Cognitive Therapy is an Evidence Based Treatment which means that its validity and efficacy have been verified experimentally. It is goal directed and symptom focused, and is founded on the premise that feelings are based on perceptions and thoughts. The way you feel is determined by how you perceive a situation. If you are anxious, depressed or have some other mood fluctuation, the symptoms you have color your perception, and you don’t get a realistic view of things. As a result you often feel worse than reality would dictate. You also have “schemas” or core beliefs formed from your earlier childhood experiences that affect your perceptions, but do not match who you are today.
The concept of Cognitive Therapy is to teach a set of skills to identify thoughts and evaluate whether or not they are realistic. When they are not, you learn to replace them with ones that are. The therapist is not a quiet observer of your contemplations about the past, but rather is an active teacher of proficiency and adaptation. A goal is set. You are taught the ways to achieve it. The therapist functions more as a coach, in the spirit of a tennis or golf coach, than as the arbiter of you childhood traumas and frustrations.
The result is that you feel better in quite a short time.