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How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a therapy technique used short-term to teach people to change their undesirable behaviors by changing the way they think. The principle of cognitive behavioral therapy is that cognition (how we think) and how we interpret life events influence how we act and feel. Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches coping strategies to deal with life’s problems. It breaks down larger problems into smaller parts to help clients make sense of the issues.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has been used for about 40 years to treat depression, and there are currently many aspects of CBT that can treat things such as panic disorder, PTSD, anxiety, insomnia, childhood depression, schizophrenia, phobias, anger, substance abuse, and a range of both physical and mental conditions. Overall, CBT involves problem identification, the establishment of goals, compassionate communication, recurrent feedback, reality checks, and educating clients how to use the right tools to encourage positive behavioral growth and change.

How does it work?

The aim of CBT is to break the cycle of negative thoughts by simplifying things that create anxiety or make you feel scared or bad. It is used for almost every type of behavioral issue where thoughts (cognition) play a prominent part. The therapy highlights the necessity to recognize, challenge, and alter how situations are interpreted.

Cognitive misunderstandings can lead to corrupted behaviors, and when someone experiences a traumatic or stressful event, automatic thought patterns come into play and can lead to negative emotions and moods. This person’s thought pattern makes them assume a false assumption on the meaning of the event, and they can often over-react. This is caused by an automatic response and cognitive-behavioral therapists work to assist with recognizing how this distorted type of thinking directly affects emotions and moods and offers solutions on how to change their thinking patterns.

CBT is typically a short-term one-on-one therapy that can last up to twenty sessions. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a goal oriented, problem-specific, and is intended to accomplish remission and prevent any recurrence of a specific disorder.

Throughout the period of treatment, the therapist and the client deliberate goals and techniques that will be used. The client will play an active role in the treatment plan to ensure the best outcome is achieved. To find out more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, speak to a CBT professional to see if it can help your issues become resolved.