CBT Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, also referred to as CBT, is an evidence-based psychological treatment proven to be effective through years of rigorous scientific research. It is effective for a wide range of problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, chronic pain, disordered eating, low self-esteem, anger problems, and addiction). Research also shows that people experiencing anxiety and depression are less likely to relapse when treated with CBT: They tend to get better and stay better!

CBT focuses on the way people think ("cognitive") and act ("behavioural"). Our thoughts about a situation affect how we feel (emotionally and physically) and how we behave in that situation. CBT helps people develop more realistic meaning to situations which leads to more positive and healthy behaviours.

The Basics of CBT Therapy

CBT Helps You Understand the Problem

CBT can help you better understand how your anxiety and stress develops in response to daily events. Having a strong grasp of how your anxiety works is a step in beginning to manage the anxiety, rather than it continuing to manage you.

CBT Helps Develop Skills to Deal with the Problem

Through CBT, you learn new skills to manage your symptoms. CBT introduces new ways of thinking and acting to reduce anxiety. Also, rather than avoiding anxiety provoking situations, you will learn how to approach stressful events gradually over time so that you regain control.

CBT Helps Achieve Your Goals

Through the process, you and your therapist set goals and review progress. There is homework involved so that you develop skills gradually and see the results of your efforts.

CBT Helps Deal with Current, Practical Problems

CBT is focussed on the here and now – not the historical cause of the stress and anxiety. Instead, it focuses on the thoughts and feelings that keep the fear and stress alive and ways to change those thoughts.

CBT Emphasizes Practice

Consistent practice of new skills is essential and a key component to developing effective ways to manage stress and anxiety. Like any new skill, the more one practices, the easier it gets. This is achieved through regular exercises and homework assignments.

Why Focus on Cognitions? The Connection between Thinking & Feeling

An Example: Whenever we experience a mood, there is an associated thought. For example; you are at a party and have been introduced to Fred. During your conversation with Fred, you notice he never looks at you, rather he looks over your shoulder and across the room. What would you think, and subsequently feel, about this situation? Consider the following thoughts and moods you may experience as a result;

Thought: He’s rude. By ignoring me, he is insulting me.
Possible Moods: Irritable, Sad, Nervous, Caring

Thought: He finds me boring and uninteresting.
Possible Moods: Irritable, Sad, Nervous, Caring

Thought: He seems shy, it’s probably too uncomfortable for him to look at me.
Possible Moods: Irritable, Sad, Nervous, Caring

This example illustrates that different thoughts or interpretations of an event can lead to different moods in the same situation. The meanings we give to situations affect how we feel and act, not the situation itself. These meanings are not always accurate, realistic, or helpful. Inaccurate and unhelpful thoughts create unpleasant emotions and unhelpful behaviours (e.g., avoidance). These unhelpful thoughts and action then reinforce the initial negative thoughts, maintaining the problem. This can create a vicious cycle. A Cognitive Behavioural Therapist helps break this vicious cycle!

FREE THERAPY CONSULTATION - Determine if my approach fits for you.