What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

By Brittany Glenn, Associate Therapist

What is CBT?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a treatment approach that assists clients with the ability to recognize negative or unhelpful thought and behavior patterns. This form of therapy aims to help clients identify and investigate ways in which ones emotions and thoughts can effect CBT aims to help you identify and explore the ways your emotions and thoughts can affect your actions. Once you notice these patterns, you can begin learning how to change your behaviors and develop new coping strategies. CBT addresses the here and now, and focuses less on the past. For some conditions in some people, other forms of psychotherapy are equally or even more effective. The key is that there is no one size that fits all.

Tips on Using CBT
  • Create SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-limited.
  • Use of Guided Discovery and questioning. By questioning the assumptions you have about yourself, your current situation, learning to challenge these thoughts and consider different viewpoints.
  • Journaling. Writing down any negative beliefs that come up during the week and the positive ones you can replace them with.
  • Self-talk. What you tell yourself about a certain situation or experience, and challenge those thoughts to replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk.
  • Cognitive restructuring. This involves looking at any cognitive distortions affecting thoughts ex: black-and-white thinking, or jumping to conclusions.

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