Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy also known as CBT is considered a short term, goal oriented psychotherapeutic treatment that is result driven.  CBT is a practical approach to problem oriented, present moment focused and hands on therapy.  The basis of CBT is our thoughts are the cause of our feelings and behaviors.  Most people would argue this point and instead prefer to look outside the self for the cause of how they feel. 

 

However the benefit of recognizing that we are responsible for the way we think and feel means that we can change the way we think even if the external situation remains the same.  CBT is also skill driven and involves identifying distorted thinking patterns, modifying beliefs, changing behaviors and learning how to relate to others differently. 

The theory behind CBT proposes that our perceptions of situations influences how we feel emotionally.  Moreover, perception is idiosyncratic and individualistic among people and is based on many different variables mood, emotions, and experience.   Therefore, it is not the situation that is upsetting it is the meaning/ evaluation/judgment that we attribute to that event.  Thoughts are neither good or bad they are simply neutral. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is based on a sound therapeutic relationship for it’s foundation but unlike other therapies it is not the focus point of the treatment.  The basis of healing in CBT is not on the therapeutic relationship but rather on the client learning how to change through a process of thinking differently and acting on what they have learned. 

CBT involves homework assignments between sessions and is always a predominant part of sessions.  There are typically reading assignments, diary keeping of incidents that provoke negative thoughts and feelings and examination of incidents via thought records to transform the feelings attached to a certain incident.