What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the profession of counseling is filled with theories.  A counselor embraces a variety of theories throughout their time in school and in the beginning of their clinical career.  One of the most common is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  This theory guides clients through the concept that “We think therefore we feel, therefore we behavior.”  This is the concept that faulty thinking in regards to ideas, beliefs, thoughts or situations leads to increases in either anxiety or depression.   Cognitive therapy helps a client untwist faulty thinking which will decrease either anxiety or depression.

CBT is a problem focused and action-oriented form of therapy; based on the belief that thought distortions and the behaviors that follow lead to psychological issues.  Though it is a more of a skill based form of therapy, there is still a significant focus on the client and counselor relationship.  This relationship is still the root of CBT. This form of therapy was first created to help clients through depressions.  Now it is used with a variety of mental health issues.

It has been found that using cognitive behavioral therapy is just as effective as using psychotropic medications.  The use of CBT and medications has been proven to be the most effective.  When done properly, CBT treats the whole person and is not just about symptom reduction.  It helps rewire how a client looks at issues in their life.

Cognitive behavioral therapy uses a client’s history as a significant focus.  A client’s history helps a therapist discover how a client’s thought process has come together.  A CBT therapist will be able to assess past factors and events that are relevant to the current work with a client.  With this knowledge, a counselor can help a client adjust their way of thinking that they have been locked in from past experiences.

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