Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a treatment approach that helps you recognize negative or unhelpful thought and behavior patterns. Many experts consider it to be the gold standard of psychotherapy. CBT aims to help you identify and explore the ways your emotions and thoughts can affect your actions. Once you notice these patterns, you can begin learning to reframe your thoughts in a more positive and helpful way. Unlike many other therapy approaches, CBT doesn’t focus much on talking about your past. It is instead focused on immediate symptom relief of current issues. CBT is largely based on the idea that your thoughts, emotions, and actions are connected. In other words, the way you think and feel about something can affect what you do. If you’re under a lot of stress at work, for example, you might see situations differently and make choices you wouldn’t ordinarily make. A key concept of CBT is that these thought and behavior patterns can be changed. After the new healthy patterns are adapted and reinforced, they become engrained and replace the negative cycle you were once stuck in.