January 31, 2023

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

Ever heard of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)? Have you found yourself wanting to identify and change negative thought patterns that might be contributing to your overall emotional and mental health? Cognitive Behavioural Therapy might just be the help that you are looking for. CBT is based on the theory that our thoughts and perceptions influence our emotions and behaviour, and that by changing our thoughts and perceptions, we can change and improve our emotions and behaviour.

CBT typically involves 12-20 sessions and is a structured and goal-oriented style of therapy. The therapist works with the individual to identify negative patterns of thinking and behaviour, and then helps the individual to challenge and change these patterns. CBT often includes homework assignments like keeping a journal of thoughts and feelings and/or practicing new coping strategies learning during the therapy session(s).

How does CBT help?

Individuals with depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have successfully treated and managed these disorders using CBT. It has also been used to help individuals with chronic pain, insomnia, and other physical conditions that are affected by emotional and psychological factors.

What are the benefits of CBT?

The benefits of CBT include improved mood, reduced anxiety and stress, improved relationships, and better overall quality of life. It can also help individuals to develop new coping strategies and problem-solving skills that they can use in the future to manage difficult situations.

What methods are used in CBT?

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) uses various methods to help individuals identify and change negative patterns of thinking and behaviour. Some of the methods used in CBT include:

  1. Identification of negative thoughts and beliefs: Your therapist will work with you to identify your negative thoughts and beliefs that may be contributing to your emotional distress. This can include thoughts about yourself, others and the world around you.
  2. Challenge negative thoughts and beliefs: Once negative thoughts and beliefs have been identified, the therapist will help you to challenge them. This can include questioning the thought, identifying alternative explanations, and thinking about the potential consequences of the thought.
  3. Behavioural techniques: CBT also includes behavioural techniques, such as exposure therapy, which can be used to help you overcome specific phobias or fears. Exposure therapy involves slowly exposing you to the feared situation or object in a controlled and safe environment.
  4. Relaxation techniques: CBT also includes techniques to help individuals relax, such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and visualization. Relaxation techniques can reduce physical symptoms of anxiety, like rapid heartbeat and sweating.
  5. Problem-solving skills: CBT can also help individuals develop problem-solving skills, which can be used to manage difficult situations in the future. This can include identifying the problem, generating solutions, and evaluating the potential outcomes of each solution.
  6. Mindfulness: Practices such as meditation, yoga, and body scan are great ways to develop the ability to focus on the present moment and observe thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them.
  7. Homework assignments: CBT often includes homework assignments, such as keeping a diary of thoughts and feelings, or practicing new coping strategies. This allows individuals to continue working on their therapy goals outside of the therapy sessions.

These methods can be adjusted and tailored depending on the individual's specific needs, and the therapist may use different techniques depending on the condition being treated and the stage of therapy.

How can you determine if CBT is right for you?

To determine if CBT is suitable for you, it is best to speak with a mental health professional who can assess your specific needs and recommend an appropriate treatment. It is also important to find a therapist who is trained in CBT and has experience treating the specific condition you are seeking help for.

Does Archways provide CBT?

Yes! At Archways we believe in CBT (cognitive-behaviour therapy) to help our clients get well and stay well. We work with adults up to approximately 70 years of age and we even have a Child & Adolescent Program.

For more information on Archways and our services, visit our website or give us a call. We are here for you.

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