What is CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, cbt, cbt therapists, cbt therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a form of psychological treatment that has been demonstrated to be effective in a range of problems like anxiety disorders, depression, alcohol and drug use, marital problems, severe mental illness, eating disorders, and much more. CBT has been demonstrated to be as effective as psychological therapy or psychiatric medications in some instances.

CBT advances have been made over the years on a basis of both research and clinical practice. There is ample evidence that it works and that it create sustainable changes. In this manner, CBT differs from many other forms of psychological treatment.

Cbt is based on a multitude of core principles.

These principles include:

  1. Psychological problems are based, in part, on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior.
  2. Psychological problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.
  3. People suffering from psychological problems can learn a better way to process, cope and deal with them, relieving their symptoms and becoming much more efficient in their lives.

Cbt treatment is based on the effort to change the thinking patterns of oneself. There are various strategies for that and some include:

  • Gaining a better understanding of the behavior and motivation of others surrounding yourself.
  • Learning to recognize one’s distortions in thinking that are creating the problems and then reevaluating them and making the necessary changes in thinking processes to have a better outcome.
  • Using problem-solving skills to cope with difficult situations.
  • Learning to develop a greater sense of confidence in one’s own abilities.

Some other treatment plans might include strategies around:

  • Using role-playing to better prepare someone for a potentially problematic situation
  • Learning to calm one’s mind and relax one’s body to cultivate a peaceful state of mind
  • Facing one’s fear instead of avoiding them

Not all CBT will use these strategies but it will be the cbt practitioner and the client/patient who will work together to figure out a game plan that works for them. The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to help individuals to learn to be their own therapists. Through exercises in the session as well as ‘homework’ exercises outside of sessions, the practitioner and the patient create coping skills which can help to change the patient’s thinking process, problematic emotions, and behavior.

CBT therapists emphasize on what is going on in the person’s current life, rather than what might have caused their difficulties. The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is for a client to move forward in their life by developing more ways to cope with their problematic situations or set of circumstances.

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