means. CCBT is clinically proven and drug-free.
In the USA, Chicago-based Prevail Health Solutions is a leader in the development of computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Their products are not yet offered to the general population, but currently they are engaged in ongoing efforts to determine efficacy in the treatment of several mental health disorders.
Randomized controlled trials have proven the effectiveness of CCBT, and in February 2006 the UK’s National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended that CCBT be made available for use within the National Health Service across England and Wales. National Director for Mental Health, Professor Louis Appleby has confirmed that the UK’s Primary Care Trusts should make use of CCBT products such as “FearFighter” by ST Solutions and “Beating the Blues” by Ultrasis.
BrightMind LABS are taking CCBT one step further by wrapping the CBT in immersive gaming rather than computer software. This is particularly important when targeting children as their willing engagement in the products is essential if the intended benefits are to be achieved.