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Condemning Violence Against the AAPI Community in North America

As an organization firmly committed to antiracism, ABCT expresses its support for the Asian American Psychological Association’s (AAPA) recent statement condemning violence against Asians and Asian Americans. In that statement, the AAPA noted an increase in hate speech and physical violence toward people in the AAPI community, most recently resulting in the death of an older Asian American in Northern California.

Indeed, multiple sources of information suggest an increase in racism toward AAPI people during the COVID pandemic. These have included declining sales at Asian-owned businesses, reports of increased bullying in schools, and violence toward AAPI individuals. A report by the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council noted that Asian American women were three times more likely to report harassment compared to men.

We further note that the mislabeling of COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” or other racist monikers is not only a misrepresentation of the facts, but also contributes to anti-Asian rhetoric and actions.

ABCT denounces all forms of racism, discrimination, and xenophobia. We further wish to express our solidarity with those who are especially vulnerable, such as the elderly, those with limited English proficiency, and those who are undocumented.

David F. Tolin, Ph.D., ABPP

President, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies

What Is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of treatment that is based firmly on research findings.  It places emphasis on changing your cognitions (thoughts) or behaviors (actions) in order to effect change in how you feel. These approaches help people in achieving specific changes or goals.

Changes or goals might involve:

A way of acting: like smoking less or being more outgoing;
A way of feeling: like helping a person to be less scared, less depressed, or less anxious;
A way of thinking: like learning to problem-solve or get rid of self-defeating thoughts;
A way of dealing with physical or medical problems: like reducing back pain or helping a person stick to a doctor’s suggestions.

Cognitive behavioral therapists usually focus more on the current situation and its solution, rather than the past. They concentrate on a person’s views and beliefs about their life. CBT is an effective treatment for individuals, parents, children, couples, and families. The goal of CBT is to help people improve and gain more control over their lives by changing behaviors that don’t work well to ones that do.

How to Get Help

If you are looking for help, either for yourself or someone else, you may be tempted to call someone who advertises in a local publication or who comes up from a search of the Internet. You may, or may not, find a competent therapist in this manner. It is wise to check on the credentials of a psychotherapist. It is expected that competent therapists hold advanced academic degrees. They should be listed as members of professional organizations, such as the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies or the American Psychological Association. Of course, they should be licensed to practice in your state. You can find competent specialists who are affiliated with local universities or mental health facilities or who are listed on the websites of professional organizations. You may, of course, visit our website ( and click on “Find a CBT Therapist”

The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) is an interdisciplinary organization committed to the advancement of a scientific approach to the understanding and amelioration of problems of the human condition. These aims are achieved through the investigation and application of behavioral, cognitive, and other evidence-based principles to assessment, prevention, and treatment.