January 31, 2023

An Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

Have you found yourself in a continuum of negative thought patterns? Do you feel as though these thoughts are taking a toll on your emotional and mental health? If so, then you would need an introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). Based on the theory that our thoughts and perceptions influence our emotions and behaviour, CBT aims to change false, unhealthy, and self-destructive thoughts, perceptions, and beliefs to regulate and improve our emotional responses and behaviour.

CBT is a goal-oriented and structured style of talk therapy, typically having 12 to 20 sessions that last for about 30 minutes to an hour. 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” or outpatient assignments, like keeping a journal of thoughts and feelings and/or practicing new coping strategies learned from the therapy session(s).

How Does CBT Help?

Being the most widely used type of talk therapy, individuals with depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have either been successfully treated or have regularly managed these disorders using CBT. The treatment has also been able to help those with chronic pain, insomnia, and other psychological conditions that are largely affected by physical conditions.  

Read More: A Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Group for Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours


Methods Used in CBT: An Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy techniques

Cognitive behaviour 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:

  • Identification of negative thoughts and beliefs: Your therapist helps you to identify unhelpful and unhealthy thoughts and beliefs that may be contributing to your emotional distress, including thoughts and beliefs about yourself, others, and the world around you.
  • Challenging negative thoughts and beliefs: After identifying the unhealthy thoughts and beliefs, the therapist will help you question the thoughts, think about the negative consequences of the thoughts, and explore alternative explanations.
  • Behavioural techniques: One behavioural technique in CBT is exposure therapy, which is used to help you overcome specific phobias or fears. Exposure therapy means slowly exposing you to the feared situation or object in a controlled and safe environment.
  • Relaxation techniques: Clients are helped to ease up and release bodily tension with highly effective techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and visualization. Relaxation techniques can reduce physical symptoms of anxiety, like rapid heartbeat and sweating, as well as stress, which can be relieved by simply unclenching the jaw or resting the shoulders.
  • Problem-solving skills: Clients are taught to develop problem-solving skills, which can be used to cope healthily and strategically when faced with their areas of difficulty in the future. This can include recognizing and identifying the problem, generating possible solutions to the problem, and evaluating the potential outcomes of each solution.
  • Mindfulness techniques: Clients are encouraged to practise technqiues like meditation, yoga, and body scans are great ways to develop the ability to focus on the present moment. Mindfulness-based CBT helps clients observe their own thoughts and feelings while avoiding getting caught up in them.  
  • Homework: Lastly, clients often tasked to do homework like keeping a diary of thoughts and feelings, practising new coping strategies after therapy sessions, and doing exercises to psychologically train and rewire the clients for them to continue working on their therapy goals outside of the therapy sessions.

All of these methods can be tailored depending on the individual's specific needs, and the therapist may use different techniques depending on the condition being treated, as well as on which stage of therapy they’re in.

What are the Benefits of CBT?

When applied the right way, some benefits of CBT include improved mood, reduced anxiety and stress, improved relationships, a healthier mindset, and a better overall quality of life.  

It can also help individuals to learn healthy coping strategies, utilize a certain set of strategies that prove to be the most effective for them, and learn some problem-solving skills that they can use when faced with difficult situations in the future.  

As CBT is a type of talk therapy, it generally doesn’t involve any medications unless referred to and prescribed by a medical professional.

What are Possible Drawbacks in Using CBT?

Cognitive behaviour therapy takes a lot of time and commitment for you to get its full effect. The client would need to be willing and cooperative during the therapy sessions. CBT, as would any other type of therapy, requires the client to go through a bit of discomfort especially upon confronting their presses and anxieties in order to truly manage their condition better and hopefully get completely treated. Additionally, CBT also focuses primarily on the individual and not on the system or environment they are in.  

How Can You Determine If CBT is Right for You?

While CBT is generally used on clients battling with depression or anxiety disorders, your assigned mental health professional can still use CBT on other types of mental health conditions, especially if they see the need for it. CBT can be used either alone or in combination with other types of therapies.  

To truly determine if CBT is suitable for you, it is best to consult with a trusted and credible mental health professional so that your specific needs and concerns are considered, the right diagnoses and assessments are made, and, most importantly, you are given the treatment that you need. It is key to find a therapist who’s highly skilled in CBT and has enough experience treating the specific condition you are seeking help for.

Read More: What is Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy for Insomnia?

Does Archways Provide CBT?

At Archways, we believe in CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) to help our clients get well and stay well. We offer CBT for adults approximately up to 70 years of age, and we also have a Child & Adolescent Program that makes use of CBT techniques as well.

Quality Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Near Me

We provide quality mental health services suited for your mental health needs. For more information on Archways and our services, visit our website or give us a call at 519-472-6612

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