Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: What is CBT and why does it work?

You have probably noticed some of our posts, blogs and videos mentioning CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. But you might not know what it refers to. CBT is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on how a person’s thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes affect their feelings and behaviors. The therapists at Waters Edge Counseling are experienced with CBT and have seen the benefits of this particular therapy with many of our clients.

So let’s look at what CBT is. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is based on a number of beliefs, including the following:

  • Unhelpful ways that people think can lead to psychological problems.
  • If people learn unhelpful behavior, this, too, can lead to psychological issues.
  • People can learn more beneficial ways of thinking and behaving.
  • New habits can relieve symptoms of mental and physical conditions and allow people to act in better ways.
  • Practitioners base CBT on the theory that problems arise from the meanings people give to events, as well as the events themselves. Unhelpful thoughts can make it difficult for a person to function confidently in different situations.

CBT can have a positive impact on how you feel and act and equip you with coping strategies that help you deal with life’s challenges.

Research shows that CBT can offer support to people with depression, panic disorder, and various other health conditions. Our therapists believe this to be the case and have been through the CBT training required to help.

If it’s determined that CBT is the preferred therapy, following are a list of coping skills that can be learned:

  • Identify problems more clearly
  • Develop an awareness of automatic thoughts
  • Challenge underlying assumptions that may be wrong
  • Distinguish between facts and irrational thoughts
  • Understand how past experience can affect present feelings and beliefs
  • Stop fearing the worst
  • See a situation from a different perspective
  • Better understand other people’s actions and motivations
  • Develop a more positive way of thinking and seeing situations
  • Become more aware of their own mood
  • Establish attainable goals
  • Avoid generalizations and all-or-nothing thinking
  • Stop taking the blame for everything
  • Focus on how things are rather than how they think they should be
  • Face their fears rather than avoid them
  • Describe, accept, and understand rather than judge themselves or others

If you would like to learn more about CBT and how our therapists at Waters Edge Counseling incorporate this therapy into our practice, please give us a call. And we are always here if you feel you’d like to make an appointment and check us out.