Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most researched based modality for children, adolescents, and adults. CBT addresses a large variety of mental health disorders. CBT’s goal is to help the client gain awareness of negative thinking patterns and respond to them more efficiently. Ultimately, by addressing negative thinking patterns, problematic behaviors will change. CBT is easy to learn and introduce within the therapeutic environment, which makes it great for all ages and identified concerns. 

The idea behind CBT is that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interrelated (see figure 1). Clients present with automatic negative thoughts, based on their life experiences. CBT works to redirect these automatic thoughts, as they are often not logical or realistic. CBT teaches clients to challenge their negative thinking and look for other ways to express their thoughts and feelings.  A therapist will work with the client to identify the irrational thoughts a person is having, in addition to finding alternative solutions to the irrational thinking patterns. 

CBT requires that both the therapist and client have an active role in therapy. The role of the therapist is to have unconditional acceptance, empathy, and to build the therapeutic relationship. All therapists are different; some being more direct where others place a higher value on a client’s ability to gain insight. The client will learn how to apply logical thinking, participate in experiential exercises, and learn acceptance and how to stay more present in the moment. At times, the client may be given homework to reinforce what is learned in session and to extend healing outside of the office. With hard work and dedication, change can happen quickly.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be a beneficial therapy for people with many psychological concerns. The team at Calming Waters Counseling Services, http://amandaklcsw.com/ is experienced in this and other types of modalities. Reach out now to have any questions answered or to schedule an appointment.