What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT?

Have you heard the term Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? Or as many therapist call it, the CBT approach.


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological treatment that has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of problems including depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, marital problems, eating disorders, and severe mental illness.(APA, 2017).


CBT is an approach that helps you recognize negative behaviors and patterns. CBT intends to assist you in identifying and exploring the ways your emotions and thoughts can affect your actions. It focuses on the here and now and what an individual can do moving forward.



I saw a quote that said, “nothing in this world can torment you as much as your own thoughts." This quote resonated so much with me. Our thoughts can do wonders when or if we allow them. The same way our thought process can manifest positivity, it could also lead us through a dark path. For these reasons, CBT aims to help us challenge negative or unhelpful thought behaviors and their patterns.





CBT is based on several core principles, including:
  1. Mental health problems are based partly on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.

  2. Mental health problems are based in part on discovered styles of unhelpful behavior.

  3. People affected by mental health issues can explore higher approaches. To manage them, relieve their symptoms, and make them effective in their lives (APA, 2017).


So, what can you expect out of CBT?

CBT emphasizes helping you learn to be your own therapists. Therapists who use this approach will often assign you ‘homework’ or exercises to apply in your daily life outside of therapy. Your therapist will help you develop coping skills and techniques such as journaling, problem solving strategies, relaxation/mindfulness, cognitive reconstructing, reframing the thoughts, challenging thought patterns, which will support you in changing problematic behaviors. It's important that your practice these skills and techniques in and out of sessions.




While it may not be easy and may take some time to see results, with practice you will develop the confidence you need to keep at it. YOU GOT THIS!



Reference:


What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?. (2017, July). American Psychological Association, (),. https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/cognitive-behavioral



 

About the Writer...


Charis Acheampong is originally from Congo, Africa. Born and raised there until relocating to the United States at the age of 13. Charis is a Clinical Intern at Wellness Tree Counseling Services and hopes to practice in both English and her native language French. Charis is a firm believer in taking care of your mental and emotional state as we do our physical. Therapy is a joint venture between the therapist and client to find solutions.


Our mission at Wellness Tree Counseling Services is to promote wellness through a culturally sensitive lens so that individuals, families and communities are encouraged to rise to their full potential and engage life in meaningful ways. To learn more about our services, please visit www.wellnesstreecounseling.com


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