Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy modality that treats issues by modifying dysfunctional/maladaptive emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. CBT aims to identify these negative thoughts and determine whether they are just feelings (subjective) or facts (objective). If the thoughts turn out to be feelings, the therapist can help use designated CBT tools/strategies to challenge these feelings. This will help the client to change unhelpful patterns and behaviors. 


For example, if a client has a thought about failing a test or a work presentation, this can cause them to experience extreme anxiety. If the CBT therapist can help the client see that this thought is really based on emotional reasoning and subjective feelings from the past (perhaps they were always compared negatively to their high-achieving sibling), and that the objective facts (they have studied/practiced a lot, they did well on their last test/presentation) make it more likely that they will not fail, this will reduce the client’s anxiety.


CBT is used to help treat a wide range of issues, including sleep issues, relationship problems, drug and alcohol abuse, anxiety and depression. CBT may also help you:


  • Manage symptoms of mental illness
  • Prevent a relapse of mental illness symptoms
  • Treat a mental illness when medications aren't a good option
  • Learn techniques for coping with stressful life situations
  • Identify ways to manage emotions
  • Resolve relationship conflicts and learn better ways to communicate
  • Cope with grief or loss
  • Overcome emotional trauma related to abuse or violence
  • Cope with a medical illness
  • Manage chronic physical symptoms