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CBT: The Very Basics

CBT: The Very Basics

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a treatment method that can help individuals identify negative behaviors

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps individuals understand their thoughts and feelings and how those help influence their behaviors. This form of treatment is commonly used to help treat a wide range of disorders including phobias, addictions, depression and anxiety.

How Does CBT Work?

Cognitive behavior therapy is primarily short-term and focuses on helping clients deal with extremely specific problems. During their course of treatment, individuals will learn how to identify along with change destructive and/or disturbing thought patterns, which have a negative influence on their behavior.  Included in the following are some examples on different forms of CBT:

  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Multimodal Therapy

Individuals often experience thoughts and/or feelings that reinforce faulty or negative beliefs. Because of these negative beliefs, they may engage in problematic behaviors that can affect numerous areas of their life including family, relationships, work and school. In CBT, a therapist begins by helping an individual identify these issues, also known as functional analysis. This stage helps individuals learn how their thoughts and feelings can contribute to negative behaviors and outcomes.

What Makes CBT So Effective?

While CBT may not be a treatment approach for everyone, those who benefit from it learn lifelong coping skills, which they will continue to use in every area of their lives. Included in the following are some examples on why CBT is so effective:

  • Works to change thinking and behavior in manageable increments
  • Helps individuals gradually accomplish goals
  • Can be tailored to fit each individual’s needs

CBT works by helping patients break down their problems into manageable increments, which are easier to address and solve. Both the individual and therapist set goals for the individual to complete and then work together to help the patient take the necessary steps to complete the goals. While it may take more small steps to reach one’s goals, patients learn to grow and adapt to new circumstances while reaching their goals instead of trying to solve everything all at once. Although there are some guidelines to practicing CBT, therapists can work with patients to tailor the treatment to their specific needs.

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