Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a goal-oriented, practical and structured form of psychotherapy. CBT promotes independence by teaching coping skills, problem solving, and self-help in therapy. Clients share in setting treatment goals and often take on homework assignments, which can speed their progress. Progress towards treatment goals is measured throughout.
Research has shown that CBT is highly effective in treating a wide range of problems including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, weight loss and maintenance, interpersonal difficulties, anger management, substance abuse and dependence, marital conflict, and personality problems.
CBT is an active form of treatment. You and your therapist will work in collaboration to develop an agenda for your sessions based on your treatment goals.
The key finding in CBT is that distortions in thinking are often the cause of one’s painful feelings and dysfunctional behavior patterns. You’ll learn how to identify distorted or negative ways of thinking and explore whether there are alternative ways of seeing the situation.
You and your therapist will devise behavioral “experiments” that will test your new, more realistic and adaptive ways of thinking.
The cognitive model developed by Dr. Aaron Beck and the “Rational-Emotive Therapy” model of Dr. Ellis emphasize the critical role of core beliefs. Core beliefs are basic and fundamental ways we view ourselves and the world. Individuals with harsh and rigid core beliefs are particularly susceptible to mood or behavioral difficulties. Examples of core beliefs include: “I am worthless”, “I am incompetent”, and “I must avoid failure”. CBT aims to bring such maladaptive beliefs to the client’s awareness and help develop more compassionate and constructive frameworks, which promotes deeper and more profound change. CBT also teaches skills for coping with difficult emotions.