Life 369 Counselling - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy …

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy - a highly effective psychotherapy treatment…

What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that has been scientifically tested and found to be effective in hundreds of clinical trials for many different disorders. In contrast to other forms of psychotherapy, CBT is usually more focused on the present, more time-limited, and more problem solving oriented. In addition, clients learn specific skills that they can use for the rest of their lives. These skills involve identifying distorted thinking, modifying beliefs, relating to others in different ways, and changing behaviours.

What is the theory behind Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is based on the cognitive model: the way we perceive (think about) situations influences how we feel emotionally. For example, one person reading this might think, "Wow! This sounds good, it's just what I've always been looking for!" and feels happy. Another person reading this information might think, "Well, this sounds good but I don't think I can do it." This person feels sad and discouraged. So it is not a situation or event that directly affects how people feel emotionally, but rather, their thoughts about that situation.

When people are in distress or feeling overwhelmed, their perspective is often inaccurate and their thoughts may be unrealistic. Cognitive behaviour therapy helps people identify their distressing thoughts and evaluate how realistic the thoughts are. Then they learn to change their distorted thinking. When they think more realistically, they feel better. The emphasis is also consistently on solving problems and initiating behavioural change.

How do Cognitive Behaviour therapists help clients
become their 'own' therapists?

At each therapy session, cognitive behaviour therapists help clients identify the problems they have encountered during the week or that they expect to encounter in the current week. They then collect data to identify the ideas and behaviours that have interfered with clients' ability to solve problems themselves. Cognitive behaviour therapists get clients actively engaged in deciding where to start working. Together, they develop an “action plan” or homework for clients (to do during the week) to implement solutions to problems or to make changes in their thinking and actions. This process gets clients actively involved in their own treatment; they begin to recognize that the way to get better is to make small changes in how they think and what they do every day. When treatment ends, clients are able to use the skills and tools they have learned in therapy in their day-to-day lives.

How will I know Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is working?

Many clients notice a decrease in their symptoms within a few therapy sessions. Even sooner, if they faithfully attend sessions and do the suggested between session assignments.

Interested in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?

Check out these videos of real people and their experience with CBT…

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Emotions (Feelings)

Often our thoughts are negative. This is natural, but not helpful. (We are hardwired to be more negative) This is not helpful because thoughts are NOT truth, they are just thoughts. We have thousands upon thousands of thoughts every day; not all of them are true. In the moment I may have a thought that NOBODY loves me. But if I challenge that thought I realize at other times (when I'm feeling more positive) I know that there are several people who really DO love me.

If I stay with the negative thought and don't challenge it, it leads to negative emotions (feelings) which lead to negative behaviours (experiences) which lead to more negative thoughts, emotions and behaviours. This leaves us with with an overall negative experience and, if we continuously follow this pattern, a negative life.

When we challenge negative thoughts and focus on positive thoughts, the experience is different - more positive.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is, however, more than just ‘the power of positive thinking’.

Book an appointment to find out how you can learn how to challenge your thoughts and in doing so change your life one thought at a time.

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Life 360 Counselling is the practice of Larry G. Pardy CD RSW - Registered Clinical Social Worker, Marriage Counsellor and Mental Health Therapist. Member of Focus on The Family Christian Counsellor Referral Network