If you’ve seen a therapist in the past, you’ve likely engaged in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. As the most popular evidence-based therapy technique, CBT is used to treat depression, anxiety, phobias, eating disorders, low self-esteem, relationship challenges and more. CBT is also used to overcome trauma.
So, what is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and how can it help?
According to the American Psychological Association, CBT is a psychological treatment that focuses on identifying, questioning, and changing unproductive thinking patterns and behaviors.
When engaged in CBT, a therapist will explore whether their client has active cognitive distortions. For example, thoughts such as, “I’m not good enough,” “Nobody likes me,” or “I’m worthless.” A therapist will focus some of their work to help them recognize their thought distortions for what they are – polarizing feelings that are likely not based in fact.
Negative thought patterns can be very debilitating and over time, may lead to more serious mental health concerns. As therapists, we help reframe negative thought patterns into more constructive thinking.
CBT treatment may use various techniques and strategies to accomplish this. One strategy might include role playing to practice using a new mindset the therapist is helping their client incorporate into their thought patterns.
In CBT sessions, the therapist may offer “homework” to practice new skills or strategies between counseling sessions. Such homework might include:
- Journaling or other creative outlets to better understand how to change thinking patterns.
- Breathing and relaxation techniques to slow destructive thoughts and focus on constructive, supportive thought patterns.
- Replacing negative thoughts as they occur with a supportive mantra created in session.
One of the greatest benefits to you with CBT is the idea that your therapist is working with you to become your own therapist. We want you to be skilled at converting distorted, negative thoughts into positive thoughts based in reality.
How Long Does CBT Take to Work?
As with other therapy modalities, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Therefore, there is no clear answer to how long CBT will take or when one will notice positive changes. The length of therapy depends on many factors such as one’s age and stage of life, past or more recent trauma, access to current support networks, and how dedicated one is to the therapeutic process.
CBT is proven. CBT offers skills and techniques that can support you in achieving your mental health goals.
CONTACT CREATIVE COUNSELING CENTER
At Creative Counseling Center, we provide therapy to young children, adolescents, teens and adults struggling with anxiety, depression, grief and loss, past or recent trauma, stress due to life transitions, and more. If you feel overwhelmed working through any one or more of these on your own, we want to help. Request a FREE Phone Consultation by completing the brief form below and a member of our team will contact you. Together we can help you determine if our practice and which therapist is best equipped to support you or your loved one.