What you need to know about Cognitive Behavior Therapy

By Dr. Lisa Jones- Contributor

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help terminally ill patients to prevent or manage  psychosocial suffering at the end-of-life and help establish a sense of purpose and meaning.

It can also help with the anticipatory grief related to leaving behind family and losses that come with having a terminal diagnosis.

Coping techniques can be evaluated and attempted. “The idea behind Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is that an outcome of behavior (positive or negative) can be created by a chosen reinforcement behavior.”[1]

CBT can be used to correct bad behavior, increase positive behaviors, or to view a problem in a different light.

“It may be beneficial for patients who are focusing more on negative thoughts and feelings about themselves or others[2]”.

There is considerable research showing that CBT is effective for treating grief, anxiety, and depression in patients with advancing diseases.


  1. [2]Michael P Nichols, Family therapy: Concepts and Methods (Boston, MA: Pearson education, Inc, 2010), 52.
  2. [3]Nancy R. Hooyman and Betty J. Kramer, Living through loss; interventions across the life span (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006), 34.


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