Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

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You may have heard of CBT, but do you know how it works? Is it right for you? Keep reading to learn more!

What is CBT?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that helps people identify and develop skills to change negative thoughts and behaviors.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

  • says that individuals create their own experiences that are characterized by how individuals think of themselves and the world.
  • states that by changing one’s negative thoughts and behaviors, people can change their awareness of the distress they are experiencing and develop better coping skills, even if the actual level of pain stays the same.
  • seeks to change how we see ourselves and the world by challenging our thoughts and assumptions about ourselves and the world at large.

CBT is typically solution focused. It is more focused on present issues than some forms of traditional psychotherapy. CBT is not designed for lifelong participation, and it aims to help clients meet their goals in the near future.

How was CBT Developed?

Psychiatrist Aaron Beck was the first to practice cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Like most mental health professionals at the time, Beck practiced a form of therapy called psychoanalysis. (Psychoanalysis is a post in its own!)

While practicing psychoanalysis, Dr. Beck began to notice the high frequency of a negative internal dialogue in his clients and realized how strong the links between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can be. He altered the therapy he practiced in order to help his clients identify, understand, and deal with the automatic, emotion-filled thoughts that regularly arose in his clients.

As a result of his discoveries Dr. Beck began utilizing cognitive therapy and behavioral techniques. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Beck noted that his new approach produced the best results for his clients. In describing and honing this new therapy, Beck laid the foundations of the most popular and practiced form of therapy of the last 50 years.

What does a CBT session look like?

  • Most CBT treatment regimens last from five to ten months.
  • Clients usually participate in one 50- to 60-minute session per week.
    • Sessions consist of learning coping skills such as grounding exercises to help individuals better regulate their emotions.
    • Therapists practicing CBT will also engage the client with mindfulness meditation, breathing exercises, and collaborative discussion designed to help the client confront and address maladaptive thoughts and behaviors.

How do I know if CBT is right for me?

Speaking with a medical professional who practices CBT can help you determine if it is an approach you will benefit form. At Compleo you can schedule a FREE 30 minute discovery visit with our licensed professional counselor, Grant Williams, MS, LPC. Call us at 254-892-4957 and we will get you scheduled!

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