Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a set of psychotherapeutic interventions aimed at helping individuals understand the thoughts and feelings that influence behaviors.

Cognitive behavioral therapy  is derived from the clinical models of cognitive therapy developed by Aaron Beck (1976) and rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT) developed by Albert Ellis (1962).

CBT is commonly used to treat a wide range of disorders including phobias, addiction, depression, and anxiety; it has a good evidence based on its efficiency.

CBT is usually focused on helping people deal with a very specific problem. During the course of treatment, you learn how to identify and change destructive thought patterns that negatively influence your behaviour.

The fundamental concept behind CBT is that our thoughts and feelings play a central role in our behaviour.

We interact with the world through our mental representation of it. If our mental representations are inaccurate or our ways of reasoning are inadequate then our emotions and behavior may become disordered.

It is broadly believed that Cognitive behavioral therapy  today not only works ‘best’ in the therapy area but it is also ‘best’ in business and life-coaching.


Cognitive Behavioral Coaching (CBC) applies the techniques of CBT in a non-therapeutic way to the problems of everyday life to enable individuals to define and reach their goals. So, CBC shouldn’t be mixed with counseling, as it is proactive, focused on a goal, and used on a non-clinical population. 

CBC and CBT are similar but CBC focuses on achieving personal and professional fulfilment, not an understanding of psychological disturbance, a core component of CBT (Neenan, 2009). Irrational beliefs that are inconsistent with reality can lead to unhealthy results for individuals and their relationships as well as undermining their pursuit of personally meaningful goals (Neenan & Dryden, 1999). All coaching interventions involve understanding the client’s beliefs to some degree, however, a CBC gives coaches a deep understanding of how people develop self-limiting beliefs and maintain them despite evidence to the contrary (Neenan, 2008).

Precisely speaking , Cognitive Behavioral Coaching is a fusion of cognitive behavioural therapy, solution focused approaches, goal setting theory, rational emotive therapy and social cognitive theory.

CBC posits goal attainment is best achieved by understanding the reciprocal relationships between the individual’s thoughts, feelings, behaviours and environment (Neenan, 2008).




Neenan, M. & Palmer, S. (2001). Cognitive Behavioural coaching. Stress News, 13, 15-18. Retrieved from
Neenan, M. & Palmer, S. (Eds.). (2012). Cognitive Behavioural Coaching in Practice: An Evidence Based Approach. East Sussex, UK: Routledge.






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