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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

What is Cognitive Behavioral therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a psychological method that stresses the impact of thinking on how we feel and behave.

There is a great number of approaches in CBT but the most common are Arnold T. Beck‘s Cognitive therapy (CT) and Allbert Ellis‘ Rational Emotional Behavior therapy (REBT).

 

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How CBT works?

It is based on cognitive model of emotional reactions that assumes our thoughts are the cause of our feelings and behaviour, rather than outside influences as such. This means that it is possible to control our thoughts using our feelings and behaviour.

How? By changing the way we think about a situation.

 

What brings the change in the way we think?

This change in the way we think brings:

A more realistic judgment of how unpleasant an event is and a thinking based on facts, rather than assumptions.

Greater tolerance to temporary failure and inconvenience.

Accepting oneself and others as imperfect beings and allows one to make goals that were, up to now difficult to achieve!

 

What is CBT compared to other psychotherapy approaches?

Shorter – expected psychotherapy results are achieved after shorter number of seances, which is confirmed by a significant number of researches on this type of therapy effectiveness.

More Direct – therapist is very active, they listen, support, ask questions, direct, teach, give guidelines and tasks. Therapist shows client way of thinking or behaviour are they going to achieve their goals best.

 

Does this mean that the client is passive?

No! The client is the one who sets the goals, actively works to change their way of thinking, tries new ways of thinking and does various forms of practical “home works“.

 

Are the home works necessary?

Yes! One seance a week during psychotherapy is not enough to achieve goals and change thoughts we were holding on to for a long time.

More Educational – since it‘s teaching client concrete concepts and techniques that will help them to change permanently the way they react and to help themselves feel good. By learning how to help themselves, client is learning how to be their own therapist as well.

More Focused – CBT is directed to achieving client‘s goals “here and now“ which means that it is dealing with more current problems and it finds quickest ways to solve these problems.

 

Does it mean that the past is not relevant?

No! Experiences from the past are very important, since they contribute to development of the most adequate ways of thinking and behaviour. Still, CBT finds it’s more useful and more important to understand how we upset and block our own selves. CBT teaches clients to discover convictions about themselves, others and the world; convictions that they’ve learned in the past and to evaluate if those convictions are correct, logical and useful in presence.