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Hearts Break for Those Who Were Killed


Our hearts break for those who were killed, those who were hurt, those who have lost family or friends, and those who, like us, just share in the pain of the recent tragedies in El Paso and Dayton. As researchers and therapists who devote our lives to treating people on the wrong end of tragedy, we work to help. For those who want to explore healing, we have fact sheets that describe TraumaPTSDGrief.

In addition to sending our support to victims of the recent shootings, ABCT strives to be a welcoming and inclusive organization and we want to recognize the particular kind of harm incurred by racist attacks like the one that took place in El Paso this weekend. The target of these attacks was a community that has historically been a welcoming haven for immigrants and Hispanics/Latinxs. ABCT aims to support research and evidence-based clinical care by and for these exact groups. We reject the narrative that these acts of violence are a “mental health problem” as opposed to a mix of factors, including racism, cultural norms around gun violence, and radicalization of youth through the internet. To place the burden on evidence-based practitioners to predict these acts of unspeakable violence ignores the significant structural and cultural forces that give rise to such attacks, in turn leading to further marginalization of the targeted groups.

For those who need further help, please consult our directory of CBT Therapists

Related Information

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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