CBT is a time-sensitive, structured therapy that is proven to be effective for a variety of disorders and problems. The main concept of CBT focuses on a person’s thoughts (cognition) and actions (behavior), giving it its name - Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
CBT explores and identifies how a person’s interpretation of a situation leads to emotions and feelings, which then influence how a person behaves in that situation. The purpose of CBT is to understand patterns of one’s thought process, modify any dysfunctional or biased thinking, and to then develop effective and individualized coping skills. These steps and techniques allow a person to respond, rather than react, to a situation in a more accurate and helpful way.
Through weekly therapy and homework assignments, individuals recognize how and when their thoughts influence their feelings, leading to increased control of their emotional and behavioral responses. Clients learn terms for their “thinking traps” and strategies to challenge them. CBT trains someone to use awareness and facts, instead of using automatic thoughts and feelings. There is also an emphasis on understanding why a client thinks a certain way by uncovering core beliefs and how life experiences have formed such beliefs.
In addition to CBT techniques, a variety of interventions and modalities can be pulled into sessions, such as dialectical behavior therapy, solution-focused therapy, mindfulness, and acceptance and commitment therapy, to name a few. Ultimately, a person learns how to re-frame situations so that their responses are more productive, rather than destructive, leading to improvement within their professional, interpersonal, and personal lives.