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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Post-COVID-19 Fatigue and Poor Concentration


Individuals experiencing fatigue and poor concentration post-COVID-19 infection may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), as discussed in a recent article in Time News titled, “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Found Effective in Reducing Fatigue for COVID-19 Survivors, Study Shows.”

Time News discusses research conducted by Kuut and colleagues (2023) in which 114 participants experiencing severe fatigue following COVID-19 infection were assigned to either receive care as usual (i.e., general practitioner) or CBT. This study found that CBT significantly reduced symptoms of fatigue post-COVID-19.

CBT can help individuals develop better sleep and wake routines, better sleep hygiene, and relaxation techniques, helping people to feel better rested throughout the day and maximize their time awake. CBT may also help individuals achieve improved attention by teaching strategies to stay on task, reduce distractions, and prioritize goals and values.

If you or a loved one is experiencing fatigue or poor concentration, you can use ABCT’s find a therapist feature to find a CBT clinician:

Arielle Snow, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate in Clinical Psychology at Hofstra University

Editor: Nicholas Crimarco, Ph.D. Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders – Westchester


Kuut TA, Müller F, Csorba I, Braamse A, Aldenkamp A, Appelman B, Assmann-Schuilwerve E, Geerlings SE, Gibney KB, Kanaan RAA, Mooij-Kalverda K, Olde Hartman TC, Pauëlsen D, Prins M, Slieker K, van Vugt M, Keijmel SP, Nieuwkerk P, Rovers CP, Knoop H. Efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy targeting severe fatigue following COVID-19: results of a randomized controlled trial. Clin Infect Dis. 2023 May 8:ciad257. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciad257. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37155736.

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.

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