Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Changing How We Think and Act
Jul 03, 2019
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an increasingly popular form of treatment in the mental health community, helping patients with a variety of mental health conditions including anxiety and depression. CBT is a form of psychosocial treatment, it focuses on the psychology of an individual and how they interact with their social environment. Rooted in the concept that our thoughts and perceptions influence or behavior, CBT aims to identify and analyze the thoughts we seem to have on autopilot, the ones that pop up automatically and that we tell ourselves are true (whether or not they really are). Strategies are then developed to alter these perceptions and the behaviors that are influenced by them.
CBT is a solution-oriented approach to therapy, instead of focusing on the subconscious or the past, CBT helps clients to find ways to take action now to improve their mental health and decrease maladaptive behaviors. While some forms of therapy are more open-ended and focus on self-exploration, CBT's focus on specific goals makes it is easier for clinicians and patients to measures success. While CBT can be a shorter term solution when compared to some other therapies, it is still a gradual process where clients take incremental steps towards change.
The first step in this
process is referred to as functional analysis. The goal here is to
identify the problematic beliefs and assumptions we have about ourselves
and our environment, this requires introspection on the
patients part and can be a challenging process for some. Patients will
be challenged to identify and then analyze their thoughts. Are they
accurate? What evidence is there that they are or are not true? Once
these thoughts and patterns have been identified,
treatment then focuses on how to overcome them and change maladaptive
behaviors that occur as a result of these thoughts. While it is
impossible to control every aspect of your life, CBT can help you
control how you interpret and react to your environment.
CBT can be helpful for people of all ages. It is a therapeutic strategy that can help patients can gain insight into their cognitive and behavioral processes, identify patterns and take action to improve their well-being and happiness. Contact us here for more information and to find out if Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is right for you.