What is CBT?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an evidence-based highly effective treatment for many mental disorders. CBT is based on an assumption that human behavior is governed by our thoughts, thoughts which perhaps once had a positive purpose in our life, but now may be creating difficulties. Those thoughts, often remaining from childhood have become so automatic that we no longer are aware of them. We simply act on them.
Thoughts, both desirable and undesirable govern our behavior. They sometimes lead to repetitive behavior which makes us ashamed, unhappy and we would often like to be rid of it. What is the process for stopping , negative thoughts and the resulting depressive moods, antisocial behavior, unhealthy coping methods, or perspectives that are no longer helpful? Initially, it is necessary to together conclude that change is welcome or necessary.
CBT offers a systematic therapeutic approach for many mental disorders and 'life difficulties'. It will not be your therapist solving your issue or offering the “right” solution. CBT is a cooperation between you and your therapist in a safe environment in 100% confidentiality. Your therapist will ask you to explore potential alternate viewpoints of your difficulties. CBT therapists are trained to help you explore your thought processes, analyze your convictions, and uncover your true beliefs which in turn lead to changes in feeling and behavior. The goal of CBT is to help you learn to recognize patterns of your behavior and your thoughts, evaluate their validity or 'meaning' and gain full control of them, perhaps replacing them with new ones if they are no longer desirable. The goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to support you in acquiring tools to gain control and full awareness of your own thoughts and emotions, which precedes human behavior and feeling.
How is CBT Different?
How is CBT different from other psychological treatment approaches?
CBT is a goal oriented approach. The client presents an issue, dilemma or difficulty he or she would like to resolve or work on. Therapist and client then discuss what a desireable goal or goals may be.
CBT is time limited approach. The usual course of treatment lasts 16-18weeks, with one or two session per week (50min/session).
CBT focuses on two methods: cognitive restructuring (evaluation of thought processes leading to undesirable behavior) and behavioral activation (challenging thoughts that may lead to more desirable behavioral outcome by overcoming obstacles)
CBT is primarily focused on whatever issue the client presents to the therapist In other words CBT focuses on present time problems. This does not mean your therapist may not ask questions about your past although the client may choose to not discuss the past.
CBT utilizes therapeutic techniques such as Socratic questioning, behavioral experiments, role-play, guided discovery, home-assignments