Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment designed to alter the damaging negative thought patterns that some people have about themselves. Examples of pervasive negative thoughts include, “No one loves me,” and “I’m not good enough”. There can also be an intense fear of abandonment or belief that others are constantly judging them.

These unwelcome mantras are examples of the type of thoughts that can be modified through CBT. The focus is to look at how thoughts, emotions, and actions relate to each other and how they are affecting behavior. Destructive and irrational belief systems can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse or self-harm.

By helping our clients pinpoint and analyze these negative thought patterns, CBT can improve their coping abilities and help eliminate self-destructive behaviors.

How Does CBT Work?

The basis of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is that situations themselves don’t upset people, but rather, it’s the meaning that they give the situations. If clients have negative thoughts, they can’t see that their perception doesn’t fit. They continue to have the same thoughts and fail to learn new things. A depressed person, for instance, might think when they wake that they can’t face going to work. They might believe that they feel awful and that nothing will go right. If they stay home from work because of these thoughts, they won’t find out if their belief is wrong. Their thoughts may develop further and lead them to believe that they’re useless, weak, and a failure.

These negative thoughts can even trigger negative emotions and behaviors, making individuals feel bad about themselves. In this case, these negative emotions may also make them more likely to avoid going to work. This vicious circle can occur with other disorders as well and could begin a downward spiral.

CBT helps clients recognize these patterns and it teaches them to step away from their automatic negative thoughts and test them first. With the depressed individual, for example, CBT would encourage them to examine real-life situations to see what happens. The goal of CBT is to correct these distorted beliefs.

Utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in Treatment

Mental health professionals use many specific approaches that fall under CBT, depending on each client’s needs. In every case, the objective is to help each client deal with their underlying thoughts that affect mental distress. CBT focuses on identifying and modifying distorted thinking, behaviors, and emotional responses. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a type of CBT, addresses how clients think and behave. It incorporates mindfulness, emotion regulation, or other techniques.

Interested in learning more about CBT or our other treatment offerings? Call us today at 877.845.5235 to speak with a compassionate Admissions Team member or fill out our contact form.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of treatment that may be useful for psychiatric patients when traditional psychotherapy/talk therapy is not effective. It is an action oriented therapy, in contrast to treatments which delve into a persons past and examine the “whys” behind their feelings. It is a therapy aimed first and foremost at addressing thoughts, rather than feelings.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is conducted with clear, measurable goals in mind. For this reason, it is meant to be a short-term solution, unlike psychotherapy, which a person usually undergoes for several years, if not indefinitely. Psychotherapy helps us understand why we feel the way we do, but it does not retrain our brains to interrupt the pattern.

The theory behind Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is that a person’s thoughts cause their feelings and subsequent behaviors, rather than the events in a person’s past or present. While events and incidents in life can be the initial cause of whatever began the unhealthy thought and behavior patterns, the negative thought process has become habitual. In some cases, a destructive thought causes a feeling, which causes an action, which causes the feelings to intensify, therefore reinforcing our belief in the initial thought. The habituated thought pattern can take on a life of its own, independent of the initial life event, and truly feed off of itself to perpetuate more negative thoughts, feelings, and actions. …