Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a empirically-based form of psychological treatment that has been found to be effective for a wide range of struggles including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, relationship concerns, and other more severe mental illnesses. Research studies have found that CBT can lead to significant improvement in both functioning and quality of life.
During treatment, you will learn more about your problems, their symptoms, and how to predict when symptoms will most likely recur. CBT often includes exercises and practices in the session but also can involve “homework” or exercises outside of session in order to help practice and develop coping skills in changing thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.
Most often, the main focus in CBT is on changing thinking patterns, which can involve:
- Learning to recognize self-defeating thought patterns and looking at evidence to challenge them
- Gaining insight into the behavior and motivation of others
- Using problem-solving strategies as a method of coping
- Developing more confidence in your abilities and coping mechanism
CBT treatment also usually involves changing behaviours or patterns, which can involve:
- Facing fears instead of avoiding them
- Using role plays to develop skills in interactions with others
- Learning to relaxation strategies
- Learning different ways to deal with daily life problems
CBT therapists often focus on the person’s current life and addressing problems in the client’s life, although a certain amount of knowledge of the history of the problem is needed.
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