How does CBT function?Dr. Collins
CBT is a cognitive behavioral therapy technique the main reason of which is to teach people how to modify their unwanted behavior by changing their thoughts. This technique is used by counselors and therapists. The basis of CBT is the idea that our thought models have a great influence on our behavior.
The concept of CBT
Cognitive behavioral therapy can be defined as a form of psychotherapy that studies the effect of person’s thoughts and beliefs on his behavior. Besides, this therapy teaches people how to settle different problems. As a result of distorted thinking, patients suffer from distress and problematic behavior. At the same time when people think positively they can effectively respond to all the difficulties. CBT cures such illnesses as depressions, panic disorders, abnormality and others.
The procedure of effective CBT is possible on the assumption that there is a good cooperation between the counselor and his patient. The therapy should include the following stages:
- understanding the existence of the problem;
- setting of goals;
- friendly communication;
- completing of tasks;
- learning how to make positive changes in behavior.
Origin of CBT
At the very beginning CBT was planned as a method to cure depression. Nowadays with a help of CBT professionals can treat different health and mental illnesses starting with panic disorders, generalized anxiety and finishing with social phobias. CBT can cure childhood depression, anger, schizophrenia and disorders.
How does it work? We change our mood by thinking positively in the same was as we put on another pair of glasses. The reality changes, doesn’t it? Dr. Aaron Beck emphasizes that depressed people are likely to make negative conclusions and catastrophize. Dr. Beck explains the occurrence of pessimistic thoughts by distortions. CBT can challenge the validity of certain thoughts against reality and change person’s behavior.
Every stressful situation makes automatic thoughts come to our mind. This can result in negative emotions and unhealthy behavior. The person can misinterpret the thoughts and make wrong conclusions. One with a dental phobia connected with some negative experience may fear taking a tooth out. A CB therapist will use specific, goal oriented technique to cure this patient. The therapy lasts up to twenty sessions. The following stages are practiced in CBT:
- differentiate rational and irrational conclusions
- stop thinking negatively
- look at a situation from different points of view
- question the validity of certain thoughts
- identify and modify distorted beliefs
- keep a cognitive behavioral diary
- avoid generalizations
- stop personalizing and taking blame
- focus on the real state of things, not the possible one
Distorted thinking can lead to various behavioral problems and dysfucntions. With a help of such widely practiced psychotherapy as cognitive behavioral therapy people can understand the actual cause of their problems.