Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at Eastside
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can assist you in dealing with problems by altering your thoughts and behavior. It has the potential to be beneficial for various mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression.
Your therapist uses CBT to teach you how to recognize and alter negative thought patterns that cause emotional distress. Doing so can lead to more positive feelings and behaviors, which in turn improve your overall wellbeing.
At your initial session with your therapist, you and they will identify any troubling situations or conditions you would like to address. These could include symptoms of a mental health disorder or problems in your life such as medical issues, relationship troubles, grief or anger issues. Additionally, both of you will discuss desired outcomes.
Your therapist and you will also discuss how to maximize the benefit of CBT. This could involve attending regular sessions, doing homework or doing exercises outside of therapy.
CBT helps you comprehend the connection between your emotions and behaviors, known as “the mind-body connection.” This theory can assist in recognizing negative thought patterns that could cause issues and then teaching you how to alter them.
Some common CBT techniques include:
Situation exposure, also known as situation listing, involves ranking situations or things that cause you distress according to their level of discomfort and gradually exposing yourself to them until you feel less anxious about them.
Systematic desensitization, similar to situation exposure, involves learning relaxation techniques for managing your feelings in trying circumstances.
Meditation, which involves paying attention to your thoughts and allowing them to pass without judgment, is another technique that can help you learn how to relax your mind and body.
Self-talk, which is the conversation you have with yourself about a situation, can also be employed in CBT to help you gain control over your thoughts and emotions. Doing so can encourage an optimistic outlook on life’s events as well as enhance positive responses to stressful scenarios.
Your therapist may ask you to write down your thoughts about various situations in a journal. Doing this helps you recall what occurred and provides an opportunity to examine how your beliefs are influencing your feelings and behaviors.
The therapist will also motivate and assist you in applying your new skills and behaviors in everyday life, such as making healthier choices and taking action when necessary. This could be done through group therapy or individual counseling.
In your sessions with your therapist, you and they will work on developing new skills such as mindfulness meditation that can help regulate thoughts, emotions and behaviors. You may also need to do some homework – this could include keeping a journal or reading a book.
If you’re thinking about beginning therapy, reach out to a local provider to see what options are available in your area. Or sign up with an online service like BetterHelp which matches you with a therapist within 48 hours.