Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Meaning
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for conditions such as anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and trauma. The goal of CBT is to alter thoughts, feelings, and behaviors which are detrimental to one’s well-being and happiness.
In a session, the therapist may employ various techniques to identify and alter negative automatic thoughts. These are beliefs you hold about situations or events in life that come to you automatically, such as when feeling anxious, angry, or depressed.
A therapist can assist in recognizing these thoughts by asking questions and then giving you exercises that challenge them. This process, known as cognitive restructuring, involves rearranging one’s thinking, emotions, and beliefs in order to make them more accurate and helpful.
Your therapist and you will collaborate to develop a plan for how the therapy will proceed. This may involve considering what issues need to be addressed, how to assess progress, and which strategies work best for you.
At your initial session, your therapist will collect information about you and your current symptoms and emotions. They may also inquire about past illnesses or events that could have an impact on mental health.
Your therapist will then attempt to determine if CBT is suitable for you. If so, they may consult with your doctor regarding whether it is covered by insurance.
Cognitive behavioral therapy consists of various types, each targeting a different problem or area of the brain. Popular options include exposure therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).
Exposure therapy involves gradually introducing situations or things that cause you stress or distress into your life over a set period of time. You’ll also learn relaxation techniques for when you feel overwhelmed in stressful circumstances.
This approach can be particularly successful for clients suffering from phobias or panic attacks, as it helps them comprehend their thoughts and emotions in relation to physical sensations. Additionally, this technique may aid in recognizing the causes of your symptoms so that you can effectively treat them.
With these techniques, you can begin to conquer anxiety and panic as the therapist helps reframe your beliefs about what’s causing the problems so that you can start feeling better.
Your therapist and you may participate in group therapy sessions with others facing similar struggles. These can be great opportunities to share feelings and learn strategies for managing stress more effectively.
In therapy, your therapist will also help you practice the skills you’re learning in real-life scenarios. This is known as role-playing and it can be an excellent way to build social skills while tackling some of the issues raised during sessions.