CBT: What is it and How Does it Work?
Sep 27, 2018
If you have been looking for counseling services, you may have read information about how change is achieved in counseling sessions. You may have seen information about different counseling modalities, or types of therapy. Good therapy comes in all different shapes and packages, many of which are used very widely. CBT is one of these types of therapy.
CBT is the acronym for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, an evidence-based counseling modality geared towards solutions, problem solving, and increasing awareness of how cognitions, emotions, and behavior impact each other. In CBT-focused therapy, there is usually an emphasis on exploring how individuals think about or perceive situations, and working to challenge those thoughts and perceptions in order to better manage related feelings and behavior.
CBT works by targeting automatic responses to triggers. For instance, a person living with depression may hold the belief that they are worthless, or the cause of others' pain. When faced with everyday life occurrences, such as a friend cancelling a planned night out or a partner experiencing sadness or anger, the person with depression may be prone to automatically personalize these events in a negative way: "No one likes me," or "I am a burden and I make people sad." These thoughts result in negative feelings and behaviors, such as withdrawing from others.
CBT challenges the underlying belief system that this person is worthless, as well as the individual thoughts about not being liked or being a burden. In therapy sessions, a trained therapist can help an individual recognize when thoughts are distorted or unhelpful, and help uncover underlying beliefs contributing to these thoughts. Through practice, the individual will learn to reframe thoughts and challenge beliefs, and as a result, may be able to change how they feel about and respond to triggers. With practice, the new kind of thinking becomes more automatic, and healing occurs.
CBT is one of the most widely used counseling modalities, and is often highly effective. It is used to treat many types of mental health challenges, including anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD, PTSD, adjustment disorders, and more.
If you are interested in seeing if CBT is right for you, contact us to meet with one of our skilled providers. We look forward to meeting with you!
Category: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy